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Secretary of State

Election Division > IED Staff > News > 2008 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: November 25, 2008 Official Turnout and Absentee Balloting Data Confirm Record-Breaking Election in Indiana

Contact: Jim Gavin
317-233-8655
Media@sos.in.gov

Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita releases statewide data showing more than 2.8 million voted

(Indianapolis) – Data compiled by the Indiana Election Division from official post-election reports filed by Indiana's 92 counties show 2,805,374 voters cast ballots for the November 4 General Election. This total number of voters equates to a 68 percent turnout of all active voters in Indiana.*

The newly released figures also reveal that 662,443 Indiana voters voted absentee, either in-person, via mail or by traveling board. A record setting 24 percent of ballots cast by Hoosier voters in November 2008 were cast absentee. This number far exceeds the previous record 262,550 absentee ballots cast for the 2004 General Election, when these absentee ballots made up only 10 percent of the total cast. Within that 24 percent of absentee ballots cast, the final tally of absentee-in-person ballots cast is 463,364 – a dramatic increase over the approximately 75,000 cast in 2006.

"Indiana voters continue to have more and more confidence in our election process," said Secretary Rokita. "The process itself is constantly evolving to accommodate the growing number of Hoosiers who wish to participate. Voters have more options such as vote centers and satellite voting and are responding favorably through their increased participation. Our success relies on our ability to work together as citizens to conduct our elections in a fair and organized manner."

A county-by-county report of turnout in the 2008 General Election can be found here.

Additionally, Secretary Rokita provided the following post-election updates:

IndianaVoters.com

As urged by Secretary Rokita, to prepare for Election Day Indiana voters made 2,202,844 visits to http://www.indianavoters.com/ in the five weeks leading up to Election Day 2008. IndianaVoters.com provides information on registration status and polling places, helping voters plan how they would cast their ballot in advance. In 2006, 995,794 voters visited IndianaVoters.com during the election season.

Indiana House of Representatives District 26 Recount

On November 18, 2008, candidate John Polles filed a petition for a recount and contest of the election for Indiana House of Representatives in District 26. By order of Indiana Recount Commission Director Brad Skolnik, election materials have been impounded by the Indiana State Police. Polles' opponent, Randy Truitt, has until noon, Tuesday, November 25, to file a cross-petition. If a recount is granted by the Indiana Recount Commission, the tallying of the ballots would occur in Tippecanoe and Warren Counties at a time determined by the Recount Commission.

The Recount Commission has until December 19, 2008, to complete a recount or contest for state legislative office.

The petition for the District 26 recount and contest is the only petition filed with the Indiana Recount Commission. The deadline for petitions to be filed by state or county political party chairs passed at noon, Friday, November 21.

Voter Registration Fraud Investigations

Secretary Rokita continues to communicate with local and federal prosecutors in Northwest Indiana to check on the status of the formal investigation of illegal voter registration forms submitted to the Lake County Board of Elections and Registration just prior to the October 6th registration deadline. Despite the prevailing integrity of the process on Election Day, he believes further action should be taken to investigate the criminal activity. He and his staff stand ready as subject matter experts in election law to assist prosecutors. In addition, the office of the Secretary of State is looking into possible instances of fraud in a handful of other Indiana counties.

Election Day Special Deputies Oversight

On Election Day, 21 Special Deputies, consisting primarily of staff attorneys and investigators from the office of the Secretary of State and other state and federal agencies, made unannounced visits to more than 250 polling locations in 26 Indiana counties to verify compliance with Indiana and Federal Election laws. Some visits were focused specifically on accessibility of polling locations for individuals with disabilities. The Special Deputies noted no serious incidents of violation or disregard for election laws. The results of the inspections are being reviewed and a complete report summarizing the results of the inspections will be presented to local election administrators.

Hoosier Voter Help Line

On Election Day, voters placed more than 2,200 calls to the Hoosier Voter Help Line. A vast majority of callers had general questions such as polling place times or locations able to be answered immediately. 195 calls required additional support from the Help America Vote Act team related to the following issues:

Poll Worker issues 40
Electioneering 30
Identification issues 29
Voting Machines 19
Voter Registration 18
Intimidation 16
Absentee voting problems 14
Miscellaneous 13
Long lines 8
Potential Fraud 6
Accessibility concerns 3

Secretary Rokita's Help America Vote Act team resolved issues on Election Day by contacting county election administrators, speaking directly with poll workers who had questions, or explaining various nuances of the law to those who called. Fewer than a dozen require post-election follow-up.

* As of November 4, 2008, Indiana had 4,514,804 total voter registrations, 4,136,305 of which were active registrations. The remainder were "inactive" registrations, meaning that the county voter registration office has received information that the voter may no longer reside at that address, but the record cannot yet be removed due to federal "motor voter" and state law or that the county voter registration office has neglected to remove the name, in dereliction of the law.

Media Contact: Jim Gavin: 317.233.8655 or jgavin@sos.in.gov.

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