Voter turnout for this year’s midterm election was surprisingly high in Monroe County. Nearly 40% of registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election. Monroe County Clerk Jim Fielder says he believes a school funding referendum and a desire for more balanced representation in government helped drive turnout.
“I think the referendum was a big part of it,” Fielder says. “I also think that people have looked at our leadership at the top and decided that it was best for two parties to be sharing the responsibilities there.”
Election volunteer Brian Baker says he believes the main reason for larger-than-normal turnout was public dissatisfaction with government leaders at the local, state, and national level.”
“I think it’s largely due to some dissatisfaction not only locally,” Baker says, “but at the state and national level too. Just the turn of events, things that have happened the last couple of years, I think we’re going to see some changes.”
Fielder says more than 10,000 people voted early or absentee. However, Fielder adds he still feels additional early polling sites were not necessary for this year’s election.