PHOENIX - Early ballots and strong interest in congressional races helped make turnout for the August primary the highest in 20 years, Secretary of State Ken Bennett said Tuesday.
Releasing the official primary canvass, Bennett said the statewide turnout of 30.09 percent exceeded his expectations.
"There were a lot of key contested races, a lot of excitement," said Bennett, who was unopposed in his bid for re-election as secretary of state.
Two-thirds of voters requested early ballots, which was on par with previous elections, he said.
In total, 933,650 votes were cast, and five counties exceeded the statewide average of voter turnout: Yavapai, Greenlee, Gila, Pima and Graham, the canvass showed.
The canvass by the Arizona Secretary of State's Office provided final totals in races decided by only a handful of votes.
It showed that Andrew Thomas lost the Republican attorney general nomination to Tom Horne by 899 votes, while Democratic attorney general candidate David Lujan lost to Felecia Rotellini by 2,427 votes.
Bennett said he was pleased with the job counties did counting ballots, including the many early ballots that couldn't be tallied on election night.
"The real blood and guts of elections occurs at counties," he said.
"Most, if not all, did an exceptional job in counting the ballots."
Yavapai: 41.35 percent
Greenlee: 39.63 percent
Gila: 36.64 percent
Pima: 35.22 percent
Graham: 33.94 percent
Apache: 31.21 percent
Navajo: 30.78 percent
Cochise: 30.51 percent
Maricopa: 29.04 percent
Coconino: 27.65 percent
La Paz: 26.94 percent
Santa Cruz: 25.25 percent
Yuma: 25.13 percent
Pinal: 24.47 percent
Mohave: 23.72 percent