Local voters do not follow national voting trend

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By Eric Finkler

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE, MI – Despite national trends that suggest a voter increase in elections, Grand Ledge government faces voter apathy.

Photo by Eric Finkler

When confronted with questions about the local elections, which are to be held on Nov. 6, many residents claimed little knowledge or confessed to not following the campaigns.

The comparison between those who vote in local government campaigns versus national elections is significant and reflects the lack of interest among the residents.

Voting details:

Voting records on Eaton County’s website state that out of the 79,367 registered voters only 18 percent voted in the primaries that left the county with a total voter turnout of around 14,000 in August of this year.

Compared with the 2008 presidential election between President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, Eaton County had a total of 57,616citizens’ vote.

Graph and data by U.S Census Bureau.

The difference between these two results shows that four times the people vote nationally compared with their local elections. This follows a relatively recent trend in national elections that shows more U.S citizens going out to vote.

National voting history:

Based upon voting data from the United States Census Bureau the presidential elections held in 1996 and 2000 had the lowest voter turnout in the past five decades.

Since 2004 however, more voters are turning in their ballots, specifically younger people of ages between 18 and 24. The number of younger voters increased about 10 percent from 2000 to 2004.

There were a total of 55,755 voters in Eaton County who participated in the national election compared with the more recent 2008 presidential race total previously mentioned which supports the national trend.

Eric Finkler may be reached at finklere@gmail.com

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