Prior to yesterday primaries, Secretary of State Bill Gardner projected that only 168,000 New Hampshire voters would cast ballots, with estimates of 102,000 votes in the Republican primary and 66,000 in the Democratic primary. That would have meant a turnout rate of just over 21 percent. However in the Seacoast region, those numbers turned out to be light. In Portsmouth, 24 percent of registered voters came out to vote, while in Hampton the turnout came in at 22 percent. Turnout was higher in places like Exeter and Newington, where the percentage was 30 and 31 percent, respectively. Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand believes that some close races, like the one between Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley, brought more people out to the polls.