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Elections & Politics / WBAA

“Record low” voter turnout for the Tippecanoe County 2022 primary election

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Tippecannoe County logged a record low voter turnout during the 2022 primary (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

Election workers reported a “record low” voter turnout for the Tippecanoe County 2022 primary election on Tuesday.

In the 2018 midterm primaries, over 20,000 voters turned out. In 2022, just over 9,000 people cast a ballot - a roughly 8% turnout.

Tippecanoe County Clerk Julie Roush said the difference could be due to races that weren't highly contested.

“I’ve never seen this before, but several people went up to the ballot and canceled the ballot because they didn’t know anybody,” she said.

Roush said the turnout was particularly low among students. According to her, just ten people listed as living on Purdue University’s campus voted in the primary election.

Outside of the Lafayette City Hall voting precinct just as polls closed on Tuesday night, April Ginther said her friend Margaret Hass, herself a candidate for office, got her out to vote.

“I vote straight Democrat ticket all the time,” Ginther said. “You know how that goes in Indiana. I’d rather be voting in Michigan maybe, there your vote matters. I’m from Chicago and there your vote really doesn’t matter either.”

Hass disagreed.

“It’s not inevitable,” she said. “Historically we’ve had Democratic governors, we’ve had Democratic senators. We’ve had a much better balance in the statehouse – it’s just we have this self-perpetuating narrative that Indiana is white and conservative and will never change.”

In House District 41, candidate Mark Genda handily won the Republican nomination. He faces Democrat Greg Woods, who ran in an uncontested race.

In Senate District 23, the Associated Press called the race for Republican Spencer Deery with 95% of precincts reporting. Deery received 3,335 votes, with candidate Bill Webster close behind at 2,925 votes. The winner faces Democratic candidate David Sanders, who logged 2,516 votes.

This story was updated to reflect the Associated Press calling the District 23 race for Republican Spencer Deery and the total vote count for Democrat David Sanders.