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Ingham County seeing low voter turnout

Posted at 6:43 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 18:43:36-04

LANSING, Mich. — During Election Day here in Michigan, voting precinct workers are asking themselves why there's such a small voter turnout.

That can be answered by a number of different factors.

“It's America’s right to vote," said Charlotte Sanford, who cast her vote Tuesday. "It's sad...they don't realize how important voting is."

Since it's an odd-year election, voter turnout is lower than normal at Atwood Elementary in Lansing.

Voters and workers there say it's because many people don't know about the election.

"It's a small election, so I think that if it was more advertised, we'd have more people coming out personally," said Annette Hill, the Chairperson in Lansing's twenty-fourth precinct, "but we have a lot of people voting absentee."

There's another big reason voters don't show up to their polling places.

With last November’s vote to approve no-reason absentee ballots, you don't need to go to your precinct to cast your vote.

"We’ve already seen a significant increase in absentee voting and those individuals who have requested to vote via absentee ballot," said Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.

Other times, voters don't show because the ballot items don't matter to them.

"When it's a huge primary election, people tend to come out and vote more because we're voting for a president, change of congress," said Hill.

"Voters are more engaged when there's a presidential or gubernatorial candidate on the ballot," Byrum Added.

And those smaller items could get more traction if they're on the same ballot as the big questions.

"When it comes to the President, there's a big voter turnout...they stand in line, it's that long. It would work better," said Sanford.

If you haven't been able to vote yet, don't worry. Precincts like Atwood Elementary are open until 8:00 P.M.

If you do go in to vote, make sure to have a form of identification with you.

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