[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 46°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 43°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Turnout in recent city elections less than 30 percent

Friday, March 18, 2011

Less than 30 percent of Brazil's voting population has decided the city's administration in recent years.

Since 1999, the highest turnout percentage total in a Municipal General Election for the precincts voting for Brazil (Brazil 1-4, Brazil 6 and Jackson 3) was 29.93 percent in 2007.

Like with many elections, General Election turnout in Brazil has been higher compared to Primary Elections occurring in the same year.

According to information provided by the Clay County Election Office, only 14.37 percent of the registered voters (754 of 5,246) cast a ballot in the 1999 Municipal Primary, while the figure more than doubled to 29.43 percent (1,561 of 5,305) in the General Election.

Overall ballots cast in the 2003 General Election increased to 1,578, but the turnout percentage dropped to 28.12 percent as voter registration increased to 5,611.

Clay Community Corrections Director Mary Brown, who served as Clay County Clerk from 2001-08, told The Brazil Times a Primary Municipal Election was not conducted in 2003.

"That year, there weren't any contested races in the Primary, so there wasn't a need to have an election other than the General Election that November," she said.

Turnout numbers improved for both the Municipal Primary and General Elections in 2007.

In the Primary, 1,294 of the 5,483 (23.60 percent) registered voters cast a ballot, while 29.93 percent (1,646 of 5,499) voted in the General Election.

Clay County Deputy Clerk Beth Mallinak told The Brazil Times due to the diminished turnout in Municipal Elections, early voting opportunities have been reduced by the Clay County Election Board for this year's Primary. Early Voting will occur on the following dates and times in the Clay County Election Office:

* April 18-21, and April 25-29 -- 8-11 a.m., and noon-4 p.m.,

* Saturday, April 30 -- 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and

* Monday, May 2 -- 8 a.m.-noon.

"Typically, in city elections, there aren't really many early voters until the week or two before the election," Mallinak said about the modified hours. "Residents may also contact the Election Office at 448-9023 any time between now and April 25 to submit an application to vote by mail."

Mallinak added her office will be sending letters to precinct committeemen in the near future regarding contacting individuals to work the polls during the May 3 Primary.

Voter registration, which is currently open, will end at the close of business Monday, April 4.

Other than registering at the Clay County Election Office or a branch of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, residents may fill out an application online at www.indianavoters.com. Through the website, potential voters may also locate their polling place, along with who will be on the ballot in their respective precinct, as the information becomes available to the Indiana Secretary of State's Election Division. In addition, a mobile version of the site was made available in October 2010.

Municipal Election turnout

The following is a breakdown of the number of registered voters, ballots cast and the turnout percentage among the precincts voting in Brazil during Municipal Elections in 1999, 2003 and 2007. Figures were provided by the Clay County Election Office.

Municipal Primary Elections

YearRegistered VotersBallots CastTurnout (%)
2003No contested races -- No election conducted

Municipal General Elections

YearRegistered VotersBallots CastTurnout (%)

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Some people dont vote in the primary because they dont like to declare a party.

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Fri, Mar 18, 2011, at 11:08 PM

A lot of people do not understand the voting process. The primary elections are for each party to elect the person to represent their party in the general election. That's the reason you cannot "split" your vote in primaries. It for the republicans to elect their people and the democrats to do the same.

Pretty simple, but a lot still don't get it.

-- Posted by BWare on Sat, Mar 19, 2011, at 10:51 AM

Yes, the process in the primary is a little confusing, but how does that explain the disgusting turnout in the general elections? Less than 30 percent of people decide who runs this town, but how many of us like to whine and complain about those in office that did not vote?

If you want to have a voice into who makes the decisions in Brazil, get off your butt and vote. less than 30 percent is just pathetic.

-- Posted by axegrinder1313 on Sat, Mar 19, 2011, at 4:49 PM

axe, my last sentence pretty much sums it up. :)

-- Posted by BWare on Sat, Mar 19, 2011, at 7:03 PM

It is so important to vote, especially in the Primary. Don't let others decide who you will vote for in the General Election. We all have a voice and it needs to be heard through our votes!

I would suggest looking at archived news stories that the Brazil Times has available on this website, City Council Meeting Notes, Board of Works Minutes, (available at www.brazil.in.gov), and State Auditor Notes and educate yourself on issues facing the city.

Don't be afraid to ask questions of our candidates, and current administration, it is our city, and our money that is being spent!

How can you know who to vote for, if you don't know what challenges the city of Brazil faces going forward?

I believe there are more than 30% of the voters who care about the City of Brazil, and will consider the Primary Election just as important as the General Election!

Attend forums, and debates and get to know who the candidates are, what they stand for and VOTE!

-- Posted by rukiddingme62 on Sun, Mar 20, 2011, at 3:22 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: