Absentee voter turnout going slowly

Voter turnout has been so slow since absentee polling sites opened Oct. 19 at Brownstown and Seymour that the four people manning those sites have had little to do.

As of Friday afternoon, just 3 percent of the registered voters had cast ballots for Tuesday’s general election, which features two races each in Crothersville and Seymour and one in Brownstown.

And most of those voting have done so by mail, according to election clerk Deseree McKain-Haurez said.

By Saturday afternoon, the walk-in total had reached 122 with 61 people having visited the courthouse in Brownstown and the other 61 stopping by the site at Jackson Superior Court I on Seymour’s west side.

Poll worker Carolyn Wolka, who has spent the past two weeks working the site in the lobby of the courthouse at Brownstown, said there may have been smaller turnouts for absentee voting in her 20-plus years of working absentee polling, but if there is she can’t really remember when.

The Brownstown woman said she and co-worker Marilyn Chadwell, of Freetown, have spent the time talking, reading the newspaper and watching prisoners being brought in and out of the courthouse for hearings.

The total number of people casting absentee ballots by Saturday afternoon included 196 who had mailed in ballots. The remaining 31 ballots had been cast by the homebound, who are served by a traveling board.

The majority of the early voting has occurred in Crothersville, where nine people are vying for five town council seats and there is a race for clerk-treasurer.

In fact, 161 of the early ballots cast have been by voters in Crothersville-Vernon Township precinct, which has 1,142 eligible voters. That’s a turnout of 14 percent.

Of those 162 votes, just five were cast in person, McKain-Haurez said. That’s understandable since one of the absentee voting sites considering the absentee voting sites are in Brownstown and Seymour.

Wolka said they had a couple of people from Crothersville come in to vote.

Those sites will remain open through noon today when in-person absentee voting comes to an in. Absentee balloting by mail will end at midnight on today. The traveling board also will be available for anyone wishing to vote.

One of the two Seymour races pits long-time District 4 Councilman Jim Rebber, a Republican, against challenger, Tammy Riordon. The other Seymour race is for the two at-large council seats. That race faces incumbent Democrat Lloyd Hudson and incumbent Darrin Boas, a Republican, facing challenges from independent Shawn Malone and Republican Kendra Zuminghst. Both Malone and Zuminghst are political newcomers.

The nine candidates for the Crothersville council seats include five Democrats: Brenda Holzworth, Nancy Hopper, Lenvel “Butch” Robinson, Geoffrey Walker and Robert  “Bob” Lyttle, and four Republicans: Chad Wilson, J.D. Woods, Jerad T. Sporleder and Danieta Foster. Robinson is the only incumbent.

Incumbent Republican Clerk-treasurer Terry Richey also is facing a challenge from Democrat NaLona Bush at Crothersville.

At Brownstown, the only race pits Republican Bethany Brewster, appointed to replace Ben Lewis after he moved out of town earlier this year, against Democrat Jim Weesner, a political newcomer, for the Ward 2 seat.

Voting begins Tuesday morning at 10 precincts in Seymour; three in Brownstown; and one in Crothersville.

In Seymour, voting will occur at six locations, Calvary Baptist Church, 120 N. Ewing St., Jackson 1 East and Redding Seymour City; First Church of the Nazarene, 311 Myers St., Jackson 2 East and Jackson 2 West; American Legion Annex, 414 W. Second St., Jackson 3 North and Jackson 5 East; Seymour Christian Church, 915 Kasting Road, Jackson 3 South; First Baptist Church, 505 Community Drive, Jackson 4 North and Jackson 4 South and Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 Gaiser Drive, Jackson 4 South.

Voters in the three Brownstown precincts will have to go the courthouse at 111 S. Main St. while voters in the Vernon Crothersville precinct will vote at First Baptist Church, 401 E. Howard St.

By the numbers

Number of registered voters

Brownstown;1,917

Crothersville;1,142

Seymour;11,816

At a glance

Polls at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 6 p.m.

Information: 812-358-6120

List of polling sites

Brownstown

Jackson County Courthouse, 111 S. Main St.,: Brownstown 1, Brownstown 2, Brownstown 3

Crothersville

First Baptist Church, 401 E. Howard St.: Vernon Crotherville

Seymour

Calvary Baptist Church, 1202 N. Ewing St.: Jackson 1 East and Redding Seymour

First Church of the Nazarene, 311 Myers St.: Jackson 2 East and Jackson 2 West

American Legion Annex, 414 W. Second St.,: Jackson 3 North and Jackson Five East

Seymour Christian Church, 915 Kasting Road: Jackson 3 South

First Baptist Church, 505 Community Drive: Jackson 4 North and Jackson 5 North

Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 Gaiser Drive: Jackson 4 South

Races on the ballot

Brownstown

Brownstown Ward 2:

Bethany Brewster (R)

James Weesner (D)

Crothersville

At-large council (five)

Brenda Holzworth (D)

Nancy Hopper (D)

Lenvel “Butch” Robinson (D)

Geoffrey Walker (D)

Robert “Bob” Lyttle (D)

Chad Wilson (R)

J.D. Woods (R)

Jared T. Sporleder (R)

Danieta Foster (R)

Clerk-treasurer

Nalona Bush (D)

Terry Richey (R)

Seymour

Ward 4

Tammy Riordan (D)

James Rebber (R)

At-large (two)

Lloyd Hudson (D)

Darrin Boas (R)

Kendra Zuminghst (R)

Shawn Malone (I)

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