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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Voting turnout down from previous midterm elections

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The massive push to get voters to the polls for the 2010 General Election did not work out so well in Clay County.

As a whole, only 8,371 of the county's 18,808 registered voters (44.51 percent) cast a ballot in the election.

Dating back to 1990, this year's turnout was the second lowest both by percentage and total number of ballots cast in a mid-term general election. Only 1990 (8,250 ballots) had fewer total voters, and the smallest percentage of ballots cast by registered voters came in 2002, with 40.8 percent.

Jackson 3 precinct had the highest percentage voter turnout with 64.42 percent (201 of 312, while six other precincts -- (in descending order) Perry (56.09 percent), Jackson 1 (55.17), Harrison 2 (52.91), Sugar Ridge (51.47), Lewis (51.42) and Jackson 2 (50.48) -- had more than half of their respective registered voters come out to the polls.

At the other end of the spectrum, four of Brazil's six precincts had the lowest turnout percentages:

* Brazil 6 -- 26.61 percent (157 of 590),

* Brazil 3 -- 30.92 percent (341 of 1,103),

* Brazil 1 -- 32.15 percent (397 of 1,235), and

* Brazil 4 -- 35.55 percent (278 of 782).

Two other precincts -- Van Buren 1 (37.92 percent) and Brazil 2 (38.15 percent) -- also saw fewer than 40 percent of their respective registered voters cast a ballot.

However, one bright spot was the willingness of residents to cast their ballot early.

"We had a total of 1,090 people come to the Election Office to utilize early voting opportunities," Clay County Deputy Clerk Beth Mallinak told The Brazil Times Wednesday. "We always have a steady number of people come in the first few weeks early voting is available, then there is a big rush on the final few days leading up to the election."

In addition, 278 of the total ballots cast were of the absentee variety -- mail, traveling board, etc.

According to the Indiana Secretary of State's Office, complete voter turnout information for the state will not be available until Nov. 15, which is the deadline for counties to report their respective finalized totals.

Mallinak said part of the reason for this is due to awaiting the arrival of other absentee and provisional ballots, such as those completed by soldiers in active duty who are not in the state at the time of the election.

According to the 2010 Indiana General Election Tracker website (https://myweb.in.gov/SOS/IndianaElectionResults/), only 57 of the states 92 counties (including Clay County) have reported totals of their respective results, as of 4:11 p.m., Thursday. Four of those counties -- Allen, Marion, Miami and Whitley -- have less than 100 percent of their precincts reporting. This means that 35 counties currently have zero percent of their precincts reporting.

With the deadline to submit complete reports a couple weeks away, all results will stand as unofficial until Nov. 15.

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