Secretary of State Michael Mauro predicts turnout for today’s primary election will be modest. “I think on the Democratic side you’ll see somewhere between 12 and 15 percent of registered Democrats,” Mauro says, “and then on the Republican side they do have the U.S. senate race and I don’t know what kind of activity that’s going to generate, but I would expect somewhere around 15 to 16 percent also.”
Those levels would be below the record turnout at the January 3rd Caucuses, as 240,000 Democrats and about half that many Republicans participated. Mauro says he’d be “surprised” if today’s turnout matched Caucus night, especially when you review turnout for the past two Iowa primary elections. “In the June 8, 2004, primary only 76,183 Democrats participated in that one,” Mauro says. “Let’s go to ’06, where you actually had a gubernatorial primary on the Democratic side. That turnout was 152,148 so you’re not going to see Caucus numbers (today), that’s for sure.”
Over two million Iowans are registered to vote and those who participate today must declare themselves either Democrats or Republicans, then they’ll be handed that party’s primary ballot. For the first-time ever in Iowa, those who aren’t registered voters may register at their precinct today. “You need to bring the proper form of identification, preferably an Iowa drivers license, but there are other forms. I don’t think there will be long lines at many polling places.”
If you’re not sure where your polling place may be, the Secretary of State’s website has a page that lets you type in your address and find it.
At the close of business Monday, there were 704,060 registered Democrats in Iowa and 613,499 registered Republicans. Roughly 761,000 voters are registered as “No Party” or independent voters. Those numbers will change with today’s voting as folks switch parties or independents declare themselves either Republicans or Democrats to vote today.