This election was the first year in which Allen County voters could cast their vote at satellite locations around the community. While the turnout was higher than expected at these satellite locations, early voting in general may still be lower than the last off-year election.
In previous elections, the only option voters had for early voting was to go downtown to the Rousseau Center or to mail in an absentee ballot. This year, residents could also vote at selected library branches around the county.
According to Andrew Downs of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, turnout numbers at the satellite locations and at the Rousseau Centre were good. But he says that doesn’t mean overall early voter turnout numbers are higher than the last municipal election.
Satellite early voting as well as in-office early voting were up compared to 2011. But the number of maile dballots looks like it was down, so we may be looking at lower early voter turnout than we saw in 2011," Downs said.
These numbers also don’t point to an increase in overall voting.
Downs notes that people who cast early ballots are mostly those who have a history of voting anyway, so early voting is not necessarily bringing new voters into the system.