Primary voter turnout higher than average


On March 13 more than 37,000 Shelby County voters cast their ballots in the primary election. Secretary of State Beth Chapman said the statewide voter turnout was 31.2 percent, and Shelby County’s turnout rate at 35.8 percent was more than 4.5 percent higher than the statewide average.

With more than 96 percent of the ballots cast going to the heavily contested Republican primary, local Republican leaders said they were appreciative of the scores of poll workers who conducted the election.

Shelby County GOP Chairman Freddy Ard acknowledged those citizens for “their conscientious and diligent service, which can never be understated or taken for granted.”

“I know I speak for both the political party and the voters of our county in expressing appreciation for the hard working, dedicated employees of the probate, sheriff and circuit clerk’s offices that were integral to ensuring this primary election ran smoothly,” Ard said. “It takes coordination of a lot of people to make sure that every vote is counted and correct, and my hat’s off to all the people who worked so hard.”

According to data gathered on Jan. 31, the total of registered voters for Shelby County is 122,577.

“We were glad the voter turnout was higher than average but I don’t think anybody can relish in the fact that its only one-third of the people that are registered that are voting,” Ard said.

“I think it was higher than it was four years ago, on my own recollection, but it’s still something that we shouldn’t be terribly satisfied with. We certainly encourage people to participate and take advantage of this opportunity.”

Ard said there could be an April 24 run-of between Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Chip Brown for the president of the Public Service Commission position.

An unofficial summary of Shelby County’s election results is posted at