Morrison authors municipal election bill to increase voter turnout, save towns money

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Monday, January 27, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 27, 2020) – The Elections and Apportionment Committee advanced State Rep. Alan Morrison’s (R-Brazil) bill empowering local legislators to move municipal elections to even-numbered years, which he said could increase voter turnout and save towns money on conducting elections.

Under the proposal, cities and towns with populations of 3,500 or less would be able to adopt an ordinance moving their elections of local officials to even-numbered years. Currently, municipal elections are conducted on odd-numbered years, separate from national and statewide races.

By combining them, Morrison said voter turnout would likely increase. The Indiana Secretary of State’s Election Division reported 23 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 2019 election, compared to 51 percent in 2018.

“We’re already seeing more Hoosiers vote in elections that include the president, governor and other high-profile races,” Morrison said. “If we want to improve the number of residents voting on who our elected officials are, we need to give towns this option to combine all elections on one ballot.”

According to Morrison, communities could also save money by moving their municipal elections to even-numbered years.

“Combining elections would save towns thousands of dollars in the cost of conducting elections on an annual basis,” Morrison said. “This is money that could be used to better fund community infrastructure or help stimulate economic growth.”

House Bill 1147 now moves to the House floor for further discussion.

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State Rep. Alan Morrison (R-Brazil) represents House District 42,
which includes all of Vermillion County and portions of Clay,
Fountain, Parke, Vigo and Warren counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.