Nearly 1,800 Jackson County registered voters took the opportunity to vote in the weeks leading up to today’s Indiana primary election.

If you weren’t one of them, you will have a harder time avoiding the campaign workers touting their candidate at your polling site.

And you also may encounter long lines if the early turnout is indication.

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You haven’t, however, missed out on one of the most exciting primaries in a number of years as the 21 polling sites opened across the county at 6 a.m. today.

The polls will remain open through 6 p.m. to allow you to cast ballots for Democrat or Republican nominees for president, Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District seat and Indiana House and Senate seats. The biggest Indiana House race on the GOP ticket in the county features District 69 incumbent Jim Lucas of Seymour and Nancy Franke, an educator who also lives in Seymour.

Voters casting Republican ballots also will pick a nomination for one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats, three county council at-large seats, District 1 and District 2 county commissioners and the county treasurer and coroner.

Evan Tatlock of Seymour was one of those ahead of the noon deadline to cast a ballot Monday at the absentee polling site at Jackson Superior Court I in Seymour.

“I’ve been doing this,” Tatlock said of voting early.

He said it’s a good way to beat the possibility of standing in line, and he doesn’t have to worry about a campaign worker handing him a book of matches or some sort of campaign trinket.

Steve Bobb of Seymour, who also voted early, said he votes in every election and thinks it is important for everyone to do so.

“I think it’s our responsibility to play a role in our government … the people we elect,” he said.

Bobb said with all of the choices for president, it has been an exciting year, especially since Hoosiers are being told they might make a difference.

“ … because usually, it’s already determined by the time it gets to Indiana,” he said.

When asked who he was pulling for president, Bobb said just one word.

“Trump,” he said in reference to Republican Donald Trump.

Bobb is a contractor, and that’s one of the reasons he has been voting early in recent years.

“I’m out of town a lot,” he said.

Judge Connie Morrighan said turnout at the early polling site at Seymour had been strong.

“We had a hundred people on Saturday,” she said.

Monday started out slowly, she said.

“It’s been slow but steady,” Morrighan said. “I expected it to be busier.”

Jackson County Clerk Amanda Lowery has decided that the courthouse in Brownstown will not open until 7 p.m. today to give precinct workers a chance to deliver the results there.

Parking along Sugar Street on the east side of the courthouse also will be reserved for poll workers delivering results.

Lowery said it looks like a lot of people decided to vote early in anticipation of lines today at polling sites, although some, like Tatlock, said they also wanted to avoid poll workers.

Lowery said she wouldn’t be surprised if there were lines at polling sites even after they close at 6 p.m.

“I’ve told my workers to watch their 50-foot chutes,” she said. Anyone within the chute at closing time is allowed to cast a ballot, Lowery said.

Republican Party chairwoman Melissa Acton said early voting is up because of the state’s role in the presidential race.

“We will see a large number of Republican ballots this primary simply because of all of the challenged Republican races from the local level up,” she said.

The only Democratic Party races on the ballot are the ones for president featuring Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District seat featuring Bob Kern, James McClure Jr., Bill Thomas and Shelli Yoder.

Acton said there a lot of different dynamics in play in the GOP presidential race that pits Trump against Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Six other candidates had their names placed on the ballot but have since dropped out.

“Trump supporters are frustrated with a broken system, and while they might not all agree on policy specifics — heck, they aren’t even all Republicans — they have definitely united behind this candidate,” she said.

Acton said voters are angry and lashing out, and anger is a strong motivator when it comes to getting voters to the ballot box.

Democrat Party chairwoman Jeanette Hackman said she expected a moderate turnout since the Democrats running for county-wide offices have no opposition.

As a Clinton support, Hackman said she did expect her candidate race with Sanders to generate some extra turnout.

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Previous presidential primary election voting activity

Year;Registered voters;Votes casts;Percent





2016;30,023;(1,797 absentee);NA

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

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

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Anyone planning to vote in today’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

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.

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The Tribune staff plans to publish election news and photos throughout the day and results online at as soon as they are released.


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