Numbers point to record turnout

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, November 8, 2008

Now that the pandemonium of Election Day has calmed, election officials have had time to reflect on numbers.

With close to 20,000 registered voters in Pike County, Probate Judge Bill Stone said the 71 percent who cast votes may have been a record.

With almost 14,000 voters in the polls last week, Stone said it’s at least the highest he can recall.

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“It’s the most votes that I can ever recall,” Stone said. “There could have been a larger election somewhere along the way, but it’s likely this is the biggest turnout we’ve ever had.”

Looking back, Stone said there appears to be an increase in voter numbers since the 1996 presidential election.

With some 10,000 voters in 2000 and then 11,000 in 2004, numbers have clearly jumped in the last years.

“You can see there’s an upward trend, which is a good thing,” Stone said.

And the trend is also clear in the number of absentee ballots cast through the years.

This year, Stone said 1,036 absentee votes were cast, but that number isn’t much higher than other elections.

“It is significantly higher than the primary elections, but only slightly higher than other general elections,” Stone said.

“Because of the interest in this election and the high voter turnout, it doesn’t really surprise me.”

Most general elections, Stone said there are a little less than 1,000 absentee votes, but the ballots this year were not a record.