Primary turnout up from 2006

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The June 1 election drew 258,614 Democrats and Republicans to the polls

By Barry Massey

SANTA FE — More New Mexicans turned out to vote in the June primary than they did four years ago when Republicans and Democrats cast ballots in a gubernatorial election year, according to official results released Tuesday.

About 28 percent of registered Democrats and Republicans participated in the primary.

That’s up from 22 percent turnout in the 2006 primary election when both parties had uncontested races for the gubernatorial nomination. However, turnout was 34 percent in the 2002 primary when Democrat Bill Richardson first ran for governor and Republicans had a four-way gubernatorial contest.

The state Canvassing Board on Tuesday certified the results of the June 1 election, which drew 258,614 Democrats and Republicans to the polls.

In 2002, nearly 267,000 Democrats and Republicans voted in the primary. Almost 196,000 cast ballots in the 2006 primary.

New Mexico has a closed primary system in which only voters affiliated with the major political parties can participate.

Turnout in the Republican primary was 34 percent with 122,649 ballots — more voters than in any GOP gubernatorial primary in at least 40 years. The previous record was in 2002, when 98,320 Republicans voted in the primary.

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