TOPEKA (KSNT) – Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell agreed the voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary election was historic.

“Certainly the largest turnout since I’ve been here for an even year, governor primary, very big turnout,” Howell told KSNT 27 News Wednesday morning. Howell predicted after the final count Shawnee County will see 55%.

In comparison in 2018, the percentage of voters was just about 30%. The abortion amendment was most likely the driving factor for voters.

Kansas voters sent a resounding message about their desire to protect abortion rights, rejecting a ballot measure connected to the anti-abortion movement that would have allowed the Republican-controlled legislature to tighten restrictions or ban the procedure outright.

Howell’s office said if even half the provisional ballets are accepted, the number will climb just above 55%. He expects Shawnee County to be near 70% for the general election.