Cuyahoga Turnout about 40%, not 53%
Bill of Callahan's Cleveland Diary gets to the bottom of it. By making persistent phone calls, Bill found out that the figure put up on Cuyahoga County Board of Elections web site for unofficial turnout, and picked up by the media to calculate county voter turnout at 53%, was overstated by about 135,000. The discrepancy resulted from confusion about the statistical data generated by the Diebold voting machinery. (From Bill's account, it sounds like the BOE employees themselves don't really understand the numbers with which they are working.)
In any event, Bill reports that actual turnout looks more like 40%, which is even lower than Franklin County's dismal turnout rate of 44.74%. This news is disturbing on several levels. First, it further confirms that the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is an absolue mess, unable even to report turnout statistics properly. Second, it proves that the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party has completely fallen down on the job as far as basic GOTV operations. As the largest county and largest concentration of Democratic voters, that unacceptable situation has to be Priority No. 1 going into the 2008 election. Third, it suggests that the urban population is fundamentally disenchanted with the political process, which is a also a huge problem.