Low Voter Turnout in Midland County

Low Voter Turnout in Midland County

Midland County is expecting a 10 percent voter turnout during this year’s election.
Midland County is expecting a 10 percent voter turnout during this year’s election.

“Anything other than a Presidential election we're doing good to get, sometimes we're doing good to get 10 percent of the registered voters in Midland County,” said Ruth Sloan, elections administrator for Midland County.

As of Thursday, the county had 398 democrats and 5,773 republicans cast their votes.

And despite having a higher turnout, republicans say they are struggling to get voters ages 21-44 out to the polls.

“They are pretty conservative. In fact some of them are way more conservative than I am,” said James Beauchamp, the Midland County Republican Party. “The reason they are not participating is that they are thoroughly convinced that their involvement won't make a difference.”

Democrats agree.

“I think people in non-presidential elections just feel like their votes don't count,” said Leah Payne, Vice Chair Midland County Democratic Party.

To help address the issue, the county set up 5 early voting locations and 15 joint primary voting locations. In these locations, both democrats and republicans can vote.

“As of yesterday we had met the same amount that we voted in 2010 including the ballots by mail,” Sloan said.

But despite the higher numbers, voter turnout expectation is low.
“I expected it to be a little heavier because we do have several contestant races locally or county-wide and so it hasn't been as high as I expected,” Sloan said.

Party leaders say that despite the low numbers, the votes matter.
“You're going to be living the consequences of the decisions being made today,” Beauchamp said.

And no matter what party you belong to.

“This is something you get to have a say in,” Payne said. “This is where your voice matters regardless of what you think, your voice matters especially with the county races that we have going on.”

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