Yavapai County voters took to heart their civic duty on Nov. 7 and turned out in record numbers. With a 70-percent voter turnout, the county is ranked the highest in the state; provisional ballots are still being tallied and should be completed by Friday.
This percentage represents an impressive turnout for a non-presidential election year. The last presidential election, held in 2004, saw a turnout of 84 percent, according to Yavapai County Recorder Ana Wayman-Trujillo.
Wayman-Trujillo is pleased with the outcome.
"We're usually one of the highest," she said, "because our voters are conscientious. They like to early vote and the voter outreach."
Another action that may have helped prod voters to the polls was the "Get Out The Vote Rally" held Nov. 4 at Mingus Union High School cafeteria. Attendees included Gov. Janet Napolitano, Jim Pederson, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, and Ellen Simon, Democratic candidate for Congressional District 1.
The rally was sponsored by Democrats of the Red Rocks and Democrats of the Verde Valley.
Of the 103,042 registered voters in the county, 70,844 ballots were cast. Approximately 38,000 early ballots were sent out and 33,000 returned, or about 87 percent.
"That's a good percentage," Wayman-Trujillo stated.
Another first for this election was the requirement of voter ID at the polls. This resulted in an increase of provisional ballots received countywide. The typical 1,500 provisional ballots jumped to 4,000 this year, Wayman-Trujillo said.
Despite the additional ID required to get a ballot and extended lines at the polls, county voters can be proud of the high turnout.
Lets continue this momentum and encourage everyone age 18 and older to cast a ballot in upcoming elections.
It is our civic duty. It's our right and privilege that our forefathers fought for. Let's make them proud.