More Registered Voters May Not Lead to Higher Turnout
Voter registration numbers in Allen County continue to climb, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more people will turn up at the polls this year.
Monday was the deadline to register to vote in Indiana’s primary elections. Barry Schust is the Republican board member Allen County’s Voter Registration office.
He says more than 261,000 people registered this year – about three thousand more than last year.
Schust says 70-80 percent of registrations still take place through the BMV. Walk in registrations continue to drop, while more and more people are registering online.
In last year’s general elections, Indiana had the lowest voter turnout of any state in the country.
"It’s up to the parties and particularly the candidates of the parties to get people energized and excited," says Steve Shine, Chairman of the Allen County Republican Party. "There has to be something to give people a reason to go to the poll.”
Shine expects this year’s turnout to be in line with previous primaries, which is typically low. Shine doesn’t think that recent highprofile issues like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act will engage voters this year, since it’s not a statewide election.
He speculates that many people in Allen County don’t realize there are elections this year.