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February 13, 2017



The CCC cannot, in good conscience, vote to raise taxes based on the referendum. I attended many IndyGo public indoctrination meetings. Never, once, was it mentioned that Red Line would receive priority over general, system-wide improvements to bus service, or, most importantly, that Marion County taxpayers would foot the entire bill. In fact, I vividly recall an IndyGo minion telling the audience, most of whom were opposed to Red Line, that the federal government would pay to pave College Avenue and Meridian Street, and how anyone could be opposed to that. That's no longer true, and Bryan Luellen's "confidence" that federal money will be coming is based on absolutely nothing.

That's setting aside all of the other IndyGo fibs and confabulations, like double residential and triple commercial property values, that Red Line would service 90% of area college students, etc..

If you consider the entire population of Marion County, the favorable vote was a mere 21%. The "no" and didn't vote results were about equal. There is no mandate here, but to the extent the CCC feels that the referendum means something, it should very seriously consider the representations IndyGo made to the public before the election that served as the basis for their votes. There has been a material change in circumstances, which invalidates the results. No way IndyGo can honestly claim any sort of mandate for Red Line, or even that Red Line should be prioritized over system-wide improvements to bus service, especially in transit-dependent areas of the City.

Karen Neiswinger

Referendum results by Marion Co. registered voters:

2016 registered voters = 715,154

Voter turnout = 370,498 (52.93%)

Of the 370,498 Marion Co. residents who voted, 191,989 voted Yes (51.75%); 131,426 voted No (35.47%) and 47,083 didn’t answer (12.7%).

Of registered voters: 26.84 percent voted Yes. No votes = 18.37 percent. Didn’t answer = 6.58 percent. (No votes and didn’t answer almost equal yes votes.)

Of registered voters in MC, only 45.22 percent (323,415) voted on the tax.

Referendum results by Marion Co. residents:

According to the 2010 census, there are 903,393 residents in Marion County. Population estimates for 2015 are higher 939,000. Using 2010 census data, Yes votes cast in November on the transit referendum equal 191,989 or just 21.25 percent of Marion Co. residents. No votes equaled 131,426 or 14.54 percent. There were 47,083 MC voters (5.21 percent) who chose not to answer the transit question. Of Marion County residents, only 41.01 percent of residents voted.

Data at: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/County/Clerk/Election/Election_Info/Pages/election-results.aspx

Jim Fuquay

Karen's comments are very insightful. However, they provide a general commentary on voting participation or lack thereof. The referendum results are just a manifestation of the bigger problem. Why don't people vote? Maybe because they don't think their vote counts when stacked up against the power of big donors and lobbyists.

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