Albany County Voter Turnout Falls Short of Expectations
State officials hoped for record turnout throughout Wyoming for Tuesday's primary elections, but in Albany County, the early numbers are disappointing.
I just hope that this is not an indication of what our general election will turn out to be.
Albany County Clerk Jackie Gonzales says about 5,000 county residents voted in the 2016 primaries, including roughly 1,300 absentee ballots.
That figure marks a decrease from the 5,418 votes cast in the county during the 2014 primary elections and puts this year's turnout in the neighborhood of 40 percent.
"I just hope that this is not an indication of what our general election will turn out to be," says Gonzales. "I hope it will encourage more participation and that our numbers will more than double for the general election."
"The sad thing about not participating in the primary election is, most of our local races appear on the general election ballot," says Gonzales. "The adage that 'my vote doesn't count' -- it really, really does. One vote can make a difference, regardless of whatever the race is, and it could affect the outcome of a particular race."
In fact, that's exactly the case over in Laramie County, where it will take a recount to determine the winner of the GOP primary in Wyoming House District 41. Unofficial results showed Bill Henderson squeaking past Patrick Fitzgerald, 583-582.
Gonzales reported some confusion among voters at the new Laramie High School, which replaced the Laramie Recreation Center as a polling place this year. And on Laramie's west side, voters had to find their way around road paving work in order to vote at Linford Elementary School. But those difficulties largely did not prove prohibitive.
"We had a couple of hiccups that created some problems, more so for the electors over at Linford school," says Gonzales. "And electors finding the small auxiliary gym at the high school."
"But we did our best to get the information out and accommodate the needs of those individuals," Gonzales adds.
Gonzales says the low turnout in Albany County seems to stem more from a lack of interest than anything else, but she's hopeful that there will be many more Albany County ballots to count in November.