By Kristin Rover
Voter turnout for the Nov. 5 election was lower than expected, according to Clermont County Board of Elections Director Judy Miller.
“We planned for 32 percent, but the way the absentee were coming in I knew we would be running lower,” Miller said.
Miller said 5,012 absentee ballots were turned in for the election and 30,666 residents voted on election day making the turnout 26 percent of registered voters.
“I was surprised,” Miller said about the turnout.
Miller said they were expecting turnout to be near 32 percent, which has been the trend for non-presidential election years.
“Back in 2005 and 2007 we ran 32 percent turnout,” Miller said. “In 2007 we ran an MRDD renewal levy. I was kind of projecting it would run about 32 percent.”
Miller said in 2009 the turnout was higher at 48 percent but they had several other issues on the ballot.
She said recent presidential election years have had a turnout of just over 70 percent of voters.
“It was 73 percent in 2012 and 72 percent in 2008,” Miller said.
Miller said as absentee ballots trickled in, she began to think election day turnout may be low.
She said 5,011 absentee ballots were returned of the 5,378 ballots that were sent out.
Poll workers throughout the county also said the election day turnout was slower than normal.
Miller said the election went well, especially considering changes that were made to polling locations and precincts.
“I think it went really well,” Miller said. “I have got to commend our poll workers. They did a great job at the end of the night closing the polls.”
Miller said they had everything scanned by 9 p.m. Nov. 5 and they were done with unofficial results around 10 p.m.
Miller said reducing the number of precincts and making a few changes to polling locations this year worked pretty well.
“Logistics was easier for us for the delivery of equipment,” Miller said.
Miller said the changes also saved money.
“In poll workers alone we saved $18,000 in just this election,” Miller said. “We had less units to deliver. It will be about a $22,000 savings to the county.”
Miller said they did spend approximately $10,000 this year to notify residents of the changes. She said that will only be a one time expense, and they will continue to save money one elections in the future.
Miller said they will open the canvas to begin the certification process for the general election Nov. 26.
She said the Clermont County Board of Elections will meet to certify the Nov. 5 election results Dec. 12.
For more information about the general election, or for unofficial results, visit www.clermontelections.org.