Indiana has low municipal election voter turnout. One organization offers a solution
Indiana’s next municipal elections are six weeks away. One voter rights group has launched an online tool to equip voters with resources and more information.
In the past, municipal election data has shown low 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 in some more engaged counties. The overall turnout was only 23 percent across all counties.
Lindsay Bledsoe is vice president of the League of Women’s Voters Indy, a group focusing on educating and empowering voters.
She said the organization’s new website, Vote411.org, provides voters with resources to increase turnout, such as candidate information and voter registration resources.
“So in addition to finding out information about your local elections and all of your candidates, it can also help you register to vote,” she said. “It can show you information on where you can vote in your area.”
Vote411.org may not have complete information for some rural areas. To double check your ballot, go to the Indiana Secretary of State website, IndianaVoters.com.
The deadline to register to vote in Indiana is Oct. 10. Bledsoe encouraged Hoosiers to use the website to register to vote before this deadline.
She said showing up at the polls is one of the most important parts of the voting process.
“Registering to vote is just one step,” she said. “What really needs to happen is once someone is registered, that they go exercise their power to vote.”
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The website also contains candidate profiles, so voters can remain informed about the politicians they are voting for and their platforms. Bledsoe said the organization reaches out to all candidates to give them the opportunity to answer questions.
“We contact individual candidates with a set of predetermined questions, and we want to give every single candidate the opportunity to respond,” she said. “And we take that information and we put it on 411. And so if someone wants to see what their candidate has to say, they can just check it out right there.”
She said not all candidates respond to these questions. Bledsoe said if Hoosiers don’t see information about a candidate they’re interested in, they should reach out to the candidate directly.
Bledsoe said she is hopeful this “one-stop shop” for information will equip voters with the resources they need to turn out in larger numbers at the polls.
“That just really helps to not just make sure people are registered, but also take that next step to actually get to the polls,” she said.
The next municipal elections will be held on Nov. 7.