VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The last three municipal elections in Vigo county have seen a major decline when it comes to voter turnout.
Since 2007, the number of voters has dropped by over 3,600 and over 107,000 people live in Vigo County as of 2018.
“I don’t think there’s been as much passion as there has been recently, especially in the mayoral elections and the municipal elections. I think a lot of times the presidential and the state elections sometimes take center stage over the local elections,” said Brad Newman, Vigo County clerk.
In 2007, 12,063 Vigo County voters came out to the polls. In 2011, there were 11,074, and in the last municipal election in 2015, only 8,434 voters made their voices heard.
“I feel like it’s my obligation, my duty to appropriately vote on issues that are near and dear to my heart and to also communicate that to others,” said Jared Wuerzburger, a Vigo County resident.
Voting officials believe major questions on the ballot will bring out more voters.
“There’s a lot of little things going on that have people stirred up. So I’m hoping to see a little bit better of turnout especially since it’s a county-wide election, for the casino question and for the school referendum,” Newman said.
With the stakes being high for November’s election, the county is finding ways to get more residents involved.
“We re-arranged our polling locations. Nobody has to drive more than 14 minutes in the county to get to a polling location,” said Newman.
They’re also targeting high school students with voter registration and mock elections.
“Hopefully this will take them to the next step and they will become active voters in every election. So thus, increasing the numbers in our elections, said Newman.
Vigo County residents will be able to cast votes on the school referendum and casino question since they are county-wide issues.