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Voter turnout remains low in Hawaii

By Craig Gima

LAST UPDATED: 05:48 a.m. HST, Sep 19, 2010

Voter turnout Saturday was slightly lower than the 2006 primary election, but higher than 2008 primary.

With only a small number of votes left to be tallied, turnout was about 40.5 percent for Saturday's primary election. The 11 p.m. results showed 276,944 votes cast out of 684,481 registered voters.

In 2006, turnout was 42.3 percent. It was 36.9 percent in the 2008 primary.

The number of voters is actually about the same as in the 2006 primary election when 277,251 ballots were cast. But at that time there were only 655,741 registered voters so the percentage turnout was higher.

The 2006 race featured a hotly contested U.S. Senate primary when Democrat Ed Case challenged Daniel Akaka for a U.S. Senate seat.

The highest turnout in recent years was in the general election in 2008 when native son Barak Obama won the presidency. At that time, 66 percent of the 691,356 registered voters showed up at the polls.

The 114,408 people who voted early in this year's primary though absentee mail or walk-in was about 41 percent of the total vote, roughly the same percentage as in 2008.

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