Republicans benefit from strong regional turnout
Election Day voter turnout numbers for Allen County were unknown early today. But surrounding counties reported turnout numbers in excess of 50 percent of registered voters, ranging from 60.36 percent in Adams County to 49.5 percent in DeKalb County.
Reported voter figures show 55.75 percent of registered voters voted in Huntington County; 51.76 percent in Kosciusko County; 51.2 percent in Noble County; 54.12 percent in Steuben County; 59.11 percent in Wells County and 59.82 percent in Whitley County.
Many polling locations reported long lines Tuesday.
Although final voter turnout was not yet known, Election Day appeared to be a big night for Allen County Republicans, as Democrats lost most competitive state and local races.
“I think it has helped the Republican Party as you look at the results,” said Steve Shine, head of the Allen County GOP. “All of the big races were won by Republicans in Allen County.”
Given Tuesday’s results, Shine said he can’t help but question the legitimacy of the Allen County Democratic Party.
“I applaud them for their efforts, but with everything they have done to organize, with all of their get-out-the-vote efforts, with all of their registration efforts they undertook early on, they were woefully behind the Republicans,” Shine said.
Although several races did not favor Democrats on Tuesday, Misti Meehan, chairwoman of the Allen County Democratic Party, said she was happy with the turnout and happy that people were engaged and participating in the democratic process.
“We had a large number of people that have never participated in a political process, whether that means they never worked on a campaign, never voted or never followed what’s going on,” Meehan said. “We have a lot more educated people because we had so many local candidates who got involved and brought people with them.”
Meehan described the process as “a marathon, not a sprint.”
“We are definitely celebrating our wins,” Meehan said. “Every time you get someone registered, every time you get another person involved, that’s a win and we’re celebrating that.”