Half of Durham County registered voters cast ballots in the primary, the highest turnout for a May election at least 15 years, according to preliminary results from the Durham Board of Elections. More than 78,400 of 156,648 voters cast ballots. Provisional ballots are still being counted, and arent included in the total.
Tyrrell County, which has only 2,523 registered voters, recorded the highest turnout in the state, with 52.2 percent. Franklin County logged a mere 6.3 percent turnout.
The voter turnout in Durham was also the largest in a primary since at least 1994, and even rivaled numbers posted in general elections during that time. The highest turnout was 73 percent in November 2004, followed by general elections in 2000 and 2002, which logged turnout in the low 50s.
Elsewhere in the Triangle, Orange County recorded a 47.8 percent turnout, followed by Chatham County, which had a hotly contested commission race, with 47.2 percent. Wake County reported 45.6 percent.
Statewide, the turnout was more than 36.4 percent, according to the State Board of Elections.
Voters turned out in droves with more than 50 percent turnout in East William, aided by the Sally Kost-Patrick Barnes duel for a District 1 commission seat; Kost, the challenger, won.
In precincts along the U.S. 64 corridor, which runs through Pittsboro and Siler City, turnouts averaged in the 20 percent to 30 percent range. The District 2 race pitted Jeffrey Starkweather against incumbent Mike Cross, who won another term.
Of the countys 43 precincts, the highest turnouts40 percent to 50 percentoccurred in northwest Orange County, and in White Cross in the southwest corner. In addition to the Orange County school board race, one commission seat was up for grabs in newly formed District 2 that encompasses areas outside Chapel Hill and Carrboro. There will be a runoff in that contest between Steve Yuhasz and Leo Allison.
Turnout was lowless than 30 percentin many Chapel Hill and Carrboro precincts, particularly student-dominated areas, some of which recorded percentages under 10 percent. UNC holds final exams this week.
Turnout was relatively even throughout the countys 198 precincts, with about half logging turnout between 30 percent and 40 percent, and a similar amount between 20 percent and 30 percent.
A dozen precincts, most of them in north Raleigh and one outpost in the south, recorded turnout in the 40 percent to 50 percent range.
The State Board of Elections had not posted the breakouts for Durhams 61 precincts Wednesday morning. Check back for updates.