Hall County sees significant increase in voter turnout for 2018 Midterm Election

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The 2018 Midterm Elections are officially over, and voter turnout has increased throughout the Tri-Cities.

As of now, it seems as though Hall County has experienced the largest growth.

The Hall County election commissioner said they saw a 50 percent voter turnout this year, up from a 30 percent turnout in the 2014 Midterm. This includes the 10 percent of people who voted early.

"Really throughout Hall County, all of our polling sites were up," said Tracy Overstreet, the Hall County election commissioner. "Everybody that I had talked to, election workers coming back in at the end of Tuesday evening, had said it had remained steady from the start to the finish. So that's pretty incredible to have a real steady turnout all day long."

Overstreet said the highest volumes of people were at the polls that had the Northwest school bond issue on the ballot.

Additional voting stands even had to be sent out to some locations due to the large amount of people.

"Primarily I think where we saw turnout were polling places that had the Northwest school bond on them. I think the medicaid expansion brought a lot of people out, and the Grand Island half-cent sales tax brought a lot of people to the polls as well," Overstreet said.

Originally, they were predicting a 35 to 40 percent voter turnout for Hall County.

Overstreet said they think the issues on this year's ballot are part of the reason more voters went to the polls.

"It's a great turnout for a Midterm Election, and it was surprising to me. I know Secretary of State John Gale had predicted 56 percent, and he was pretty close to the mark there," Overstreet said.

She added the Hall County Election Office still has to go through about 230 provisional ballots before they can figure out official numbers.

The Buffalo County election commissioner said they saw close to a 55 percent voter turnout this year. This is about a 13 percent increase from voter turnout in the 2014 Midterm Election.

We are still waiting on official numbers from Adams County, and will update the story once those come in.