Vanderburgh County tied for the lowest turnout statewide for May’s primary election and fell below state average with 6 percent of voters casting ballots. Statewide, 13 percent of voters participated in the May 6 primary, according to numbers released this week by the Indiana Secretary of State’s office. Warrick County came in higher at 11 percent. Vanderburgh County joined St. Joseph County with the lowest turnout in the state, though four other counties, including Posey County, saw a 7 percent turnout. Primaries, especially absent of high-profile statewide or national races as was the case on May 6, are historically marked by low numbers at the polls.
Vanderburgh County, which utilizes vote centers and offers several early voting locations, saw 23 percent of voters cast an absentee ballot or early vote, compared to Warrick County’s 11 percent. Warrick County doesn’t utilize vote centers, which allows a voter to cast a ballot at any location in the county on Election Day, or satellite early voting locations. On average, 16 percent of voters across the state chose to cast an absentee ballot or early vote, according to state data.
Warrick County Clerk Sarah Redman said she feels vote centers would help turnout. However, Redman said she doesn’t have enough support on the county election board to make the change from traditional precinct locations or expand early voting from the current one location.