Posted on

Absentee voting gets election off to brisk start

If absentee voting holds true to form this year, the turnout in the Nov. 7 General Election should be greater than usual.
Clerk Sherry Brown, secretary of the Harrison County Election Board, said yesterday 750 absentee votes had been cast as of Monday. That’s about double the amount of absentee voters in the Spring Primary.
‘I’m hearing folks say that it will be low, but if the turnout at the polls is like the absentee has been, we will have a good turnout,’ Brown said.
Overall, the percentage of voter turnout should go up because the poll lists have been cleared of duplicate registrations and persons who have died, Brown said.
As a result, there are 26,950 registered voters now compared to 28,611 in the spring.
Election evening could run late for anyone watching the vote count, if returns take as long to be counted as in the spring when a computerized reader broke down and results were hand tallied.
Brown said she expected to receive a new memory reading pack yesterday to replace one that didn’t work during a recent test of the equipment. ‘All of the memory packs read correctly but didn’t want to communicate with the computer that merges the ballots with the electronic machines,’ Brown said.
Some 230 workers have been hired to keep the polls running smoothly.
‘All slots are filled right now,’ Brown said yesterday. Clerks and assistant clerks will be paid $100 for the day, judges, $125 and inspectors, $150.
Workers also attended a mandatory training session, for which the pay is included in the pay for election day.
Voters must provide either a state or federal photo identification card to poll workers before they will be allowed to vote. Either a driver’s license, state college student card or military identification card would suffice as long as it includes a picture. The name doesn’t have to be identical to the one on the poll list, but it must conform. For instance, Robert L. Smith on one would suffice if the other reads Bob L. Smith.
No electioneering will be allowed within 50 feet of the entrance to any polling place, Brown said.
With the tight race expected in the Congressional Ninth District between incumbent Mike Sodrel, Republican, and Baron Hill, Democrat, Brown said challengers, also called poll watchers, can be expected to visit the polls.
In that event, she said poll watchers can enter the polling places at 5:30 a.m. and can leave and return throughout the day.
‘All they are allowed to do is ask the voter for their name and then look at the poll book to see if the name is on the list,’ Brown said.
‘If anyone is harassing the voter, call the clerk’s office or the sheriff’s department,’ Brown added. ‘I don’t want any voter to feel intimidated.’
Should any problems or questions arise, election officials will be on hand in the clerk’s office throughout the day.
The Harrison County Election Board includes Brown, by virtue of her office, and Edith Davis, R-Corydon, and Edith Richards, D-New Salisbury.
Races with opposition (asterisk denotes incumbent) for Harrison County positions include:
Assessor ‘ Lorena Stepro (D); John Timberlake (R)
Auditor ‘ *Patricia Wolfe (D); Karen Engleman (R)
Commissioner, District 3 ‘ Terry Miller (D); *James A. Heitkemper (R)
Council, District 1 ‘ Leslie Robertson (D); Bill Watts Jr. (R)
Council, District 2 ‘ William T. (Bill) Nichols (D); *Gary Davis (R)
Council, District 3 ‘ J. Gordon Pendleton (D); Bruce Fry (R)
Council, District 4 ‘ Matt Hubler (D); *Ralph Sherman (R)
Sheriff ‘ *Mike Deatrick (D); Stephen Priest (R)
Candidates for township trustee positions include:
Harrison ‘ *C. Cecil Trobaugh (D); Stewart Kopp (R)
Jackson ‘ *Joseph E. Martin (D); Steve Camenisch (R)
Posey ‘ Steven Smith (D); Kimberly K. Wiseman (R)
Webster ‘ *Merlin (Dick) Lillpop (D); Jeff Dangler (R)
Candidates for state and federal races include:
District 70, State Representative ‘ *Paul Robertson (D); Christopher Byrd (R)
Indiana State Senator, District 47 ‘ *Richard D. Young Jr. (D); Brian C. Thomas (R)
U.S. Senator ‘ *Richard G. Lugar (R); Steve Osborn (L)
Indiana Secretary of State ‘ Joe Pearson (D); *Todd Rokita (R); Mike Kole (L)
Auditor of State ‘ Judy Anderson (D); Tim Berry (R)
Treasurer of State ‘ Michael W. Griffin (D); Richard E. Mourdock (R)
U.S. Representative, District 9 ‘ Baron P. Hill (D); *Mike Sodrel (R); D. Eric Shansberg (L)