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Only 16% of Hernando County's registered voters went to polls in primary

The final numbers are in, and they don't paint a pretty picture. Not very many Hernando residents chose to participate in the democratic process Tuesday.

Overall turnout for the primary election was a mere 16.7 percent of the county's 121,600 registered voters.

Republicans, who had the most races on their ballot, had a 26.4 turnout, Democrats a 14 percent turnout and all other affiliations just 4 percent.

Bottom line: Only 20,192 voters went to the polls or voted early or absentee.

Register by Oct. 9 for general election

It may be 79 days until the Nov. 6 general election. But if you want to vote in that election and are not already registered, you only have 51 days to take care of business.

Books for the general election close on Oct. 9. If you aren't registered by then, you can't vote.

There are a number of ways to register. Instructions can be found online at hernandovotes.com (click on "Register To Vote"). The two supervisor of elections offices in Hernando are at the Hernando County Government Center, Room 165, 20 N Main St., Brooksville, and at the Westside Government Center at 7443 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. For information, call (352) 754-4125.

Nugent's position on Medicare, Paul Ryan

Not that he has much to worry about in the November election — his opponent is perennial candidate David Werder — but U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent certainly was playing defense last weekend when Mitt Romney announced that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan would be his choice for vice president.

Of course, in a district with so many retirees who depend on Medicare, Nugent's reaction was predictable. Here it is, verbatim:

"When I first took office almost two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Paul and to find out what kind of man he is. I let him know then, as he was putting together a budget for the United States government, I needed to be sure that all Americans 55 and up would see no changes to benefits, that the tax code would be simpler and fairer, and that we had a credible plan to pull America back from the brink. He gave me his word that he would live up to those three things and he did just that.

"I am happy to see that Gov. Romney has picked a leader — somebody who is committed to restoring American growth and competitiveness and who understands the need to save Medicare for this generation and future ones."

During the past week, Ryan's proposal to reform Medicare already has become a major point of debate in the campaign. And the discussion no doubt will continue for the next couple of months.

Dead rat opens door to questions

A dead rat on the doormat is never a good thing.

And District 4 School Board candidate Robert Neuhausen thinks the one left on his mat Thursday night is more than a little suspicious.

"Someone left a dead rat on my front doormat tonight while we were out," he wrote on Facebook, including a picture of the rodent lying on its side, mouth ajar. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Neuhausen, who will face Gus Guadagnino in a runoff in November, knows it was probably just left behind by an animal, but says the circumstances are a tad strange.

He lives in the center of a gated community with no cats around. There's no nearby dump or forest. The rat didn't have any teeth marks. No claw marks.

"It was weird," Neuhausen said.

Times staff writers Barbara Behrendt, Danny Valentine and Mike Konrad contributed to this report.

Only 16% of Hernando County's registered voters went to polls in primary 08/18/12 [Last modified: Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:47pm]

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