Last Updated on November 24, 2015 by cassnetwork
INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 24, 2015) — Secretary of State Connie Lawson today announced that 20.5 percent or 559,517 of the 2,724,289 Hoosiers who were eligible to vote in the November 3 municipal general election cast a ballot. Not all Hoosier voters were eligible to vote in the November 3 municipal elections. Only voters who live in a city or town with an election this year or in a school corporation conducting a construction or tax levy referendum were eligible to vote.
The complete 2015 Municipal General Election Turnout and Absentee Chart with voter statistics for each county can be viewed online at http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/2015_Muni_Turnout.pdf. The report was compiled by the Secretary of State’s office from voter data gathered in 88 of Indiana’s 92 counties. There were four counties in Indiana this year that did not have a general election.
“Congratulations to Ohio County for having the highest turnout rate in the state at 63 percent,” said Secretary Lawson. “As I review the turnout numbers, it appears that the areas with the highest turnout were areas with contested races or issues. We continue to see that issues and candidates drive turnout in elections and this is especially true with local races.
“The Secretary of State’s office conducted an unprecedented municipal election voter outreach campaign to remind Hoosiers to vote this fall. To our knowledge, this is the first time the office has conducted a paid voter outreach advertising campaign during a municipal election year. The office harnessed the power of TV, radio, print, digital and social media to encourage Hoosiers to make their voices heard. We will continue our campaign in 2016 to encourage voter participation.”
In 2016, the Secretary of State’s office will also continue to do voter list maintenance to increase the accuracy of Indiana’s voter rolls. By removing inaccurate voter registrations, the office will be able to provide Hoosiers with a more accurate view of voter turnout.
The 2015 general election saw a record use of ePollBooks in Indiana. Thirty-six Indiana counties have now made the switch to ePollBooks. County election officials are continuing to adopt technology to modernize elections. The new technology of ePollBooks and vote centers make it easier for Hoosiers to cast their ballot. Secretary Lawson has been a proponent of vote centers and ePollbooks. As a state senator, Secretary Lawson authored legislation giving counties the option to establish vote centers, which have the potential to significantly improve efficiency and reduce county election costs. Twenty-three counties were eligible to use vote centers in the municipal election, with Owen County scheduled to use vote centers beginning in 2016. Vote centers permit a voter to cast a ballot at any location within a county, rather than only at the voter’s traditional precinct polling place. Vote centers enable counties to save on costs associated with hiring poll workers and purchasing voting machines and supplies.
As Secretary of State, Lawson worked with the Indiana General Assembly to pass legislation enabling all counties to use ePollbooks. The ePollbook system is an electronic, modernized version of the traditional paper poll list, which has been used for decades. With traditional paper poll lists, poll workers compare a voter’s ID with the names on the list before issuing a ballot. The voter then signs the list next to their name and indicates whether or not the voter’s address has changed.
The ePollBook scans the bar code on the back of a voter’s driver’s license to permit poll workers to efficiently locate the voter’s record and to ensure the voter gets the correct ballot. The voter then signs an electronic signature pad. ePollbooks can speed up lines at polling places because poll workers no longer have to hunt for a person’s name in the paper list.
“I will continue to look for ways to help counties modernize the election process, making it easier for Hoosiers to vote and to protect the integrity of our elections,” said Secretary Lawson. “I have received overwhelming positive feedback from county election officials, poll workers and voters about vote centers and ePollbooks and will continue to move Indiana forward.”