County’s early voting picking up

Early voting has picked up in Jackson County and is on pace to surpass 2012’s presidential election voter turnout, local election officials said.

A total of 693 people had cast their ballots as of Saturday ahead of the May 3 primary election. There are 30,023 registered voters in Jackson County.

In 2012, a total of 828 primary absentee ballots were cast here, said county clerk Amanda Lowery. Four years earlier, 1,068 people voted absentee.

“We are seeing a good, steady stream of voters at both early voting locations, and we currently have around 40 absentee ballots to mail out today (Monday),” Lowery said.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail was Monday.

Early voting sites are open through May 2 at the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown and the Jackson County Superior Court I building at 1420 Corporate Way on Seymour’s west side.

Lowery said she always expects an increased voter turnout during a presidential election.

“Presidential candidates receive much more media attention, and I think that helps bring the voters out on Election Day,” she said. “I also think that voters feel like their vote is much more important, or makes more of a difference, in a presidential election, as opposed to smaller elections involving just state and/or local elected officials.”

That’s why people who are voting on election day should expect polls to be busy.

“I’m sure there will be times when some polling sites are busier than others,” she said. “The morning is usually a steady time as voters are heading to work.”

Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are slower times, with an increase in traffic around lunchtime, she added.

“Probably the highest turnout is when people get off of work from 3 p.m. until polls close at 6 p.m,” she said.

Voter registration is currently closed, but will reopen May 17 to allow people to register to vote in the general election in the fall.

Those wanting to see if they are registered to vote may do so by visiting indianavoters.com or by calling the clerk’s office at 812-358-6120.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.