Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

February 7, 2014

MARK BENNETT: HJR-3 referendum could draw voters off sidelines

Voters ages 18 to 29 could impact other races.

Most Hoo-siers skip a trip to the polls on midterm election day.

Statistics prove it. In fact, we’ve grown less and less inclined to vote in the midterms — as we call elections that are held two years before the next presidential election. Perhaps we’re too politically weary from the previous Oval Office campaigns to stomach deep study of candidates running for seats in Congress, the state Legislature or local offices. Maybe the public drama of a race for president is the only attraction strong enough to offset the cynicism or personal busyness that keeps so many Indiana residents from casting ballots.

Whatever the reason, a decreasing percentage of Hoosiers vote in non-presidential elections. In 1962, 70 percent of registered voters showed up. By 2002, it sank to 39 percent, and the midterm turnout levels haven’t risen much since.

This November could become an exception.

The ballot could include a referendum asking voters to decide whether to place a ban on same-sex marriage into the Indiana Constitution. State lawmakers are currently wrangling over the issue, known as HJR-3. If the Legislature approves the ban, the now-three-year process to amend the constitution enters its final step: the referendum on Nov. 4.

The presence of the high-profile referendum might inspire stay-home-on-midterm-election-day Hoosiers to cast a ballot. HJR-3 may be their main motivation for voting, but while they’re at it, those extra voters also would likely make choices in races for the U.S. House, the Indiana Senate and House, county sheriff and others. The extraordinary mix of voters might inject a dose of unpredictability into otherwise predictable races.

“It has the potential to do that,” said Andrew Downs, director of the nonpartisan Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics on the Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne campus.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: Legal marriages should be honored Legal marriages should be honoredAn eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.The couple has properly obtained a marria

    July 28, 2014

  • Right-to-work unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 27, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • LETTERS: Putting economics before responsibility Veterans, retirees need tax deductionsAre you receiving either an Indiana property tax Veterans Disability Deduction or an Over 65 Deduction? I was, however, this year I learned otherwise. My property taxes payable this year, as compared to the prope

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • CHEERS & JEERS: Livestock donations appreciated; what's a GMO? Thanks to folks at Kokomo BeachCarrie Giannakos, professional relations coordinator at Jarrell Orthodontics, sends this Cheer on behalf of the dental practice:“Dr. Kevin Jarrell and the team at Jarrell Orthodontics want to send a Cheer to the staff a

    July 26, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll