Ada city council helps with ECU voter research project

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ADA, OK -- East Central University Political Science students met with the Ada City Council Monday night to propose a research project to study voter turnout in Ada.

Students will survey the public, and the council unanimously approved of the class project.

"We'll spread that word to try to encourage people to respond to the survey because the more people that respond, the better the results are going to be, and the better we can put that information to use," said Mayor of Ada, Greg McCortney.

Mayor McCortney says that voter turnout was very low in last month's election and was the lowest he's seen while in office with just over 600 votes cast.

But ECU Political Science Professor, Dr. John Ulrich, says this is common in small communities.

"Historically, communities have very low turnout rates in local elections," said Dr. Ulrich. "On the verge of 10 percent or less of those who would be eligible to vote. This is not unique to Ada, but it is unique to most small communities."

Ulrich is overseeing the project and says students will ask a series of questions regarding registration, voter history, and demographics.
Ulrich says the key to voter turnout is more citizen involvement.

"Trying to get more involvement in local activities, and certainly it starts with people turning out to the polls and voting," said Ulrich.

The students will start the survey shortly and will look to present their data to city council by the end of the month. Mayor McCortney hopes this information will help the city in future elections.

"I think that this survey will hopefully help us know how to better communicate what's going on, and talk more about the things that they're passionate about," said McCortney.

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