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Absentee ballot requests, voter numbers on the rise

With the November General Election less than five weeks away, there appears to be an interest among potential voters, if the number of registered voters in Harrison County and the number of requests for absentee ballots are any indication.
Harrison County Circuit Clerk Carole Gaither said last Wednesday there are now 28,131 registered voters. There were 25,144 registered voters here for the 2000 presidential election.
That number is expected to increase, as persons have until Oct. 4 to register to vote in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Polling places will be open that day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
‘We’re getting a larger number request for absentee ballots,’ Gaither said.

Registered voters who know they cannot make it to the polls then can vote by absentee ballot. This includes persons who expect to be out of the county on election day, voters with disabilities or older than 65, those who have official election duties or whose regular work duties prevent them from going to the polls, and anyone who expects to be confined, due to illness or injury, or who cares for a confined person at a private residence.
Absentee voting can be done in one of three ways: by mail, in the clerk’s office, or with the traveling board.
Gaither said voters can request an absentee ballot by mail until Oct. 25.
‘They would have to send it back right away’ in order for the clerk’s office to receive it by Nov. 2, she said.
Absentee ballots will be mailed out beginning Oct. 4. Gaither said they will go to military personnel first then others who are approved to receive them.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, absentee voting can be done in the Harrison County Circuit Clerk’s office on the second floor of the courthouse in Corydon. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but voters should be in the office by 4:15 to allow time to complete their ballots.
The clerk’s office will also be open two Saturdays ‘ Oct. 23 and Oct. 30 ‘ from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. for persons to vote absentee.
Gaither said the courthouse is handicapped-accessible.
Voting by the traveling board will be scheduled between Oct. 4 and Nov. 1.
‘There’s no reason why someone can’t vote,’ Gaither said. ‘That’s their privilege.’
Besides voting for the President of the United States and on down to local officials, the General Election ballot will include three public questions and a judicial retention question.
The Corydon Democrat will detail those questions in an article before the election. Profiles of the candidates will begin next Wednesday.
Here is a list of contested races voters will find on the Nov. 2 ballot (* indicates incumbents):
President of the United States ‘ John Kerry, Democrat; *George W. Bush, Republican.
U.S. Representative, District 9 ‘ *Baron Hill, Democrat; Mike Sodrel, Republican.
U.S. Senator ‘ *Evan Bayh, Democrat; Marvin Scott, Republican.
Governor ‘ *Joe Kernan, Democrat; Mitch Daniels, Republican.
Indiana Attorney General ‘ Joseph H. Hogsett, Democrat; *Steve Carter, Republican.
Indiana Supt. of Public Instruction ‘ Susan Williams, Democrat; *Suellen Reed, Republican.
Indiana State Representative, District 70 ‘ *Paul J. Robertson, Democrat; Brian Thomas, Republican.
Harrison County Commissioner District 1 ‘ *James E. Goldman, Democrat; Michael A. Gregory, Republican.
Harrison County Commissioner District 2 ‘ Steve B. Haggard, Democrat; *J.R. Eckart, Republican.
Harrison County Council At-Large (three to be elected) ‘ *Carl E. Duley, *Carl L. (Buck) Mathes, Chris Timberlake, Democrats; Harold L. Klinstiver, *Rhonda J. Rhoads, Republicans.
Harrison County Circuit Clerk ‘ *Carole M. Davis Gaither, Democrat; Sherry L. Brown, Republican.
Harrison County Coroner ‘ Ernest L. Emily, Democrat; Stephen W. Hamm, Republican.
Harrison County Recorder ‘ *Barbara J. Mathes, Democrat; C. Wendell Smith, Republican.
Harrison County Surveyor ‘ William T. (Bill) Nichols, Democrat; *Thomas O. Bube, Republican.
South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees, Harrison Township (nonpartisan) ‘ Tom Goeller, *Sue Haake and Larry Hauswald.
For more information, contact the Harrison County Circuit Clerk’s office at 738-4289.