Secretary of State Ken Detzner says for the first time in state history people using absentee ballots and voting by mail may have surpassed the number of people voting on election day.
The 2014 primary was largely quiet, with big-ticket statewide races all but decided before election day.
What piqued the interest of many political junkies and election observers is the continued spike in the use of absentee ballots, which were up more than 40 percent from the 2010 primary.
“We may have seen a record number of absentee ballots … combined with early voting, we may have surpassed election day” voting, Detzner said.
Though early voting was down, overall early voting and absentee ballots were up 23 percent compared to the 2010 primary.
When a reporter suggested that pre-election day ballots would not outnumber election day voting in November’s general election, Detzner said he “might not agree.”
Turnout for the 2010 primary, the last time there was a gubernatorial race, hit 22 percent.
Detzner told reporters during an 8:30 p.m. news conference that the number would be a good benchmark, but did not sound optimistic.
Reports from across the state indicated that turnout, as expected, was very low.