Election totals not available because of heavy early voting


This has been an unprecedented year in so many ways, it should come as no surprise Tuesday’s election would be any different.

Nearly 68% of the county’s 28,648 registered voters cast ballots, or 19,377 people. More than 10,100 people, however, voted before Election Day, and there were so many that they couldn’t counted before press time.

County Clerk Melissa Hayes said the number of absentee ballots was twice as high as in the last presidential election in 2016, and that created the delay in getting them counted.

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She also said she had no idea when the counting of the absentee ballots would be completed.

The biggest races for countywide offices on the ballot were District 1 county commissioner and three at-large county council seats.

The only vote totals released Tuesday by the Jackson County Clerk’s Office in Brownstown are the 9,223 cast on Election Day.

As of press time, incumbent Republican Bob Gillaspy of Seymour was leading challenger John Schafstall, a Seymour Democrat, by 3,610. Gillaspy had 6,220 votes to Schafstall’s 2,610.

The District 2 commissioners seat also was up for election, but incumbent Drew Markel, a Brownstown Republican, was uncontested. He had 7,743 votes.

The six candidates vying for three at-large county council seats were Republican incumbents Dave Hall and John Nolting, both of Brownstown, and political newcomers Brett Turner, a Crothersville Republican, and three Seymour Democrats, Brad Smith, Scott Olsen and Yvonne Willhite.

Those preliminary vote totals show Hall with 5,560, or 26.8%; Nolting with 5,523, or 26.7%; Turner 5,173, or 24.9%; Smith with 1,693, or 8.1%; Willhite with 1,464, or 7%; and Olsen with 1,286, or 6.2%.

In the uncontested county races featuring all Republicans, vote totals were incumbent Jackson Superior Court I Judge AmyMarie Travis, 7,979; Auditor Roger Hurt, 8,015; Treasurer Kathy Hohenstreiter, 8,015; and incumbent Surveyor Daniel Blann, 7,890.

There was a steady stream of voters at most polling sites throughout the day, but the polling site at Reddington Christian Church did have some issues with voting throughout the day. Those issues were resolved late in the day.

Jeff Chalfant, a poll worker at Jackson 4 North, said there was a line of 14 people waiting to vote when that site opened at 6 a.m. in the former Jackson Superior Court I building on Seymour’s far west side.

“It has been steady,” he said. “We had the normal heavier periods.”

He said there were no major issues.

“Everybody’s being friendly,” Chalfant said. “They’re moving through. The ballot is kind of long, so it’s taking a fairly long time for each person to vote. Everyone is being patient.”

Inspector Jason Kuhlman at the Redeemer Lutheran Church polling site said there were short delays for those voting electronically.

“We’re getting low,” he said of paper ballots in mid-afternoon. “If we get low on those, we can just push people to the electronic ballots.”

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