Final pitch

Thousands of Jackson County residents will head to the polls Tuesday to help their parties pick nominees for president, the U.S. Senate and House, the Indiana House and Senate and five county offices.

A Seymour couple, however, won’t be among that group because they — like hundreds of others — opted to vote early at one of two absentee voting sites.

The reason?

“She wanted to vote early,” Roy Rogers, 67, said of his wife, Vicki, as the two waited at the absentee polling site in the Jackson Superior Court I building.

That site at 1420 Corporate Way in Seymour and the absentee polling site at the courthouse in Brownstown are open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to noon Monday for those wishing to vote early.

Voting on Election Day begins at 6 a.m. and continues through 6 p.m. at 21 polling sites — three less than four years ago — across the county.

Vicki Rogers said she just wanted to get it done and over with.

She said she hasn’t voted often but decided to do so even though she didn’t view the slate of presidential candidates as being particularly good this year.

“I think it’s sad,” she said of the choices.

Roy Rogers said over the years, he has voted in every election, although never early until this year.

“I come out and vote because of the direction the country is going in,” he said.

He also had a firm idea of who was getting his vote for president.

“I’m going to vote for Trump,” he said of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Julia Newby, 47, of Seymour, said he agreed with Rogers’ pick for the primary and believes Trump can win the general election Nov. 8.

“I hope so,” she said.

Newby said she just happened to be in the area of the Seymour polling site Thursday and decided to vote.

“This is the second time I’ve done this,” she said of voting absentee.

Newby said she likes to vote early to save time waiting in line, but voting is something she tries to do every election she can because it is important to her.

The Rogerses and Newby were part of nearly 10 people waiting to vote Thursday.

“It’s not always been like this,” poll worker Anna Mills said of the line at the absentee polling site.

County Clerk Amanda Lowery said if the number of people who had voted early through Thursday is any indication, turnout Tuesday will be strong.

“We’ve had 1,276 people vote already,” Lowery said Friday morning.

That’s 448 more than the 828 people who voted early in the last presidential primary in May 2012. In 2008, 1,068 people voted early in that presidential election.

Lowery said it has been hard to gauge if there are a lot of new voters, “or people wanting to get it out of the way,” she said.

She does, however, expect there to be lines at some polling sites Tuesday, and there may be people in line after 6 p.m.

It wouldn’t take much for turnout to top the 2012 presidential primary when 22 percent or 6,282 of the 28,784 registered voters went to the polls. Four years earlier in 2008, 39 percent or 11,647 of 29,871 registered voters cast ballots. There are 30,023 county residents registered to vote Tuesday.

Lowery said her staff has been busy this week putting everything in place for the primary, including getting supplies and delivering voting machines to the polling sites.

“Poll worker training was completed last night (Thursday),” she said.

Because she expects turnout to be high, Lowery told those workers not to expect to have nothing to do Tuesday.

“They’re not going to be bored,” she said.

The reduction in the number of polling sites this year will save money, Lowery said.

“There will be three less inspectors and six less judges,” she said.

One change in the vote-counting process Tuesday involves the courthouse.

“We’re closing the courthouse until 7 p.m. on election night so poll workers can get in here and get their numbers deposited quickly,” Lowery said, noting that will help with counting votes.

In the past, the courthouse closed at 6 p.m. Three precincts, Brownstown 1, Brownstown 2 and Brownstown 4, vote at the courthouse, and the later opening will allow those poll workers a chance to finish their work.

Some clerks across the state no longer open the courthouse at all on election night, but Lowery said she’s not ready to get away from that tradition right now.

There will no longer be a large screen-type display containing vote totals, but those totals will be posted on The Tribune’s website at tribtown.com and the county’s website at jacksoncounty.in.gov.

If you go

Anyone planning to vote in Tuesday’s primary 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.

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.

Be a resident of Jackson County.

Voter ID information

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles license branches will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to issue identification cards and driver’s licenses that may be used for identification at a polling place.

Branches also will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.

The license branches only will process new, amended or replacement ID cards, driver’s licenses and learner permits.

The BMV provides free state-issued ID cards for voting purposes to any unlicensed Hoosier as long as he or she can provide proper documentation and will be at least 18 years of age on or before the next general or municipal election.

A complete list of documents required to obtain a new state ID card or driver’s license may be found at mybmv.com.

By the numbers

Previous presidential primary election voting activity

Year;Registered voters;Votes casts;Percent

2000;27,875;6,142;22

2004;27,826;5,638;20

2008;29,871;11,647;39

2012;28,784;6,282;22

2016;30,023;NA;NA

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