Primary turnout strong

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 3, 2004

It wasn’t a perfect turnout, but 13,327 voters did their best.

Braving the rain and a less-than-prime primary, Dallas County voters exceeded expectations when they went to the polls.

“I predicted there would be about 12,000 voting, and we (had) more than 13,000,” Probate Judge Johnny Jones said.

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Jones, as probate judge, is one of the chief election officers in the county.

There are 31,299 voters registered in Dallas County. Of that number, 42.5 percent plodded through the puddles to get their votes counted. And with the district attorney’s race so close, every vote counted.

“We originally thought this one (election) would be 12,000-12,500,” Jones said. “It was a real big turnout.”

With the presidential primaries decided before the election and relatively few local candidates on the ballot, there didn’t seem to be much reason for Dallas County citizens to brave the storm to get to the polls.

Only six of the slots on the primary ballot involved local candidates. The republican ballot had none.

Jones didn’t comment on why the turnout was so big. For “smaller” elections, the turnout has been as low as 10,000, about a third of Dallas County’s voting populations.

Jones said that for a “big” election, the turnout in Dallas County is usually between 14,000-15,000. This election didn’t quite make that, but came close.

In Tuesday’s primary, 13,011 voters participated in the democratic primary, while only 312 voted in the republican primary. Four voted on the non-partisan ballot, for Amendment one.

Not all voters voted in each election. While 13,011 voted in the democratic primary, only 10,644 voted for Rep. Artur Davis and 1,540 voted for Albert Turner, for a total of 12,184, 827 less than those voting in the democratic primary all together. In comparison, only 9,709 voted for the democratic candidate for president.

The race for district attorney may have had something to do with the larger-than-expected turnout. More people voted in the race for district attorney, 12,522, than in any other race Tuesday night. The only race close to it was for representative, which incumbent Artur Davis won.