Secretary of State John Gale said he expects a strong turnout at the polls for the upcoming primary election thanks to the number of strong contenders in well-financed races in both the U.S. Senate and governor races.
Thirty percent of registered Nebraskans are expected to vote in the primary on May 13, according to the prediction issued by Gale. He expects turnout will be strongest among Republicans, at around 44 percent.
Of the 1,152,180 Nebraskans registered for the primary. Gale said he expects around 20 percent of Democrats will vote and 12 percent of nonpartisan voters will cast a ballot. Turnout among registered Libertarians is expected to reach 20 percent.
Gale explains that things like early voting numbers, participation in past races and the nature of the contested races factor into forecasting voter turnout.
“It’s not a precise science obviously,” said Gale.
As of May 5 there have been more than 54,000 requests for early voting ballots up from the more than 33,000 requested for the 2010 primary, and 28,052 of the people with early voting ballots have turned them in. Gale suggests that the number of ballots not returned at this point in the race may indicate voters are taking time to make their final decisions.
Early voting ballots that are mailed in must be received at the county election office by the close of polls on Election Day. The same is true for any ballots that are hand-delivered; they must be returned to the county election office by the time polls close.