Normal turnout predicted for Ariz. primary Tuesday

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PHOENIX -- Turnout for Tuesday's election is expected to be between 20-25 percent of registered voters, the range seen in Arizona's recent primary elections.

That's according to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

He says turnout could be boosted by dissatisfaction with incumbents and the political structure in general.

Bennett adds that dampening effects could include some races turning out to be less competitive than expected and the state's forwarding its primary election by one week.

Arizona permits independents to voter in the state primary, but they can vote on races for only one party.

Bennett says early voting reportedly is down, perhaps because some voters may be waiting to decide choices in several hot races until the past moment.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell said she believes the average turnout could be due to the "in your face" negative ads.

"In the years that I've done it, I've not seen the kind of races that we have seen this time, the mud slinging back and forth, and I think a lot of people have gotten tired of that," Purcell said.

As Purcell explained to Javier Soto Tuesday morning, it's not necessarily about how many voters turn out, but rather which voters cast ballots. Because of Arizona's open primary system, Independents could swing several races. Turnout by Independents, however, has been low -- about 3 percent.

"The Independents certainly could make a difference," Purcell said. "In Maricopa County, we have 569,000 independent people registered outside of the parties so that certainly could make a difference."

About 300,000 early ballots have already been tabulated. That's about half of the 600,00 early ballots that were sent out. Early voting results will be released tomorrow at 8 p.m. Purcell said many races could be over when those results are announced.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.