By Jim Angell and Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
Voter turnout for Wyoming’s primary election on Tuesday was higher than that seen for other primary elections recently, a state official said Wednesday.
Figures from the secretary of state’s office showed that 139,950 ballots were cast during Tuesday’s primary, compared to 114,000 ballots cast during the primary election of 2016, another presidential election year when the state’s top five elected offices were not at stake.
“I think it’s fair to say that based on the turnout of 2016 that turnout Tuesday was very robust and we are very pleased with that turnout,” said Will Dineen, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office.
In the primary election of 2018, when the state’s top five elected offices were on the ballot, about 150 fewer votes were cast than this year at 139,809.
“With no statewide elected offices on the ballot, this is a great turnout,” Dineen said.
The state’s turnout level was similar to that seen in Park County, where Park County Clerk Coleen Renner said the 8,807 ballots cast Tuesday was a gain over 2016.
“I’m going to say we’re probably about 1,000 voters higher than we were at the last presidential,” she said.
Dineen said he believed efforts by the secretary of state’s office to educate voters on how and where they could vote during the coronavirus pandemic helped draw people to the polls, as did the candidates in primary races.
The majority of votes cast statewide in Tuesday’s election, 78.9%, were cast in Republican primaries. In Park County, the number was 88%.
Dineen said the number of absentee ballots cast was not as high as some had expected.
“The majority of those who turned out turned out at the polls on election day,” he said. “The prognosticators said it would be more of an absentee-based election, but I think people turned out at the polls.”