Voting has deep meaning for Seymour citizens

Election Day was a big deal for Seymour resident Jennifer Hopkins.

At 36, she cast her vote for the first time in Tuesday’s primary municipal election.

Hopkins, who is originally from California, said she struggled so much in the past with drug addiction that voting was never even a thought.

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“It wasn’t until the last election when the sheriff was voted on that it hit me, ‘Why am I not voting?’” she said.

She made it a priority this year, heading to the polls with her husband, Mark.

“I love this town, and I feel very privileged to be able to have a say in the direction it’s going,” she said. “I was held captive in active addiction my whole adult life that being able to vote has an even deeper meaning for me.”

Michael Goodpaster of Seymour also voted in his first city election Tuesday.

“I’ve always lived outside of town, so I’ve never been able to vote for city officials before,” he said.

Even though there weren’t a lot of decisions to make on the ballot, Goodpaster said he still felt it was important.

“We only had about three people to vote for on my ballot, but it’s still worth the time to vote,” he said. “It’s nice to know I have a say in what happens here locally. Sometimes, we feel like our voice doesn’t matter in the national scene, but if we start here locally, we can work our way up.”

Christy Newkirk of Seymour said voting is how citizens get their voices heard.

“I think it’s important to be able to voice your opinion,” she said. “I am so proud to be an American where we are able to do this.”

Seymour resident Farron Dyer said voting is a Constitutional right, one he always exercises.

“You can’t complain about anything if you don’t vote,” he said. “Let your voice be heard, that’s what my father always told me.”

Denise Wischmeier of Seymour said it’s important to set a good example for the next generation by voting. She took her daughter, Zoe, 9, to the polls with her this year.

“My parents always taught me it was important to vote because it’s your chance to choose who will be your voice for the community, state and country,” she said. “From a young age, I always remember going with them, and it is important to me to take our kids.”

Steve Deweese of Seymour has voted in every election since he was 18 and plans to continue that streak.

“It’s our absolute duty. I can be pretty outspoken about politics, but my vote purchases my right to speak my mind,” he said.

This was a special election for Deweese as his friend, Matt Nicholson, was on the ballot for mayor.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” he said.

Seymour resident Heather Chase said voting is a responsibility as an American and a citizen of Seymour.

“Today’s vote was important as our outgoing mayor has led the city in such a positive way we need to make sure we elect the next person who continues to lead us,” she said.

Kelli Klakamp of Seymour said whether you’re a Democrat or Republican doesn’t matter because there are going to be big changes in city leadership with a new mayor and clerk-treasurer and possibly new city council representatives.

“I feel like we have a lot of good candidates for our mayor this year, so I wanted to do my part, my civic duty and make my voice heard by casting my vote,” she said.

Sandee Ramsey of Seymour said voting is about change.

“If you want to have a voice, then vote. If you want change, vote,” she said. “Not always does your candidate win, but that’s what America is all about. If you don’t vote, your opinion blows away like sand in the wind.”