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Few contested races in Southern Indiana leads to low primary turnout so far

A vote sign outside the Clark County Judicial Center in Jeffersonville. Southern Indiana voters can cast ballots early through Saturday and Monday until noon ahead of the primary election.
Aprile Rickert
/
LPM
A vote sign outside the Clark County Judicial Center in Jeffersonville. Southern Indiana voters can cast ballots early through Saturday and Monday until noon ahead of the primary election.

With Indiana’s primary election less than a week away, clerks in Clark and Floyd counties say they’re seeing a lower than normal early voter turnout for municipal races, few of which are contested this cycle.

As of this weekend, Clark County Clerk Ryan Lynch said only around 300 voters had cast mail-in and walk-in absentee ballots ahead of Election Day — less than half of what the county saw around the same time for the last municipal election in 2019.

In Floyd County, Clerk Danita Burks said she’s seeing a slower turnout too, with around 130 mail-in ballots received and just under 450 early walk-in votes as of Monday.

There are fewer than 10 contested races in both counties, with most appearing on Democratic ballots. Turnout is also traditionally lower in non-presidential election years.

The clerks said it’s always important for voters to show up.

“We all have a voice in these local elections,” Lynch said. “And sometimes these local elections impact our lives on a daily basis more than some of the federal and state ones even do.”

Burks echoed that it’s still important to vote when there isn’t a “big ballot,” adding that “It would also give the candidate a guide of maybe how hard they have to work [in the General Election]...or not.”

Mayors in Charlestown, Jeffersonville and New Albany are all on the ballots this year, though only incumbent New Albany Democratic Mayor Jeff Gahan is facing a primary challenger, Dylan Rash.

Floyd County 

Besides the New Albany mayoral race, the only contested primary race in Floyd County is for New Albany City Council District 4, with Democrats Ken Brooks and Christopher Fitzgerald facing off next week.

None of the primary races in Georgetown are contested. Caucuses will be held by early July to select Greenville candidates to compete in the general election in November.

Clark County 

In Charlestown, only City Council District B is contested, with Republicans Ronald Blevins Jr. and Donnie Thomas in the race.

Clarksville has the most contested primary seats in the region, with voters choosing Democratic candidates for at-large seats, and in Districts 1 and 2, and Republican candidates in District 5.

Jeffersonville voters will select at-large Democratic candidates to go onto the General Election in November.

There are no contested races in the primary in Sellersburg or Utica, but those candidates will still be on the ballots.

Libertarian and Independent candidates are not in the primary, but can file for candidacy or be selected to run in the General Election by the July deadline.

Democratic and Republican party leaders also have until July to select candidates to fill any ballot seats that were vacant in the primary.

How to vote 

In Clark County, walk-in voters can cast ballots early in person at the Clark County Judicial Center at 501 E. Court Avenue in Jeffersonville. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to noon the Monday before Election Day.

New Albany residents can vote at the Floyd County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2810 Green Valley Rd., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to noon Monday, May 1. On Election Day, they can vote at any of the county’s five vote centers.

Indiana voters may also see different representation on their ballot this year after new district lines were redrawn during last year’s redistricting process. For more information on voting, including who is on your ballot and finding your polling location, go to https://indianavoters.in.gov/.

Southern Indiana candidates (those marked with an asterisk are incumbents):

New Albany 

Mayor — Jeff Gahan (Democrat)*, Dylan Rash (Democrat), Edward D. (Ed) Clere (Republican)

City Clerk — Vicki Glotzbach (Democrat)*

City Council, At-Large — Stefanie Griffith (Republican), Jay Papp (Republican), Scott W. Whalen (Republican), Maury Goldberg (Democrat), Don Unruh (Democrat)

City Council, District 1 — Jennie Collier (Democrat)*

City Council, District 2 — Adam T. Dickey (Democrat)*, Dan Coffey (Republican)

City Council, District 3 — Greg H. Phipps (Democrat)*, Darrell L. Neeley (Republican)

City Council, District 4 — Ken Brooks (Democrat), Christopher Fitzgerald (Democrat), David Aebersold (Republican)

City Council, District 5 — Louise Gohmann (Democrat), Ross Heinz (Republican)

City Council, District 6 — No candidate in the primary election

Georgetown

Town Council, District 1 — Jason Parrish (Republican)

Town Council, District 2 — Billy Haller (Democrat)*, Matt Nolan (Republican)

Town Council, District 3 — Doug Wacker (Republican)

Charlestown 

Mayor — Treva Hodges ( Democrat)*, Ruthie Jackson (Republican)

City Clerk-Treasurer — Donna Coomer (Republican)*

City Council, At-Large — Jennifer David (Democrat), Chuck Deaton (Republican)

City Council, District A — Bo Bertram (Republican)*, Rick Cannon (Democrat)

City Council, District B — Ronald Blevins Jr. (Republican), Donnie Thomas (Republican)

City Council District C — BJ Steele (Republican)*

City Council, District D — Brian Hester (Republican)*

Clarksville

Clerk-Treasurer — Ron Deatrick (Democrat), Aaron “A.D.” Stonecipher (Republican)

Town Court Judge — James “Jimmie” Guilfoyle (Democrat)*

Town Council, At-Large — Bob McEwen (Democrat), Mike Mustain (Democrat), Janne Newland (Democrat), David “Red” Worrall (Republican), Jennifer Voignier (Republican)*

Town Council, District 1 — Christian Barerra (Democrat), Tony Munich (Democrat), Tim Hauber (Republican)*

Town Council, District 2 — Kenny Brown (Democrat), Adam Rayborn (Democrat)

Town Council, District 3 — Ryan Ramsey (Democrat)*, Sally Clyatt Stock (Republican)

Town Council, District 4 — Karen Henderson (Democrat), Jamie Hudgins (Republican)

Town Council, District 5 — Laura Dement (Democrat), Troy Cox (Republican), Dustin Kavanaugh (Republican), Bob Stotts (Republican)

Jeffersonville 

Mayor — Mike Moore (Republican)*

City Clerk-Treasurer — Lisa Gill (Republican)*

City Council, At-Large — Scott Hawkins (Republican)*, Matt Owen (Republican)*, Malinda Colvin Mackenzie (Republican), Jim Moon III (Democrat), John Perkins (Democrat), Jacky Snelling (Democrat), Evan Stoner (Democrat)

City Council, District 1 — Dustin White (Democrat)*

City Council, District 2 — Bill Burns (Republican)*

City Council, District 3 — Joe Paris (Republican)*

City Council, District 4 — Scott Anderson (Republican)*, Albert J. Frazier Jr. (Democrat)

City Council, District 5 — Donnie Croft (Republican)*, Donna Reed (Democrat)

City Council, District 6 — Steve Webb (Republican)*

Sellersburg 

Town Clerk-Treasurer — Michelle Miller (Republican)*

Town Council, At-Large — Matthew J. Czarnecki (Republican)*, Nancy McDevitt (Democrat)

Town Council, District 1 — Scott McVoy (Republican)*

Town Council, District 2 — Randall Mobley (Republican)*

Town Council, District 3 — Brad Amos (Republican)*

Town Council, District 4 — Bill Conlin (Republican), Terry Langford (Democrat)*

Utica

Town Clerk-Treasurer — Patrick Glotzbach (Republican)

Town Council — Robbie DeArk (Democrat), Shelly Gaither (Democrat)*, Steve Long (Democrat)*, Gregory C. Morrison (Democrat), Wayne Spencer (Democrat), Greg Dennis (Republican), Frankie Garrett (Republican), Tim McDonald (Republican), Kasey A. Noel (Republican), Pam Watson (Republican)

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

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Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.