Editor's note: This letter was penned by Sean Gorman, the Democratic candidate for State Senate in District 36. Submit your Letter to the Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2014, Indiana was dead last in the nation in turnout of eligible voters. That year, only 28% of Hoosiers eligible to vote bothered to cast a ballot. The reasons are complicated and varied, but voter ID laws, polling location hours, and a belief among many that the system is rigged to only offer choices representing the very establishment they are disillusioned with certainly contributes to low voter turnout.
If you might not vote for any of the above reasons, I urge you to investigate your options for candidates who support changes that would improve our process of selecting representation in Indiana.
Ask candidates if they support: Same day voter registration, removing party affiliation identifiers from the election ballot, relaxing voter ID laws, increasing opportunities for third party and independent candidates’ ballot placement, longer polling hours, and increasing opportunities for early and absentee voting, in addition to campaign finance reform. These types of process improvements would not only positively impact voter engagement, but would also improve the quality of the candidates we get to choose from when we show up to vote, which in turn would improve voter turnout.
RELATED: Are you registered to vote? Check here.
Not voting is essentially affirming your support for continued voter suppression. If enough voters demand it, even when there are only establishment candidates to choose from, we can make changes. We can affect change even under a system that favors the status quo. This year, we will have higher turnout than in 2014 due to the Presidential election, but the down ballot races are also important and impact our future enormously. Will Indiana rank last in voter turnout again?