If the number of people casting ballots during the past two weeks at absentee balloting sites is any indication, Tuesday’s Seymour primary election will draw few voters.

Through Friday morning, the number of city residents visiting those sites at the courthouse in Brownstown and Jackson Superior Court I in Seymour had reached 60.

The lack of interest in this year’s primary likely stems from the fact that there are just three races on the ballot.

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The Democrats have no races on the ballot, while the Republicans have just three races to determine nominations for four city council seats.

The contested races include Republicans Darrin R. Boas, Dovie Stidham and Kendra Zumhingst competing for the party’s two at-large city council nominations for the Nov. 3 general election; Republicans Kurt Newkirk, Matt Nicholson and David L. Pollert, who want to represent the party in the District 3 council race in the general election; and Republican incumbent Jim Rebber facing a challenge from newcomer Philip “Phil” Hardwick for the District 4 council seat.

Republicans running unopposed include Mayor Craig Luedeman, clerk-treasurer Fred Lewis and District 2 Councilman Brian “Bubba” D’Arco.

The three Democrats who filed declarations of candidacy earlier this year also are running unopposed. They are at-large Councilman Lloyd Hudson, incumbent District 1 Councilman John J. Reinhart and political newcomer Tammy Riordan. Their names will appear on the primary ballot along with the Republicans who are running unopposed.

Two independents have filed declarations of candidacy but are running unopposed. Their names will not show up on the ballot until the general election.

They are District 5 Councilman Dave Earley and political newcomer Shawn Malone, who is seeking an at-large council seat.

County Clerk Amanda Lowery said a change in state law since the last municipal elections in 2011 requires Democratic and Republican candidates to appear on the ballot even if their race is uncontested.

“Every candidate (on the ballot) must receive at least one vote in the primary to win,” Lowery said. “It’s always been that way.”

She said the assumption is that candidates will at least vote for themselves.

Lowery said she doesn’t anticipate a large turnout Tuesday.

“We needed a big race at the top of the ballot,” she said.

She said she didn’t print nearly as many paper ballots as have been printed in the past.

Poll workers received their training Thursday at the courthouse, and for some it was a new experience.

“It was new and kind of nerve-racking but we all got through it,” Larry Shelley of Seymour said. “It was a good experience.”

Bethany Woods of Seymour has been working at the polls since the 2012 election.

“I think it’s good to be involved in the community, and it looks good on a resume,” she said. “Plus we get paid, so that’s not bad either.”

Woods, who is studying accounting at Sullivan College in Louisville, will be an inspector this year, which means a little more responsibility.

“You never know how people are going to react to having an inspector younger than many of the workers,” she said.

Lowery said voting by paper or electronic ballots is pretty simple.

“You fill in the circle next to the name of the person you want to vote for on a paper ballot or you touch the circle next to the name on the touchscreen ballot,” she said.

The voting machines were put through a public test April 15 and passed with flying colors, Lowery said.

Now, she said she hopes they get a lot of use Tuesday.

“We’re just encouraging people to vote,” Lowery said.

By the numbers

Turnout

Year;Registered voters;Voters voting;Percentage

2015;11,763;????;??

2011;11,196;506;4.3

2007;12,257;2,612;21.3

2003;NA;2,115;NA

At a glance

Anyone planning to vote in Tuesday’s Seymour municipal election needs three things:

1) They must be a registered voter. To confirm your registration, call the Jackson County Voter Registration Office at 812-358-6120 or visit indianavoters.com.

2) They must live within Seymour city limits.

3) They must have a valid identification with a photograph, and it must be current through Nov. 4, 2014 (the last general election). It can be a driver’s license, passport or any identification issued by the state or federal government.

At a glance

List of candidates

Mayor

Craig Luedeman (R)*

Clerk-treasurer

Fred Lewis (R)*

Council District 1

John J. Reinhart (D)*

Council District 2

Brian “Bubba” D’Arco (R)*

Council District 3

Matt Nicholson (R)

David L. Pollert (R)

Kurt Newkirk (R)

Council District 4

Jim Rebber (R)*

Philip Hardwick (R)

Tammy Riordan (D)

Council District 5

David W. Earley (I)*

Council At-Large

Darrin R. Boas (R)*

Dovie Stidham (R)

Kendra Zumhingst (R)

Lloyd Hudson (D)*

Shawn David Malone (I)

*incumbent

Author photo
Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.