FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Voters jumped over puddles and ducked under umbrellas to drop off their ballots Tuesday.
Jalyn Radziminski with Count Us In Indiana offered refuge from the rain outside the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne voting site, though.
“We’re just cheerleaders for people come to vote, make sure they have snacks and water because some people, they’re rushing, you know, they may skip breakfast to get the vote in before work or they may be skipping their lunch break to come,” Radziminski said.
Her organization walks voters through the entire process from registration to turning in their ballots.
“We do our election defense program, we help with a lot of voter education and voter registration,” Radziminski said.
Katie Zuber with Allen County Voter Registration says Radziminski’s efforts have at least paid off with the younger crowd because youth voter participation is up this year.
“We have been seeing a lot of under 18 - 17-year-olds that will be 18 by the next election. I think those numbers have definitely gone up,” Zuber said.
266,915 Allen County residents registered to vote this year, which is almost 17,000 more than in the 2018 primary election.
She thinks everyone should register to vote, though.
“Voting is not a marriage… you’re just casually dating. You’re gonna figure out what they vote for, what they stand for and, if that doesn’t align with who you are and who you stand for, then you can switch it up at the next election,” Zuber said.
As Chairman of the Election Board Dan Kensinger looked out his office window this morning, he knew what the rain would mean for voter turnout.
“Traditional wisdom in politics says that dreary, rainy weather can be a deterrent to turnout. Numbers can support that but it’s also an opportunity for people to come out and vote with fewer lines,” Kensinger said.
Radziminski was determined to round up anyone walking in the rain around Ivy Tech and send them to the polls.
“In Indiana, we’ve been in the bottom 10% in civic engagement and voter turnout for multiple election cycles in a row so instead of just registering, we wanted to make sure that people actually were able to show up,” Radziminski said.
Even though she couldn’t convince everyone to vote Tuesday, she will set up shop again during the General Election in November with the goal of rounding up even more voters.
Anyone who did not register for the Primary Elections can register for the General Election starting May 17.