III. Primary Updates
Four more states held primary elections this week and other than the show put on by Mother Nature in Pennsylvania, it was, all things considered, a relatively quiet day.
Idaho: A high percentage of incorrectly filled out ballots had officials in Canyon County counting ballots till 3 a.m. Although he was on the ballot and won the race, Bannock County elections officials and representatives in the secretary of state’s office both report receiving numerous calls questioning whether or not Kevin James Brown was still in the race for state rep. It’s unclear where the confusion came from. Although they did not run out of ballots, as some reported, Ada County did scramble to supply enough Democratic ballots after a strong turnout. Incumbent Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (R) will face Democrat Jill Humble in November.
Nebraska: Turnout in the Cornhusker State was just 24.3 percent. In Hall County, where turnout was around 22 percent, a large number of young and first-time voters hit the polls. “So I looked at some of the numbers for teenage voters, first time voters, those kids who are 17-18 years old. We had almost 350 first time voters registered for the election. Of those, 44 were 17 year olds. So I think we have some up and comer voters and I think that's encouraging for Hall County,” Election Commissioner Tracy Overstreet to KNTV. In Gage County, where turnout topped 36 percent, more people voted early than on election day. Republican Bob Evnen will face Democrat Spencer Danner in the race to replace outgoing Secretary of State John Gale.
Oregon: The biggest story out of the Beaver State on Tuesday was the low voter turnout. Although Oregon votes by mail and has automatic voter registration, turnout was just over 33 percent. According to KTVZ that’s the lowest turnout seen in 40 years of primary elections. "The elections turnout was a little disappointing in the primary election," Secretary of State Dennis Richardson told KTVZ. "But what we find is if there is controversy in major issues, major primaries that are of major concern, then we will have a better turnout."
Pennsylvania: With turnout already low, Mother Nature crashed the party in the Commonwealth late in the day on Tuesday. Although polling places stayed open, some had to rely on flashlights, back-up generators and paper ballots. In Carbon County a polling place had to be moved late day after two utility poles came down on the building. A storm-related gas leak mean that the polls in Delaware Water Gap Borough had to remain open until 10:30pm. In Wyoming County, although voting continued, ballot counting was delayed due to the storm. It wasn’t the storm that caused issues at one polling place in Luzerne County, it was construction.