Low and slow: Ky. primary turnout light

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Predictions of low voter turnout for
Kentucky's primary election Tuesday proved correct.
The Secretary of State's office reported on its website that
with almost 100 percent of the precincts reporting, voter turnout
statewide in unofficial results totaled 10.3 percent. That's
301,814 ballots cast out of more than 2.9 million registered
voters.
The ballot included the Republican gubernatorial nomination,
which was won by state Senate President David Williams and his
running mate, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer. Democratic
Gov. Steve Beshear was unopposed.
The low turnout made for a slow day at polling places.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. local time, but as the day wore on,
precincts around the state went extended stretches with little or
no action. Polls in the eastern half of Kentucky closed at 6 p.m.
EDT and in the western part of the state at 6 p.m. CDT.
At precincts in Louisville and Bowling Green, more than 20
minutes passed without a voter stopping to cast a ballot. Turnout
in northern Kentucky was also light, with 45 minutes passing at
midday at a normally busy precinct in Fort Mitchell that is host to
two polling places.
John Nienaber of Burlington in northern Kentucky's Boone County
wasn't surprised at the thinned ranks. With nearly 100 percent of
the precincts reporting in Boone County, 4,868 voters, or 6
percent, had cast ballots out of more than 82,000 registered
Republicans, the website showed.
"I think it's an indication that people are losing confidence
in government to do the job it's supposed to do," he said.
Republicans spent the day choosing among three tickets to select
nominees to take on Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear and his
running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, in November.
Williams easily defeated Louisville businessman and tea party
favorite Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw.
Topping the Democratic ballot was incumbent state Treasurer Todd
Hollenbach, who successfully fought off a challenge from Steve
Hamrick of Hopkinsville.
Secretary of State Walker, who had been appointed earlier this
year, lost her bid for a full term to Lexington lawyer Alison
Lundergan Grimes in the Democratic primary.
Joining Walker and Grimes on the Democratic ballot were five
candidates for Agriculture Commissioner; political newcomer Bob
Farmer was declared the victor in that race.
In the Republican primary, state lawmaker James Comer defeated
Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger. Lexington
businessman John T. Kemper overcame the stigma of personal
bankruptcy to win the state auditor nomination over state Rep.
Addia Wuchner.
In addition to Beshear, also unopposed for the Democratic
gubernatorial nomination, were Attorney General Jack Conway and his
GOP challenger, Todd P'Pool. Republican K.C. Crosbie of Lexington
was unopposed for the nomination for treasurer. Democrat Adam
Edelen of Lexington was unopposed for the nomination for auditor.
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Follow Associated Press reporter Brett Barrouquere on Twitter at
http://www.twitter.com/BBarrouquereAP.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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