Aging population may increase absentee vote

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By Julie Angell
The Meridian Times

Getting people out to the polls on election day might not be a difficult task in Meridian Township.

“We have a very good voter turnout,” said Angela Wilson, Meridian Township trustee.

People in Meridian tend to be educated about issues on election ballots and they come out to show their strong opinions, Wilson said.

Wilson did notice a big dropoff in voter participation from the 2008 presidential election to the gubernatorial election in 2010. Four years later, Wilson said she is trying to reach out to people who didn’t vote in the 2010 election.

Meridian Township clerks have seen from reports that voter turnout is heading in a positive direction.

Weeks before the polls open in Meridian Township, Deputy Clerk Joan Horvath was busy collecting absentee ballot applications.

She said clerks are seeing a small increase in requests for absentee ballots from the past governor’s race in 2010. Registered voters may request an absentee ballot if they are over 60, which might be a reason for the increase.

Wilson said that Meridian’s growing senior population, could be a “big driver” in absentee voting in this election.

Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus is also expecting positive results with voter turnout, despite an absence of a presidential race or local hot-button issues on the ballot.

“I think we really need to figure out ways to increase voter participation,” Dreyfus said. “Voters need to be informed, so it’s important to have an informed voter as much as a voter who actually takes the time and effort to vote.”

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