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Primary Voter Turnout Expected To Be Low

Voter turnout is expected to be low in tomorrow's primary because of a lack of statewide races.

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Photo: Flickr/Sara Bassett

Analysts predict turnout in Tuesday's primary will be low.

There are no statewide races on the ballot in tomorrow’s primary. That hasn’t happened in Indiana in more than a decade, and it could generate low voter turnout.

This is the first time since 2002 that there have been no statewide races on the primary ballot. Only three statewide races will take place this fall – Secretary of State, Treasurer and Auditor, and candidates for those positions are decided at party conventions this summer.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson says it’s difficult to get a sense of what turnout this election will be like.

“We really can’t compare the numbers in 2002 to the numbers of absentee or early voting we’ve had this year because in 2002 we didn’t have no excuse early voting, so it’s hard to say,” Lawson says.

Lawson says it’s candidates and issues that drive every election, and political analyst Ed Feigenbaum says this year’s primary does offer some hotly contested local races.

“Whether it’s for sheriff as you see in the case of many different counties or judges in some cases or the regular other county offices,” Feigenbaum says.

Still, Feigenbaum says he expects the lack of a major statewide race to drive down turnout.  Indiana’s electoral participation in a primary has topped 22 percent of registered voters only once in the last six elections, for the tight presidential primary in 2008.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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