Ballot Fatigue in the 2010 midterms?
As a general rule, a large number of races and initiatives on a ballot yields a large portion of the electorate who succumb to ballot fatigue, leaving much of the ballot blank.�� Though the 2010 Oklahoma midterm elections saw eight statewide races and 11 state questions voted on, it appears that Oklahoma voters bucked the general rule as ballot fatigue remained low.
State election board records show that in the Governors race, which was the premier race this year as well as the first one on the ballot, 1,034,767 people voted.� In Insurance Commissioner race, the eighth and final state officer race on the ballot, 1,020,050 people cast their vote, only 14,717 voters [or 1.4 percent]less than the top race.
State question 744, which was the first initiative on the ballot,� received 1,017,753 votes [only 1.6 percent less than the governors race].� The last Initiative on the ballot, state question 757, received 978,640 votes, indicating a drop of only 5.4 percent from the top of the State Officials column to the bottom of the State Question column.
It is also interesting to not that more people voted in down ballot races like Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Superintendent and even Insurance Commissioner than the U.S. Senate race, which received 1,015,151 votes.
A previous SoonerPoll found that the Oklahoma electorate in general, and the Republican electorate specifically,� were more enthusiastic than usual about voting in the 2010 election.� It seems likely that the high voter enthusiasm this year may have played a role in generally staving off ballot fatigue, specifically among Republicans and Independents.
Wesley Burt is the Communications Director and a Political Analyst for SoonerPoll.com