Voter turnout in this week’s primary election was higher than anticipated as thousands of Gage County residents made their way to the polls.
Voter turnout in Gage County topped 36 percent according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s election, exceeding many expectations.
“I think it went well and I was surprised to see we had 36 percent turnout,” said Gage County Election Commissioner Dawn Hill. “I know they were predicting in 20s and wasn’t sure how ours would turn out, but it’s always nice to see more than less. I’m glad to see people got out and voted.”
There were a total 5,123 ballots cast in Gage County, 3,122 Republican and 1,609 Democratic. Gage County has a total of 14,213 registered voters.
In addition to the higher than anticipated turnout, the 2018 primary was the first election in Gage County Hill is aware of where early votes outnumbered votes cast in person on election day.
There were 2,731 early ballots cast, compared to 2,392 on election day. Hill has stated early voting has been gaining popularity, a trend likely to continue in the fall general election and beyond.
“I think the candidates or the parties continue to mail out information about it,” she said. “I know the Democratic party sent out postcards for early voting and as long as they are promoting it as well, I think there’s a good possibility of that continuing.”
Aside from a few of the early ballots sticking together due to humidity, the ballot-counting machine had final unofficial results ready by around 9:30 p.m., around 90 minutes after the polls closed.
While Hill was pleased with the turnout this spring, she’s hoping to see an even higher figure this fall for the Nov. 6 general election.
“I do hope for an even higher percentage in the general and it usually is, but you never know,” she said. “Any given election you can think one way and it turns out to be another. It’s exciting to see when you go through all this work that people are going out and voting.”