06/04/12 Secretary of State Connie Lawson Friday announced that 22 percent or 957,510 of Indiana’s 4.4 million registered voters cast a vote in the May 8 Primary Elections. The primary marked the first election for Secretary of State Connie Lawson as the state’s chief elections officer.

The complete 2012 Primary Election Turnout and Absentee Chart with voter statistics for each county can be viewed online at http://www.in.gov/apps/sos/primary/sos_primary12. The report was compiled by the Election Division of the Secretary of State’s office from voter data gathered in Indiana’s 92 counties. Although the 22 percent turnout was less than the 40 percent reported in the historic 2008 Indiana presidential primary, this year’s turnout was slightly higher than the 21 percent reported for May 2004.

This primary saw an increase in the use of cost-saving vote centers. As state senator, Secretary Lawson authored legislation giving counties the option to establish vote centers, which has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and reduce county election costs. The flexibility that vote centers provide may lead to increased turnout in future elections because individuals have more convenient voting options.

“As I traveled throughout Indiana on Election Day, I was impressed with how counties have deployed their vote center operation plans,” said Secretary Lawson.  Voters showed a positive reaction to the change and appreciated the flexibility in choosing where to vote.”

Furthermore, because vote centers consolidate multiple precincts into a single location, counties save on costs associated with hiring poll workers and purchasing voting machines and supplies. For example, Johnson County switched to vote centers this year, and is expected to save an estimated $60,000.

“It is my hope that after witnessing the success these counties have had with vote centers, other counties will choose to follow suit,” said Secretary Lawson. “The savings to taxpayers and increased flexibility for voters are significant.”

Blackford, Johnson and Switzerland counties used vote centers for the first time this election cycle, while Tippecanoe, Cass, and Wayne counties continued the practice after successful elections in previous years. Vanderburgh County also established countywide vote centers after a positive experience with the Evansville Municipal Election. Counties continue to learn from experience, and further refine the administration of the vote center process.