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Government, Politics & Issues

25 percent voter turnout expected for Mo. primaries

(via Flickr/Congress of local and regional authorities)
A voter leaving a voting booth in Georgia in 2010. Missouri will hold its presidential primary tomorrow.

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.”If that figure holds true, Carnahan's office says it would equal more than 1 million votes cast.

“In 2008, I can tell you the prediction was for somewhere over 30 percent and it turned out to be around 19 (percent)," Carnahan said.  "It’s very hard to predict what’s gonna happen in these primary elections.”

This year’s contests include strong competition in both parties for Missouri’s Lt. Governor’s race and a heated GOP battle for the right to face Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.  The Democratic primary for Missouri’s First Congressional seat pits two incumbents, William Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan, against each other.  Voters will also decide the so-called “Right to Pray” amendment to the State Constitution, and party nominations for every State House seat and half the State Senate seats are also up for grabs .

Polls open next Tuesday at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. 

  • For more on this year’s campaigns and elections, go to Beyond November, a coordinated election project of St. Louis Public Radio, Nine Network of Public Media and The St. Louis Beacon.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

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