Three Reasons to Expect Low Voter Turnout Today

Nov 3, 2015

The Allen County Election Board prepared for a 30 percent voter turnout rate in this year’s election, but some are predicting it will be even lower.  

Here's one easy way to predict voter turnout: look at the year. Especially if it’s an odd-numbered year – one that features only local elections – turnout will likely be lower.

Another predictor is something people say they hate: partisanship. National races can be highly partisan, rallying voters to one side or another. Not so for many local elections.  

Andrew Downs at the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics says that means voters need to do more work…which may keep them from the polls.

"It’s an election where you have to invest a certain amount of your own time to figure out who you might want to support. And for a lot of voters, they’d rather be spending their time doing something than learning what a city council candidate thinks.”  

Something else to consider: many voters are happy with who they have in office. 

For example, communities like Monroeville and New Haven aren’t even having elections today because after the primaries, there were no contested races. 

While the Allen County Election Board is anticipating a 30 percent turnout rate, Downs predicts that voter participation will be in the low 20s.