BRADENTON – Turnout for Tuesday's primary election was dismal, with the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office reporting only 20.6 percent voter participation. Of the 210,334 registered voters in the county, only 43,325 cast ballots on Tuesday.
Voting in non-presidential elections have always been notoriously thin in the Sunshine State and the fact that there were not competitive primaries for the gubernatorial races was thought to be an added factor this year.
Despite it being a primary, several races were decided Tuesday, meaning that voters who are waiting until November lost their chance for input. The Manatee County Commission Districts 2 and 4 seats; school board districts 2 and 4; and 12th Circuit District Court bench were decided.
Non-partisan school board races are contested on the primary in case a runoff is needed, should one candidate fail to secure a majority, but only two candidates filed in both of those races mentioned.
Both county commission seats failed to draw a candidate for the other party, making the primary a de facto general election.