Voter turnout low in Clark, Champaign counties

  • Parker Perry
  • Staff Writer
11:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 Politics
The American flag stands in the corner at an election poll in Clark County as a row of voters perform their patriotic duty Tuesday. Bill Lackey/Staff

Voter turnout was low in Clark County on Tuesday as voters made their way to the polls to decide on the Springfield commission race, a Northeastern school bond issue and a New Carlisle income tax question.

The Clark County Board of Elections reported only 30 percent of registered voters came out. Board of election leaders predicted the voter turnout would be closer to 50 percent.

MORE: Find out who want to run your Clark County schools

People at the polls said they were surprised by the low turnout and said they didn’t want to miss the election.

“I felt like, especially for a woman, there were a lot of people who fought for the right to vote for women and also I feel it’s my duty as an American,” said Michaela Rice, who voted Tuesday at Northeastern High School.

In New Carlisle, some residents said voting is important to them.

Robert Naff, of New Carlisle, said he believes it’s his duty to vote in every election and thought the process at his Tecumseh High School polling location was easy.

“It was really smooth,” Naff said. “I don’t think I was there five minutes.”

EXTRA: Clark County voters to pick several school board seats

Monica Leach, who also voted at Tecumseh High School on Tuesday, said she was concerned about a proposed New Carlisle income tax issue. She also said she had an easy time voting Tuesday.

“It was real quick,” she said.

Jason Baker said Clark County polling sites didn’t run into any issues Tuesday.

“The polls I went to, there were no lines,” he said. “They were all moving pretty good.”

In Champaign County, 38 percent of registered voters cast ballots for the November election, according to the Champaign County Board of Elections unofficial results.

MORE: Election 2017: Springfield City School District board race

In Champaign County, voters saw a Graham Local Schools income tax increase, which failed, and several candidates for school board, including Urbana.

“The school questions is what probably brought them out,” Director Meredith Bodey said.

Polling locations operated smoothly throughout the day, Champaign County Deputy Board of Elections Director Jodie Flora said.

However the office ran into issues with its online live election results. The results showed 100 percent of precincts were reporting even though all the ballots weren’t tallied.

The issue was with the way the absentee ballots were coded, Bodey said. When the absentee ballots were counted, the computer showed that all precincts had been counted even though those were only the absentee ballots and not the votes cast on Tuesday.

The issue is correctable, she said.