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Less than one-third of Cincinnati voters hit the polls on Election Day

Posted at 4:30 AM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 07:24:23-05

CINCINNATI -- Less than one-third of Cincinnati voters went to the polls to elect a mayor and councilTuesday. 

Voter turnout in the city was about 28 percent, according to Sherry Poland, director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections. That's about the same as it was four years ago, when 29 percent of voters went to the polls.

Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld, who won his bid for re-election with the most votes of any council candidate Tuesday, took to Twitter to talk about why most don't vote.

Sittenfeld said he thinks turnout could be a matter of messaging.

"Somehow, there's so much noise out there, that the right signal isn't cutting through," he said.

Poland said there's sometimes a higher turnout when there's a controversial ballot issue, like the marijuana issue in 2015 or the issue of whether or not to build a casino in Hamilton County.

"Statewide issues sometimes generate a higher turnout," she said.

But this year's statewide issues didn't seem to move the needle.

It seemingly should be easier to vote now in Ohio. Absentee voters used to need an excuse, but that's no longer necessary, Poland said. There's also online voter registration, but neither initiative has increased turnout.