The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County commends citizens on a significantly larger voter turnout than in recent elections and praises the County Clerk's office, Election Board and Poll Workers on an efficiently run election.

The overall turnout for Montgomery County was 60.53 percent. Of the 24,218 register voters, 14,659 voted. Sugar Creek Township led the county with 75.78 percent turnout. Other precincts in the "Top Ten" turnout were: Union 3-71.75 percent, Union 2- 69.48 percent, Union 6-68.41 percent, Franklin Township-67.11 percent, Union 4-67.08 percent, Walnut Township-67.01 percent, Union 7-66.45 percent, Union5- 66.06 percent and Union 1-65.99.

Crawfordsville 4 (formerly 3-1) led the city voting with a turnout of 65.43 percent. Other precincts with 60 percent or more were: Wayne Township 63.80 percent, Madison Township-61.68 percent, Brown Township-61.65 percent, Scott Township-60.48 percent, Ripley Township 60.25 percent and Coal Creek Township-60.00 percent. All but three of Montgomery County precincts had more than 53 percent turnout.

With this higher turnout, most voters in Montgomery County experienced a smoothly run election with relatively short, if any, wait to vote. This was in contrast to many areas in Indiana and other states at which voters had an hour or longer to vote. In some states, voters had to wait many hours. Much credit goes to careful planning and training of Poll Workers by County Clerk Jennifer Bentley's office with assistance of Deputy Registrar Karyn Douglas.

Montgomery County LWV again participated in a state League Poll Monitoring Project. Poll Worker were offered opportunity to complete a "Poll Worker Survey". In addition, League members served as Election Watchers in precincts throughout the county.

The goal of the project is to gather information about our local election system to help making voting easy and efficient to administer for poll workers and elections officials as well as assure that citizens have a voting experience that is understandable, efficient, and from which they have confidence their voters were counted.

The twenty-seven Montgomery County precincts needed assistance of at least 135 poll workers. Each precinct was staffed with an "Election Board" consisting of an Inspector, a Republican and Democratic Clerk, and a Republican and Democratic Judge.

The Poll Workers have a long day arriving at 5 a.m. to be sure polling place is ready for voters 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. While there were a few first time poll workers, a majority had worked one-five years. Some have served as poll workers for more than ten years. All who completed the surveys indicated they would like to serve again.

What responsibilities do poll workers have? Poll workers first set up the polling place before the polls open. Under federal and state laws, the polling place must be located in an "accessible facility" for elderly voters and voters with disabilities. The polling place must meet specific accessibility standards established under federal law. Poll Workers throughout Montgomery County were helpful in providing comfortable facilities for voters.

Poll Workers check in voters and explain to them how ballots are cast, explain the features of the voting system, and answer questions voters might have about the voting machines. When questions arose on Election Day, Poll Workers contacted the Clerk's office in the Court House to have questions answered and issues resolved.

Poll Workers were encouraged to include any comments, concerns, or suggestions on their surveys to help Clerk and Election Board further refine systems in the future. Our democracy depends on individuals willing to serve at the polls, and Montgomery County is fortunate to have so many civic minded citizens participate!

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, multi-issue political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to join the LWV where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement. For information about the League, visit the website or send a message to LWV, PO Box 101