Mirroring a statewide trend, Lewis and Clark County saw a high number of voters in Tuesday's primary election.
Of the 45,344 registered voters in Lewis and Clark County, 20,238 cast votes, which is 44.63 percent of the total electorate. In the last midterm election in 2014, only 34.01 percent of Lewis and Clark County’s eligible voters went to the polls or sent in absentee ballots, a quarter less than 2018.
In 2016, a presidential election year, that percentage of voters showing up and casting votes was 49.13 percent.
Carroll College professor of political science Jeremy Johnson said this year's “turnout spike” was due to voter enthusiasm. “There was quite a bit of money spent on this election,” Johnson said. “But there was quite a bit spent in 2014 as well.”
“The secondary factor is that ever since Trump has become president, people have been interested in politics,” Johnson said. “There has been a huge surge of Democratic interest and turnout.”
Johnson believes that both Democrat and Republican turnout will be even higher in the November election.
“There is an uptick in interest in politics for both supporters,” Johnson said.