Very low turnout expected in the 2014 Primary

April 22nd, 2014 at 4:50 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

The 2014 Indiana Primary Election is two weeks away and all indications point to a very low voter turnout.

This is an off year election but that may not fully explain the situation.  Because there are no statewide races on the ballot for the first time in 14 years, you could call it an off, off year election.

As a result, Terrance Cox showed up at the Marion County Clerk’s office to vote early and found himself alone.  Even though it was the lunch hour, he was one of just a handful of voters to cast a ballot during what is usually a peak time.

“It’s our duty to vote,” said Cox.  “It’s our right, we need to vote.”

When the people who work in the clerk’s office measure turnout they compare 2014 with 2010, the last off year election, and when it comes to absentee ballots there is a big difference.

“I think we have around 900 mail-in ballots right now,” said spokeswoman Erin Kelley, “but compared to 2010, we had almost 3400 at this point.”

Drive around, and, in Marion County, you do see many political yard signs and when you do, it is often for a little known township office.  There are no high profile battles.

Republican party leaders don’t seem to mind.

“Yeah, anytime that we can avoid costly fights in the primary,’ said Marion County GOP Chairman Kyle Walker, “it’s a better day for the Republican Party.”

And it’s no different with the Democrats.

“The primary is a family activity and the family activity is held in house with other members of the family,” said Marion County Democratic Chairman Joel Miller, “and then we go out and do business with the other families after the primary is over.”

They know that a minority of voters feel the way Terrance Cox does.  “Everyone has an obligation to vote and they need to come out and vote,” he said.

If they do, there is no waiting.

The best race in Marion County is the Democratic primary for sheriff where John Layton is being challenged by Mark Brown.  Even there Layton is considered a strong favorite.

There are some potentially good races outside Marion County, however, including the race for Mayor of Fishers.

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