What low voter turnout costs you

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(Photo WDTN/Kris Sproles)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The big winner on Election night was apathy as many people elected not to vote.

In all just more than 12 percent of voters showed up at the polls in Montgomery County on Tuesday. That compares to 23 percent of voters in the 2010 primary and 21 percent of voters in the 2012 primary. Turnout fell statewide as well.

“It’s something election officials look at,” says Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly. “We try to determine it based on the history. But there are also driving issues.”

Kelly says the lack of high profile races is one factor, but poll workers still have to prepare for the possibility of higher turnout.
So when voters don’t show up it can mean paying a lot of money for a small amount of votes.

“Eventually the taxpayer ends up paying that,” Kelly says.

Tuesday’s election cost about $540,000 to put on, but only about 45,500 voters cast ballots in Montgomery County.

That’s a cost of more than $11 per voter.

“I think we need to reach out more,” Kelly says. “Not only the Board of Elections but the Secretary of State’s Office, which is doing a good job, and schools as well.”

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