Primary brings only several dozen voters to polls in Newburgh

Your Local Election

NEWBURGH, In. (WEHT) The turnout in Newburgh during Tuesday’s primaries has some voters wondering how it got so low.

78 people, just a little more than 3% of eligible voters, went to the polls in the race for treasurer. So why the low turnout, and what can be done to bring more out?

You see a lot of signs and banners around Newburgh. But one type of sign not seen much this week was election signs.

“I think it’s kind of sad. I’m not surprised. I feel like as the younger generation comes up, there not as involved in local politics. I don’t think it’s good,” says Shillawna Ruffner of Newburgh.

Vote totals show that among the 78 voters, only 48 went to the polls in the Republican Primary for Clerk-Treasurer, where Jed Hutson beat Leanna Hughes 30 to 18. Two other primaries had more than 40 votes casted, but 3 of the 7 non-competitive primaries had no votes. 

People who didn’t vote gave reasons ranging from scheduling, to not knowing there was a primary until they watched the news last night.

“There’s definitely got to be a thing to be said about that. You have to vote. THere has to be more voters because this is our council. This is who is running our city,” says Owen George of Newburgh.

As for this fall, some voters say increasing awareness of the election and issues on more platforms will get more voters out.

“I’m on social media alot, and unless I see something on social media or hear something on social media, I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe getting some of those issues on social media,” Ruffner says.

Some people who didn’t vote yesterday tell us they plan to be at the polls this fall.

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(This story was originally published on May 8, 2019)

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