Secretary of state announces record voter turnout

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With an estimated 113 million American citizens having participated in the midterm elections, 2018 was a record year for voter participation in the U.S.

According to data from the United States Elections Project, the Nov. 6 General Election was the first midterm in history to exceed 100 million voters, with 49 percent of eligible voters participating in the election.

In early December, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced 51 percent of registered voters in the state cast a ballot in the Nov. 6 election. The total voter number in Indiana was 2,308,258 of 4.5 million registered.

“This is the highest midterm turnout in over two decades,” Lawson said.

Lawson said the last time Indiana saw a midterm election turnout that high was in 1994, when it was at 54.1 percent. By 1998, participation dropped to 44 percent.

“Both of these election cycles highlight how candidates and issues drive higher turnout in elections,” Lawson said.

By comparison, the 2014 midterm elections had a nationl figure of 36.4 percent of eligible voters participating, one of the lowest turnouts in American history. In 2010, the first midterm of President Barack Obama’s administration, 41 percent of voters participated nationwide.

Boone and Hamilton counties had a higher turnout than the national rate.

Boone County had a 56.42 percent voter turnout, with 27,789 citizens participating out of  49,251 registered voters.

Turnout was even higher in Hamilton County, at 58 percent. Out of 237,895 registered voters, 138,843 citizens participated.

Early voting continues to increase in popularity. At 34 percent, the number of Indiana early voters in 2018 has doubled since 2014, when only 16 percent of voters cast a ballot early.

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