A spokesman with the Secretary of State’s office says turnout was good, but the number of overall votes cast in Tuesday’s election was a little short of the record for a midterm. Chance McElhaney says the 2010 midterm election set the mark. “The total ballots cast is 1,130,170, which is just a shade under what happened in 2010. So, not necessarily an historic election, but it’s right there,” McElhaney says.
That’s about 53-percent of the eligible voters. “It’s a few thousand short of 2010,” he says. The state did see more people vote early than ever before. “The number of absentee ballots that were cast was a record high for a midterm election. A few days ago that was accurate to say,” McElhaney says.
Democrats benefited from a big advantage in early voters in 2010 and Republicans touted the fact that they closed the gap this time around. McElhaney breaks down the numbers. “Over 472,000 absentee ballots have been cast and received by the county auditors,” McElhaney says, “Of those, about 190,000 were registered Democrats, 181,000 were registered Republicans, and about 10,000 were no party.”
The totals are still unofficial as there are some ballots still to be counted. “Provisional ballots that would be counted, late arriving absentees that have until November 10th to arrive, as long as they have that postmark. And then the counties are going to complete their canvass on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday — they are going to get that information to the Secretary of State’s office — and then there will be a statewide canvass that currently is set for December 1st,” according to McElhaney.
McElhaney says there are still around 58,000 absentee ballots that were requested, but have not shown up yet at the county auditor’s office. “Those are the ones that we’re just kind of waiting to see, are they still sitting on someone’s kitchen counter or did they make it in the mail and get postmarked by November 3rd or earlier so that they can be counted,” McElhaney says. McElhaney says the election process appeared to go smoothly across the state with few reports from county auditors of any problems.