Fewer than half of Johnson County voters will be allowed to cast a ballot this fall.
Only residents in the city of Greenwood and the towns of Bargersville, Whiteland and Edinburgh are eligible to vote.
Franklin residents won’t be voting this year for the first time in recent history.
This year’s election is only for residents who live in a city or town. And if there are no contested races for mayor, city or town council or clerk-treasurer, voters will not be casting a ballot. That also goes for New Whiteland, Prince’s Lakes and Trafalgar.
“It’s just a cost to the taxpayers; it would just be a futile practice,” Johnson County Clerk Susie Misiniec said.
That means out of the more than 100,000 registered voters in Johnson County, only 47,000 will be eligible to vote in the general election this year, according to the voter registration office.
The lack of contested races will save money but is also a disappointment, Misiniec said.
“I really think it’s a shame,” Misiniec said. “That’s the process, and we need to go through it. I wish we did have some other candidates.”
And even in the communities with an election this fall, few races are contested.
In Greenwood, three of nine city council seats have contested races. The mayor was uncontested in his bid for re-election this year, and the race for the clerk position was decided in the spring.
In Whiteland, Edinburgh and Bargersville, voters will cast ballots in only one or two races.
Election officials are already preparing for significantly fewer vote centers and fewer workers to be needed at the polls.
Typically, the county brings early voting to the largest senior living communities in Johnson County. Not this year. Only Greenwood Senior Living will be on that list, Misiniec said.
Misiniec said she expects voters to have some confusion about the change. Municipal elections often bring questions from voters when they are not eligible to vote because they don’t live in city or town limits, she said.
“I think we will have problems, especially in the city of Franklin, just because they have always had an election,” she said.
Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness, who was not contested in his bid for re-election to a second term, said not voting will be an adjustment.
“I don’t remember last time Franklin didn’t have an election,” he said.
Here is a look at what races you will be voting in this fall:
Town council at-large
Town council at-large
City council at-large
City council district 3
City council district 4
Town council ward 3
SOURCE: Johnson County Voter Registration