Old Town Voter Turnout Falls Below Average

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By Mike Masson
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer

OLD TOWN – Low voter turnout. It’s a scene all too familiar with the gubernatorial elections every four years, and it was no different for Old Town in 2014.

According to statistics pulled from the state of Michigan’s official government website, voter turnout for this year’s election falls at 42.8 percent. A relatively good number considering the 2010 turnout was just a few percent higher.

In comparison, the turnout in the city of Lansing fell at 44 percent.

“The numbers on our website prove that we were consistent with the state average”, said Brian Jackson, Chief Deputy Lansing City Clerk.

However, things were much different in Old Town. Within the neighborhood, there was only one polling location, that being the Emanuel First Lutheran Church. Here, voter turnout within the precinct was just 30.4 percent, according to the Ingham County website.

Old Town's only polling location, the Emanuel First Lutheran Church (Photo by Mike Masson)

Old Town’s only polling location, the Emanuel First Lutheran Church (Photo by Mike Masson)

“I think the midterms are probably not as highly publicized. There’s not a ton of media attention,” said Katrina Daniels, an Ingham County resident. “People don’t feel the importance of smaller elections, and that needs to change.”

Daniels was one of the voters who came out to place their ballots on Nov. 4.

Another citizen who did come out to vote was fellow Ingham County resident Chad Cottom. Cottom doesn’t understand why people don’t care more about the midterms.

“Well the important issues are being voted on, and people just aren’t in touch with what’s going on”, said Cottom. “With the presidential elections, people get drawn in by all the pomp and circumstance. Here, they just don’t seem to understand the value and importance of local elections.”

In the precinct that serves Old Town, there are only 1,941 voters. Only 590 placed a vote in this election. More so, only 495 showed up to the voting location on Election Day itself, with the rest sending in an absentee ballot.

Contact reporter Mike Masson: massonmi@msu.edu, (248) 808-1778

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