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Boone County voter turnout drops from 2010

Thursday, April 7, 2011 | 5:08 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Voter turnout across Boone County for Tuesday's municipal elections was down nearly 10 percent from April 2010.

In Boone County, turnout was 17.15 percent. That adds up to 15,687 voters casting ballots of the total 91,464 registered voters, County Clerk Wendy Noren said. 

In the April 2010 election, voter turnout was 26.63 percent countywide — or 25,027 of 93,970 registered voters casting ballots, said Art Auer, director of elections for Boone County. 

Neither Noren nor Auer chose to speculate on why fewer voters went to the polls Tuesday compared to April 2010, but there were some differences in the two elections within Columbia: The 2010 municipal election included mayoral candidates along with two City Council seats as well as a citywide proposition on installing surveillance cameras downtown.

Noren provided the following statistics from Tuesday's election for the city along with breakdowns in the First and Fifth wards:

City of Columbia

  • Population, according to 2010 census: 108,500
  • Registered voters: 58,226
  • Ballots cast Tuesday: 10,666
  • Voter turnout: 18.32 percent

First Ward

  • Registered voters: 6,494
  • Ballots cast Tuesday: 1,017
  • Voter turnout: 15.66 percent

Fifth Ward

  • Registered voters: 12,177
  • Ballots cast Tuesday: 3,277
  • Voter turnout: 26.91 percent

Noren explained why Mitch Richards, a First Ward city council candidate, received one vote at a Fifth Ward polling place:

"We have disabled voters assigned to polls outside of their ward for accessibility reasons," Noren said. "In this case, it is a First Ward voter assigned to another polling place, so they get the First Ward ballot, and it is tabulated with those polling place results."


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