CINCINNATI -- Less than one-third of Cincinnati voters went to the polls to elect a mayor and council Tuesday.
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.
I'd like to join w/ others to think about how we can boost voter turnout in city elections. I do have some thoughts, but certainly not all the answers. Seems like a focused conversation of smart people (definitely doesn't need to be partisan) would be a good place to start.
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.