At its best, Gila County’s voter turnout has reached 80 percent of all registered voters.
At its worst, in last September’s primary election, it slumped to around 34 percent.
So, to Gila County Elections Director Dixie Mundy, Tuesday’s 44 percent general-election turnout didn’t look all that good.
But they didn’t look all that bad, either. And by the time the counting is done, it will look a little better.
“We do have additional ballots which require tabulation,” Mundy said Thursday afternoon. “We’re probably looking at closer to a low-50-percent-area turnout.”
The uncounted ballots, she said, “either came in from the polling place and require verification, or they were early ballots that were received by the deadline but had not been tabulated because verification and processing still need to be done.”
Gila County is not alone in its uncertainty over final results.
“All of Arizona’s counties but two still have ballots that have not been added in,” Mundy said. “So each county’s numbers are going to go up.”
In considering the percentage of voter turnout, Mundy said, “One thing we always have to remember is that it’s based on total voter registration, and large voter registration drives have been going on all year. That raises your number of eligible voters, but sometimes not all of the newly-registered people vote.”
Right now, Mundy added, “We have the highest voter registration in Gila County history, which is 30,663. That’s a jump even from the primary election last September.”
On the national level, competitive races in many states in this year’s midterm congressional election apparently attracted more voters to the polls than the last midterm election in 1998, according to a survey released Wednesday.
The Committee for the Study of the American Electorate estimated that Tuesday’s turnout reached 78.5 million, more than 39 percent of voting-age citizens. In the 1998 elections, the figure was 37.6 percent the lowest midterm turnout since 1942. Twenty-eight states had higher turnouts this year and 22 states and the District of Columbia had lower turnouts, according to the survey.