With increased health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, county officials have taken steps to ensure the safety of voters for the June 2 primary election.
Extra safety precautions will be taken at in-person voting sites across Jackson County. These include voters being encouraged to wear masks, social distancing measures, poll workers wearing masks, Plexiglas shields that will protect voters and poll workers, voters will each receive their own stylus pen to use for signing in and voting, hand sanitizer will be available and equipment will be frequently sanitized between uses.
While in-person voting will continue, absentee ballots can still be requested until May 21 by calling 812-358-6120 or 812-358-6117.
Voter Registration Clerk Andrea Edwards there have been 853 requests for absentee ballots from registered voters through phone calls and email.
She also said she had received 150 applications from voters by mail and another 44 people have requested ballots online, which can be done at Indianavoter.com.
Early in-person voting will held at the courthouse annex, entering from the parking lot behind the Judicial Center at 220 E. Walnut St. in Brownstown.
Early voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 26 through June 1; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 30; and 8 a.m. to noon June 1.
Changes also have been made to polling sites.
The Jackson 4 North and Jackson 5 North precinct has been changed to the former Jackson Superior Court I building at 1420 Corporate Way in Seymour.
The Jackson 7 precinct has changed to Seymour Christian Church, located at 915 Kasting Road in Seymour.
The Vernon North precinct has changed to First Baptist Church, located at 401 E. Howard St. in Crothersville.
Jackson County Clerk Melissa Hayes said the Jackson 7 and Vernon North precinct changes were made because the previous buildings are undergoing ownership changes.
“Jackson 7 was changed before COVID-19 because its location was in the old Superior Court I courthouse and the county has the building for sale,” she said. “Vernon North was also changed before COVID-19. It was changed to First Baptist Church Crothersville. It was previously at Edmundson Mechanical. That site had to be changed because the building was sold.”
While those changes were not related to COVID-19, Hayes said the changes to Jackson 4 and 5 North were directly related to the virus.
“Jackson 4 North and Jackson 5 North both use First Baptist Church for voting. It just does not have enough space for social distancing requirements, and First Baptist Church thought they may be hosting Bible school that week,” she said. “It has since been canceled, so ironically, since the Superior Court I building is still county-owned and had not been sold, we moved the polling site moved to that building.”
Voters living in these precincts will be receiving a postcard with this information.
If you are unsure of which precinct you live in, that information can be found online at indianavoters.in.gov under the “visit my voter portal” section.
Contested races in this election include the president of the United States, primarily between Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden and current president Donald Trump.
Locally, voters will decide who holds various positions within Jackson County. District 2 Commissioner is between three candidates: Bob Gillaspy (R), the incumbent candidate, Kenny Pfaffenberger (R) and Dave Eggers (R).
There are three at-large county council seats available. In the running are Woody DeZarn (R), Dave Hall (R), who currently holds one of the seats, Thomas Joray (R), John Nolting (R), who also holds a seat, and Brett Turner (R).
Coroner will be decided between Ronald Cox (R) and Paul Foster (R).