Ask a bunch of voters why they bother, especially when there are no “big races,” and Election Day is rainy and cold, and you’ll get answers like “I just always vote” or “I believe it’s important for my voice to be heard.”
Voters such as these don’t care that records show that in off-year or non-presidential elections, voter turnout is generally low, with fewer than half of registered voters bothering to show up.
Voter turnout in Missouri is expected to be around 25 percent for next Tuesday’s party primaries, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
A turnout of 25 percent would be slightly higher than the 23 percent of Missouri voters who cast ballots in the 2010 primaries. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) says voter turnout is notoriously hard to predict.
“In fact, our office doesn’t even do it," Carnahan said. "We ask the local election officials, the 116 of them around the state, to give us their predictions, based on what is on those local ballots.”
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.