Lack of races leads to smaller turnout

Despite a lack of local races on the ballot, nearly one in four registered voters in Jackson County cast ballots in Tuesday’s general election.

That turnout came despite a lack of local contested races on the ballot.

County election board member Melissa Zabel Acton said although it might be a little hard to explain, there could be one easy explanation.

“It’s because of the economy, inflation and gas prices,” she said.

On Tuesday, 10,707 out of 28,446 or 37.6% of registered voters in the county cast ballots. In 2018, 14,828 out of 27,976 or 53% cast ballots during the general election according to preliminary totals.

The only contested local races on the ballot were the one for Driftwood Township trustee and the three-member boards for Driftwood, Redding, Salt Creek, Vernon and Washington townships.

In the Driftwood Township trustee race Republican Chuck Lowery outpolled Democrat Joan Marcott 199-89.

At the county level, the incumbent Republican candidates were running unopposed.

Those candidates and their vote tallies were Assessor Katie Kaufman of Seymour, 9,247; Sheriff Rick Meyer of Seymour, 9,113; Jackson Superior Court II Judge Bruce MacTavish of Seymour, 9,259; Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant of Seymour, 9,180; District 3 Commissioner Matt Reedy of Freetown, 9,157; District 1 Councilman Michael Davidson of Seymour, 2,481; District 3 Councilman Brian Thompson of Seymour, 2,194; and District 4 Councilman Austin Edington of Seymour, 1,917.

Other Republican candidates running unopposed for countywide offices were Amanda Lowery of Vallonia, clerk, 9,202; Jennifer Saucerman Isaacs of Brownstown, recorder, 9,251; and Jake Brown of Brownstown, District 2 councilman, 2,575.

Candidates running unopposed for trustee and their vote totals were Brownstown Township, Melanie Pottschmidt, 1,311; Carr Township, Steven Ingle, 297; Grassy Fork Township, Ronald Rieckers, 162; Hamilton Township, Staci Eglen, 483; Jackson Township, Jeff Joray, 3,566; Owen Township, Dirk Smith, 406; Pershing Township, Sharon Yost, 389; Redding Township, Bob Brock, 1,225; Salt Creek Township, Floyd Fisher, 88; Vernon Township, Scott Kovener, 428; and Washington Township, Sharon Reedy, 254.

Kovener and Reedy are both Democrats, and the rest of the trustee candidates are Republican.

The winners of the contested races for the three-member township boards were:

Driftwood: Republicans Blaine Bonebright, 230; John Hartley 220; and Matt Likens, 180; Democrat Gary Hackman 117

Redding: Republicans Mark Adams, 1,051; Sara Cunningham, 924; and Rocky Kaufman, 768; Democrat Mary Voss Burgmeier, 342; Libertarian Kevin Coryell, 199

Salt Creek: Republicans Judy Goforth, 78; Tom Smith, 66; and Kelly Shelton 54; Democrat Larry Smallwood, 40

Vernon: Republicans Mark Kendall, 545; Katie Masters, 533; and Roger Teipen 497; Democrat Lenvel “Butch” Robinson, 179

Washington: Republicans Shawn Acton, 298; Tyler Goodpaster, 264; and Bill Hiday, 200; Democrats Richard Darlage, 135; Terry W. Stuckwisch, 182; Richard Darlage, 135; Alan Pollert, 104

In the race for the Indiana House District 69, which will include Brownstown, Driftwood, Grassy Fork, Hamilton, Jackson, Redding, Vernon and Washington townships in Jackson County in 2023, incumbent Republican Jim Lucas received 6,750 votes compared to Democrat Chad Harmon’s 2,351.

In the race for House District 65, which includes Carr Township in Jackson County, incumbent Republican Chris May received 280 while Democrat challenger Kevin Goodman received 58.

Republican Dave Hall of Norman, who was running for House District 62 seat, gathered 824 votes, while Democrat Penny Githens of Bloomington drew 126 votes. That district includes Owen, Pershing and Salt Creek townships in Jackson County.

In the Indiana Ninth District Congressional race, Republican Erin Houchin of Salem finished with 8,210 votes; Democrat Matthew Fyfe of Greensburg had 2,034; and Libertarian Tonya L. Millis of Mitchell, 258.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Todd Young of Bloomington, a Republican, received 8,152 votes in Jackson County, while Democrat Thomas McDermott Jr. had 1,995 and Libertarian James M. Sceniak finished with 389.