09/22/04 — Election turnout forecast to be 65 percent

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Election turnout forecast to be 65 percent

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on September 22, 2004 2:00 PM

Wayne County officials are expecting nearly two out of every three registered voters to come to the polls on Nov. 2.

Elections Director Gary Sims told the county commissioners Tuesday that he is planning for 65 percent turnout on Election Day, even though some people will choose to vote early via the one-stop polling places.

"Looking at past presidential elections, I think we're easily going to have 60 percent turnout," Sims said.

The turnout for the 2000 presidential election was 55 percent.

If turnout is 65 percent, nearly 40,000 people will vote at the county's 30 precincts. As of Tuesday, the county had 59,864 registered voters and that number will easily top 60,000 by Oct. 8, the last day of registration for the general election.

The Board of Elections is prepared for the onslaught, Sims said, and commissioners expressed confidence in him.

"Mr. Sims' office is doing a great job," Commissioner Efton Sager said, adding that the election staff has responded quickly to candidates' request for information.

Nearly 53 percent of the county's voters are registered as Democrats, 33 percent as Republicans and 14 percent as unaffiliated. The county has 67 Libertarians.

Around 67 percent of the registrants are white and 31 percent black. Slightly more than 56 percent are women.