Primary turnout
10:43 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Primary voter turnout lowest ever in Mo.

The "beauty contest" nature of Missouri's presidential primary earlier this week may have contributed to the lowest turnout for a presidential primary  in the state's history.

Just 8 percent of the state's registered voters cast ballots in the Republican and Democratic primaries. About 252,000 people voted in the GOP race, and 73,000 in the Democratic primary. While the Democratic vote awarded delegates, unlike the Republican contest, President Obama faced no serious opposition.

With the primary predicted to cost about $7 million, that works out to a cost of $21.45 per voter.

The 8 percent turnout was far below the 23 percent predicted by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. Only Barry County, where a 911 issue was also on the ballot, exceeded that threshold.  The lowest turnout was in New Madrid County, in the Bootheel, where just 3.3 percent of its registered voters cast ballots.

The turnout in the St. Louis region looked like this:

  • St. Louis city - 5.4 percent
  • St. Louis County - 7 percent
  • St. Charles County - 9.3 percent
  • Jefferson County - 7.6 percent