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Dismal Election Turnout Could Change with Redistricting Secretary of State Says

photo of a voting machine
A machine stands ready for voters to cast ballots.

Ohio’s top elections official says he’s still bothered that only a little over a quarter of the state’s registered voters cast ballots in last week’s election. He thinks changing the maps for elected officials’ districts will help get voters more interested.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose says the state has made it easy for people to vote, but the turnout last week was still too low. He says people tend to turn out more for hotly contested races. 

“You know, a local mayor’s race or a city council race or a school board levy that people are all fired up about. That tends to turn people out," he says. "And that’s one of the reasons I’m excited about the congressional redistricting reform that we are doing. I think we could end up with more competitive districts as a result of that.”

LaRose, a veteran, is also calling on those who also served in the military to run for office, help out at polls and encourage more participation in elections.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.