Early voting for the May 7 primary election began Tuesday at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour.
It will continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays until Election Day.
Turnout on Tuesday, however, was sparse, as only six people voted. There are 10,338 registered voters into the city, according to the voter registration office.
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Jackson County Clerk Melissa Hayes expects that to improve the closer it gets to Election Day.
“It’s kind of hard to judge it because we haven’t had a mayor and clerk-treasurer race in a long time,” Hayes said. The last mayoral election was in 2007, while the last clerk-treasurer’s race was in 1991.”
Mayor Craig Luedeman, who is finishing up his third four-year term, decided not to seek re-election this year, and Clerk-Treasurer Fred Lewis, who is wrapping up his seventh four-year term, also decided against seeking re-election. Both men are Republicans.
The mayor’s race features five Republican candidates and three Democrats, while the clerk-treasurer’s race features two Democrats and three Republicans.
The Republican candidates for mayor are Nate Otte, 35, Thomas Joray, 59, Bridey Jacobi, 43, Matthew Nicholson, 41, and Matt Rowe, 43, while the Democratic candidates are Rexanne Ude, 61, Jim “Mike” Kelly, 61, and Tyler Henkle, 28. Joray is a former Jackson County commissioner, while Nicholson is a city councilman. The other candidates are political newcomers.
The clerk-treasurer’s Democratic primary features Robin Ann Carpenter, 47, and Kristine Hackman, 63, both who are political newcomers.
The Republican race for clerk-treasurer includes Darrin Boas, 49, Dovie Stidham, 63, and Sarah Hodapp, 29. Stidham and Hodapp are political newcomers, while Boas was appointed earlier this year to replace former at-large city Councilman Shawn Malone, who resigned to move out of the city limits.
There also are Republican primaries for the District 3 and District 4 council seats.
The District 3 race involves two political newcomers, Joshua A. Dailey, 43, and Chad Hubbard, 36, while the District 4 race features newcomer Seth L. Davidson, 35, against incumbent James W. Rebber, 73, who is wrapping up his sixth four-year term.
The only residents who vote for the District 3 seat are those who live and vote in Jackson 3 North and Jackson 3 South, while District 4 is comprised of those who live and vote in Jackson 4 North and Jackson 4 South.
Hayes said during the past few elections, more and more people have begun voting early — a trend she expects to continue this spring.
Early polling sites, however, have moved since last year’s midterm election, and that may be causing some confusion.
The Seymour site had been located inside the building housing Jackson Superior Court I on the city’s west side. That building closed at the end of 2018 after the court was moved to the new Jackson County Judicial Center in Brownstown.
The voting site is now located at the Jackson County Public Library, 303 W. Second St., Seymour.
The Brownstown early voting site, which had been located in the courthouse for years, was moved to the judicial center, 109 S. Sugar St., Brownstown, this year.
The move to the library in Seymour has given the county election board a little more leeway when it comes to setting early voting hours. In the past, the hours of polling sites were tied to the hours of the county-owned and operated buildings where they were located.
The library is open until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, so the Seymour polling site will stay open until 6 p.m. those days, Hayes said.
“We decided to do that to allow more people time to vote after work,” she said.
Hayes said the Brownstown polling site is required by state law because that’s the location of the clerk’s office.
She said Seymour residents with business at the courthouse could take advantage of the polling site there.
The Brownstown polling will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays beginning April 22.
The Seymour site also will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 27 and May 4, while the Brownstown polling site will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. April 27 and May 4.
Both sites will be open from 8 a.m. until noon May 6 but closed April 19 for Good Friday.
Libertarian and independent candidates will not appear on the primary ballot. Libertarian candidates are selected through a convention, and independents are selected through a signature process.
Towns will only participate in the Nov. 5 general election.
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Early voting began Tuesday at the Jackson County Public Library, 303 W. Second St., Seymour, and will continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays until Election Day.
A second polling site also will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays beginning April 22 at the Jackson County Judicial Center, 109 S. Sugar St., Brownstown.
The Seymour site also will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 27 and May 4, while the Brownstown polling site will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. April 27 and May 4. Both sites will be open from 8 a.m. until noon May 6.
Both voting sites are closed April 19 for Good Friday.
A traveling board for those who are homebound will operate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 29 through May 3 and the same hours May 6.
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Registered voters by precinct
Jackson 1 East;1,273
Jackson 2 East;1,027
Jackson 2 West;611
Jackson 3 North;801
Jackson 3 South;1,012
Jackson 4 North;1,416
Jackson 4 South;903
Jackson 5 East;1,175
Jackson 5 North;1,243