Early voting soars

GREENFIELD — Anthony Nicholas hoped to beat the crowd by voting Monday morning ahead of Election Day.

Not the case.

When he got to the Hancock County Courthouse shortly before the noon deadline to vote early, he was greeted by a line of more than a dozen residents with the same task on their to-do list.

Nicholas was one of the nearly 6,500 Hancock County residents who cast ballots ahead of Tuesday’s primary election — a 10-year record, said Janice Jones of the Hancock County Election Office.

Across the state, there were more early voters this primary election than the past two, including in Hancock County, according to the Secretary of State office.

In 2012, approximately 1,600 votes were cast early in Hancock County compared with about 900 in 2008, the last time there wasn’t a presidential incumbent seeking re-election.

Election officials have credited the increased turnout to the hotly contested presidential primaries for both Democrats and Republicans.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, while the Republican contest pits business giant Donald Trump against Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Though Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are frontrunners for their parties’ nod, the candidates haven’t yet earned enough delegates to secure the nomination.

Though Nicholas votes in every election, he said he thinks the interest in this year’s presidential race is increasing voter turnout. He decided to vote Monday so he wouldn’t have to worry about standing in long lines Tuesday, he said.

Indiana has a late primary compared with other states, and during presidential elections, candidates have usually already earned enough delegates to claim their party’s nomination by the time Indiana’s primary arrives.

Hancock County Clerk Marcia Moore said her office was hectic as staff accommodated early voters and prepared for election day. On Saturday alone, more than 1,000 residents cast early ballots at the four polling sites that were open for six hours, she said.

In the election office Monday, the phone lines were busy as staff took calls from residents with last-minute questions about Tuesday’s contest.

Twelve vote centers across the county are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Contested local races include Republican contests for two commissioner seats, three at-large council positions and county coroner.

County council incumbents Debbie Bledsoe and Kent Fisk are challenged by Ed Moore Jr., George Langston, John Priore, Scott Wooldridge, Dave Roberts, Martha Vail, Mark Lozier, Bob McDaniel and Steve Craney.

For coroner, Republicans Dan Devoy, Rudy Nylund, Joe Fortner and David Stillinger seek their party’s nomination for the position, currently held by Democrat Crystel Myers, who is not running for re-election.

The District 3 commissioner race pits Republican Brad Armstrong against Matt Holland. Republicans Randy Sorrell, John Jessup and Randy Harrison seek the party’s nomination for the District 1 seat currently held by Tom Stevens.

There are no contested Democratic races for local seats this primary.

In addition to the presidential race, there’s a Republican contest for U.S. Senate between Congressmen Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman.

There’s also a contested Republican and Democratic primary for the 6th District U.S. Congress seat.

Get results

Visit the Daily Reporter’s Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day Tuesday for updates on Election Day.

Visit greenfieldreporter.com for live results as they become available after the polls close.

Who's on the Republican ballot?

Residents who pull a Republican ballot Tuesday will have choices for federal, state and local offices. Here are the names you’ll see:

President

-Jeb Bush*

-Ben Carson*

-Chris Christie*

-Ted Cruz

-Carly Fiorina*

-John R. Kasich

-Rand Paul*

-Marco Rubio*

-Donald J. Trump

United States senator

-Marlin Stutzman

-Todd Young

Governor

-Michael Pence

United States representative – District 6

-Charles Johnson Jr.

-Luke Messer

-Jeff Smith

State senator – District 28

-Michael Crider

State representative — District 53

-Robert Cherry

County treasurer

-Janice Silvey

County coroner

-Dan Devoy

-Joe Fortner

-Rudy Nylund

-David Stillinger

Hancock County commissioner – District 3

-Brad Armstrong

-Matt Holland

Hancock County commissioner – District 1

-Randy Harrison

-John Jessup

-Randy Sorrell

Hancock County Council (three seats)

-Debbie Bledsoe

-Steve Craney

-Kent Fisk

-George Langston

-Mark Lozier

-Bob McDaniel

-Edgar Moore Jr.

-John Priore

-David Roberts

-Martha Vail

-Joseph Scott Wooldridge

* Name appear on ballot, but the candidate’s campaign has been suspended

Who is on the Democratic ballot?

Residents who pull a Democratic ballot Tuesday will have choices for federal and state offices, while races for local office remain uncontested. Here are the names you’ll see:

President

-Hillary Clinton

-Bernie Sanders

United States senator

-Baron Hill

Governor

-John Gregg

United States representative – District 6

-Danny Basham

-George Thomas Holland

-Bruce W. Peavler

-Ralph Spelbring

-Barry Welsh

State senator – District 28

-Ken Kern

State representative – District 53

-Nancy Tibbett

County council at-large (three seats)

-Rita Johnson

-Randy Jones

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.