Primary voting unfolds today

Tribune staff reports

Election day has arrived, but the only drama today might be how many people take the time to cast a ballot.

A lack of races at the top of the Seymour primary election ballot might lead voters to stay away from the polls, which are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A similar situation occurred four years ago when just 506 of the registered voters (4.3 percent) cast ballots in a primary that featured just a couple of city council races.

Democrats do not have any races on the ballot, while the Republicans have just three races to determine nominations for city council seats.

The contested races are 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 are Mayor Craig Luedeman, Clerk-Treasurer Fred Lewis and District 2 Councilman Brian “Bubba” D’Arco.

Melissa Acton, Jackson County Republican Party chairwoman, said she thinks there will be extremely low turnout today because there is no mayoral primary for either party.

“There are contested council spots, and I think you will see those go to whoever can motivate his/her base to get to the polls on Tuesday,” she said.

The three Democrats who filed declarations of candidacy this year 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.

Democrats have until June 30 to fill vacancies on the ballot.

Two independents have filed declarations of candidacy, but 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.

At a glance

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

  • Be a registered voter. To confirm your registration, call the Jackson County Voter Registration Office at 812-358-6120 or visit indianavoters.com.
  • Live within Seymour city limits.
  • Have a valid government-issued 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.