voter turnout

The Indiana Civic Health Index uses data from the census and the U.S. Elections Project to measure how much Hoosiers engage with their government and their community.

For example, one of the questions from the U.S. Elections Project – do you eat dinner with a family member frequently? Nearly 93 percent of Hoosiers said yes in 2016, ranking third in the country.

Hoosiers are more likely to attend public meetings, volunteer in community organizations and interact with their neighbors than in years past.

Gage Skidmore / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

 Actor Sean Astin spent Election Day stumping the state for Hillary Clinton and talking to Hoosiers about the importance of their vote.  In recent years, Indiana has consistently ranked low for voter turnout. Astin emphasizes every vote counts.

“Hopefully people realize that’s it’s not just who wins or loses but it’s the margins by which those people win or lose could make or break the campaign,” Astin says. “I mean this is really pivotal moment and Hoosiers ought to stand up and be counted.”

Near-Record Turnouts Possible For Indiana Primary

May 3, 2016

Indiana has historically ranked very low among the 50 states in voter turnout during primary elections, but that might not be the case this year.

Indiana is expected to be a big player in both the Democratic and Republican presidential races.

Andy Downs from the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics says turnout for this year’s primary could be record-setting, or very close to it. And while Indiana is receiving a wealth of unexpected national attention, it’s not unprecedented.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Indiana saw the highest voter turnout for municipal elections in recent memory during this month’s race, even though only 20.5 percent of all eligible voters made their way to the polls.

Because it was a municipal election, only about 60 percent of all registered people were eligible to vote -- about 2.7 million voters.

Angie Nussmeyer of the Indiana Election Division says in 2011, 15 percent al all eligible voters voted in municipal elections, and in 2007, only 14 voted. She says the number of contested mayoral races probably led to this year’s jump.

City of West Lafayette

A couple weeks ago, when Indiana American Water Company announced its water needed treatment for possible contamination, it wasn’t just the water that started boiling – so, too did West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis’s blood.

On this week’s Ask The Mayor program, we chat with Mayor Dennis about whether the anger about not being able to control such situations might lead to the city controlling its own utilities.

We talk infrastructure on this week's show – there’s more than enough road construction to go around.

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

Voter turnout for last month’s primary elections is up significantly over the last few election cycles that only had municipal, not state races.   But that uptick is likely a product of recent voter roll cleanup efforts.

The total number of voters that cast ballots in May is actually down over the last four municipal election cycles. 

But recent voter roll purges spearheaded by the Secretary of State’s office have cleared hundreds of thousands of names from voter registration lists. 

Lafayette Mayor's Office

Some questions for Mayor Roswarski this week:

There are numbers out now showing that Indiana’s voter participation rate may have been the worst of any state in last week’s election. Mayor Dennis told us on last week’s show he worries a minority of the electorate will pick next year’s mayoral race winners – and you, like he, will be running in one of those races. Do you share his worry?

Flickr.com / https://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/

Following lackluster turnout in Indiana's primary elections in May, many politicos worried this mid-term general election would similarly rate a "meh" with voters. While voter apathy still appears high, Tippecanoe County will beat its totals from May, at least.

As of 4 p.m., County Clerk Christa Coffey says more than 14,000 in-person ballots have been cast -- that's about the same number filed during the entire primary season.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA News

It appears there’s at least one Indiana county where early voter turnout wasn’t alarmingly low. In Bartholomew County, Clerk Tami Hines says the number of absentee votes is up almost 300 compared to the mid-term election four years ago and more than 600 votes compared to 2006.

Hines says the apparent enthusiasm also extended to poll workers this morning.    Mary Glasson, 92, was a poll worker for many years and retired.

Courtesy U.S. Congress

Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-5th) is finishing her freshman term in Congress and is favored to win a second in next week’s election. She says she went to Washington to help Congress’ image, but the job was all but insurmountable -- the institution remains as unpopular as ever.

WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski sat down with Brooks recently to talk about whether there’s any way to get the public believing in national politics again, especially if Republicans take control of the Senate.

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