Primary Day Voter Turnout Looks Predictably Low

May 17, 2016

Credit Ryland Barton, WKU Public Radio

Polls are still open in the Kentucky primary election until 6 o’clock. Voter turnout is expected to be low and rain across the state probably didn’t help get people out to the polls.

It’s been a quiet day at Morton Middle School in Lexington. Local election official David Cupps says Republican turnout was low at his polling location — possibly because Republicans already voted for president in March.

“It does look like Republican turnout is lighter than Democratic turnout and it was very slow first thing this morning, so the rain probably did cut down on the turnout,” he said.

Cupps said he still expected his location’s participation rate to be higher than the statewide prediction of 20 percent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are battling over Kentucky’s 55 delegates. But the real reward will be momentum going into the larger California and New Jersey primaries on June 7.

Lexington resident Paul Winther said he voted for Bernie Sanders, even though he recognizes he’s a long-shot for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Even though many of his goals might not be attained, at least he’s putting those kinds of ideas in the minds of people, and I think it’s very very important.”

Retired teacher Sonia Fox voted for Hillary Clinton, citing the former secretary of state’s foreign policy experience.

“I think some of the world leaders think a lot of her,” she said. “I think she’s very savvy.”

Fox said she agreed with many of Sanders’ ideas but found proposals like making state college tuition free to be unrealistic.

“I appreciate his thinking but it’s not realistic when you see the way the political machine operates,” she said.