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Secretary of State Gardner predicts record primary turnout

State House Bureau

February 05. 2016 12:05PM

 (Union Leader file)

CONCORD — Secretary of State Bill Gardner is predicting a record 550,000 votes will be cast in Tuesday’s Presidential Primary.

He believes 282,000 Republican ballots will be cast – a record for the GOP – and 268,000 Democratic ballots, second to the 272,000 cast in 2008.

Gardner said this has been a very active campaign with a lot of activity for several months and noted there are 58 names on the primary ballots.

“I looked at the last half dozen primaries,” Gardner said. “It’s a prediction based on what I have heard and observed.”

There are 882,959 registered voters in the state, with 389,472 undeclared voters, 262,111 Republicans and 231,376 Democrats.

If Gardner’s prediction is actuate, 62 percent of the state’s registered voters will participate in Tuesday’s primary.

He believes about 50,000 people will register the day of the primary, down somewhat from the record of 61,000 same-day registrants.

Gardner doubts a predicted snowstorm Tuesday will have a major impact on turnout.

He noted the 1984 primary was affected by a blizzard but the roads were passable. “People get out to vote,” Gardner said. “People are used to it.”

He also believes that 95 percent of the votes cast in the primary will be on primary day, with about 5 percent by absentee ballot, which is a typical number he said.

This will be the first Presidential primary in which voters will have to show a photo ID, and some town and city clerks are concerned that might cause long voting lines. Gardner’s office has been holding training sessions with local election officials to deal with the potential slow down.


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