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Voter Turnout Average in Coconino County, Single Digits on NAU Campus

Ryan Heinsius

As thousands of ballots are still being counted throughout the state, election officials are getting a clearer picture of voter turnout. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, participation was average in Coconino County with some noteworthy exceptions.

Nearly all county voters who filled out a ballot cast votes for governor, U.S. Congress, attorney general and other statewide offices. But, only about 27 percent of registered voters took part in the Legislative District 6 state senate race.

Patty Hansen is the Coconino County recorder. She says participation in midterm elections that include few federal offices, is almost always low.

“Our elections at the local level affect us day to day. Decisions made locally are the ones that have more of an impact directly on our lives rather than at the national level. But, it always surprises me that people are not very interested in the local,” Hansen says.

Hansen also says she’s surprised by on-campus Northern Arizona University student voting. Despite about 1,500 students having registered to vote since the August primaries, their final turnout was in the single digits.

When all the ballots are eventually counted, election officials say county turnout is expected to be about 50 percent. Similar numbers are also likely on the Navajo Nation.

Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election, Hansen expects a 75 to 80 percent turnout in Coconino County for the general election.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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