INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 2, 2015)-- As Indianapolis prepares for the most important municipal election in four years, early indicators show Tuesday’s turnout will likely be even more anemic than its 2011 results.
“The numbers are about 33 percent less than 2011,” said Russell Hollis, Deputy Director of the Marion County Clerks Office, “But for today and over the weekend, numbers have picked up.”
There are more than 650,000 registered voters in Marion County, but in 2011, voter turnout hovered around the 30 percent mark.
By noon Monday, when early in-person voting ended, absentee balloting was off between 30-35 percent.
“I think it will be low turnout tomorrow,” said Marion County Republican Chairman Kyle Walker. “I think that its been low turnout for the last couple of elections and I think that early voting number surely indicates that it’ll probably be low voter turnout tomorrow also.”
Marion County democrats and republicans have both manned phone banks the last couple days reminding selected supporters to vote.
“I think that the last minute push you’ll see has an effect of, hopefully, a slight uptick in turnout tomorrow,” said Walker.
Candidates, their backers and election officials hope that a prediction of sunny skies and temperatures in the seventies will encourage a strong turnout Tuesday.
“There are people definitely frustrated with the process and how things are going they don’t really think, ‘If I do show up to vote, is my vote actually going to count?’” said James Thomas while he stood in line to cast his ballot at the clerks office of the City County Building.
“Absolutely every vote makes a difference,” added Jeremy Burton. “Some races have ended with a one vote difference, so every vote makes a difference.”
While all votes count equal, some are more important than others, especially to the residents of traditionally neglected or downtrodden neighborhoods such as the Anwar community on the city’s northwest side.
“I vote because its my right and I vote because it does make a difference,” said Doris Mayberry as she left work at a grocery store, “because we need help in our neighborhood and we need somebody in office who is going to help us.”
Javier Wilson took a break from rehabbing a home at California and Eugene Streets and confirmed that not only would he vote, he intended to badger his family members into casting their ballots, too.
“Because one more good vote, you know, instead of not voting, you gonna let the wrong dude get in definitely ain't gonna win then, so, you definitely want the right dude in there.”