Arizona voter turnout plummets to an estimated 44%, the lowest turnout since this data began being tracked in the 1970s. Voter turnout reached its peak in 1982 when 65.1% of registered voters showed up at the polls. Voter turnout dipped to 45.8% when Jane Hull was elected as Arizona’s second female governor in 1998.
Maricopa County Recorder, Helen Purcell, told 12 News Tuesday she was “extremely disappointed” in the turnout. “I wish we could do better. I can’t make the people come to vote,” said Purcell. National voter turnout in midterm elections has long been lower than turnout for presidential elections, due in part to a less enthusiastic voting eligible population. This is based on data tracked since 1948.
Purcell told KTAR News Monday she expected a lower than usual turnout due to lack of voter interest. “Calls at our call center are about a third of what they usually are,” Purcell said. “What we’ve seen in the returns from the early ballots, what we’ve seen in interest in people going on the website and sending us questions — normally we have a couple hundred of those a day, we’re doing maybe 30 – it just doesn’t seem to use that we see the interest out there.” She also said the lack of a president’s race and the constant negative ads turned voters off.
She may be correct, but Arizona voter turnout has been among the lowest for many years, including presidential elections. In 2012, just four other states had a lower percentage of citizens register to vote: Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and Hawaii.
Arizona is the tenth “least politically engaged” compared to the rest of the country, according a WalletHub.com study. They considered the number registered voters, how many registered voters cast a vote and how many people made campaign contributions.
Across all 50 states, an estimated 40% of eligible voters (19.6% of population) cast their votes in the 2014 general election.