November 6, 2023

Advocates encourage higher voter turnout ahead of the Nov. 7 election

Article origination IPB News
Data from 2019 municipal elections shows that as little as 1 percent of registered voters cast their votes in some counties. And only up to 43 percent cast their vote in more engaged counties.  - FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

Data from 2019 municipal elections shows that as little as 1 percent of registered voters cast their votes in some counties. And only up to 43 percent cast their vote in more engaged counties.

FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

Advocates are encouraging Hoosiers to turn up at Tuesday’s municipal elections.

Linda Hanson is the president of the League of Women Voters Indiana, an organization that encourages active participation in government. She said many local elections for positions such as mayor or city council are the ones that often have the “most impact” on Hoosier’s daily lives.

A city council makes decisions about funding things that go on within the city, about economic development, about which streets are going to get paved,” she said.

Hanson said many Hoosiers often focus on broader, national issues that may make them less informed about local elections.

“If people are not really engaged in the political parties or engaged in some of the issues that are essentially determined by those parties, they tend to pay attention more to the national news if they're just trying to keep up,” she said.

READ MORE: Here are the 11 Indiana schools with a referendum on Nov. 7 ballot

In the past, Indiana municipal elections have had lower voter turnout. Data from 2019 municipal elections shows that as little as 1 percent of registered voters cast their votes in some counties. And only up to 43 percent cast their vote in more engaged counties.

Hanson said there is often less information about local candidates available than larger statewide or nationwide races. She said before voting, Hoosiers should research candidates' websites and determine how they handle certain issues.

“Voters need to pay attention to the issues that are around them and say, OK, what's going on in my town?” she said. “What's going on in my city that I need to have a say in?”

Voting will take place Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time and eligible voting sites can be found at IndianaVoters.com.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.

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