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For immediate release: Contact: Ben Kiser
October 31, 2002 402-471-8675

Secretary Gale Predicts Turnout for General Election

Lincoln - Today, Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale predicted turnout to be 42% of registered voters or (approximately) 455,000 in the November 5, 2002 general election. His projection is unscientific and is based on the number of absentee ballot requests, voter registration numbers, historical data and perceptions of voter interest.

"If my prediction holds true it will nearly double the turnout of the primary election," said Secretary Gale. "Although, I am discouraged that less than half of the eligible voters may be participating in the process next Tuesday, I am confident we are slowing reversing the trend of lower and lower turnout that has plagued recent elections. It is a challenging endeavor, but we are making progress in convincing people of the importance of voting."

"Voter education programs in the Secretary of State’s office are laying the ground work with young Nebraskans that I am confident will continue to increase turnout in future elections," said Secretary Gale. "Programs like Nebraska Student Vote and Vote in Honor of a Veteran are important civics lessons that encourage students to be active citizens and life-long voters. Over time as these students become eligible to vote we will see the benefits of these programs."

The number of registered voters for the November 5 will be 1,083,850 a slight increase from the 1,070,235 that were registered for the primary election. Included in the total number of registered voters are 544,122 Republicans, 382,092 Democrats, 3,405 Libertarians, 1,183 Nebraska Party members, 155 Green Party members in the Second Congressional District, 152,891 non-partisan voters and 2 Last Party members in Johnson County. The deadline to register to vote in the primary election was Friday, October 25, 2002.

"With a few days still left before Election Day, I hope that I will be wrong and that Nebraskans will be going to the polls in great numbers on Tuesday to elect leaders, support our democracy and honor our veterans."