Press release from Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Today, Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced that 58 percent or 2,663,367 of Indiana’s 4.5 million registered voters cast a ballot in the November 6th General Election. The turnout in this election cycle was less than the 62 percent reported in the historic 2008 presidential election, but equal to the 58 percent reported for the 2004 presidential election.WellsCounty had the highest turnout in the state at 72 percent.
Absentee ballots comprised 22 percent of the total ballots cast, a slight decrease from 24 percent in 2008, but a dramatic increase from the 10 percent in 2004. The complete 2012 General Election Turnout and Absentee Chart with voter statistics for each county can be viewed online at http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/2012_General_Election_Turnout_and_Absentee_Report.pdf.
Secretary Lawsonused this election cycle as an opportunity to observe vote center counties and to look for ways to improve the election process. As a state senator,Secretary Lawsonauthored legislation giving counties the option to adopt vote centers, which consolidate multiple precincts into a single location so counties save on costs associated with hiring poll workers and purchasing voting machines and supplies. Vote centers have the potential to significantly improve efficiency and reduce county election costs.JohnsonCountyswitched to vote centers this year and is expected to save an estimated $60,000.
“Traveling the state to observe our diverse vote center counties has given me a first-hand look at the benefits of this option,” saidSecretary Lawson. “Vote centers provide voters with the flexibility to vote anywhere in the county at their convenience, reducing lines and the stress of peak times generally seen at traditional precinct locations.
“Counties continue to learn from experience, and further refine the administration of the vote center process. I expect more counties will move to the vote center model as local governments look for ways to cut costs while enhancing voter convenience.”
Blackford, Johnson andSwitzerlandcounties used vote centers for the first time during the primary, while Tippecanoe, Cass, andWaynecounties continued the practice after successful elections in previous years.VanderburghCountyalso established countywide vote centers after a positive experience with the Evansville Municipal Election. Howard andFloydCountieshave already announced they will move to the voter center model in 2014.
Secretary Lawsonplans to use 2013 to travel the state and bring together local leaders to discuss the vote center model and to help counties properly plan for a 2014 or 2015 roll out.