Huntington County voters turn out strong for 2018 mid-term election

Voters make their choices at voting machines lined up in the gymnasium of Huntington’s First Church of the Nazarene, one of six vote centers open in Huntington County for Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Poll workers report the lines continued throughout the day as people waited to cast their ballot in the midterm election.
Voters make their choices at voting machines lined up in the gymnasium of Huntington’s First Church of the Nazarene, one of six vote centers open in Huntington County for Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Poll workers report the lines continued throughout the day as people waited to cast their ballot in the midterm election. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Over 13,000 people in Huntington County cast ballots in this year’s general election, which represented a voter turnout of 55.75 percent.

It’s a figure that Pam Fowler, the county’s voter registration and election deputy, says she’s pleased with.

“I don’t think at first we expected that,” says Fowler. “But then when we saw what the turnout was for the early (voting), then we knew we could have a good showing on Election Day.”

A total of 5,824 people participated in the early voting period, which commenced Oct. 10 and concluded Nov. 5. On Election Day, Nov. 6, another 7,547 people cast ballots, bringing the county’s voter total to 13,371.
In all, there are 23,982 registered voters in Huntington County.

While the voter turnout was down from the 2016 presidential election, which saw 63.63 percent of the county’s voters cast ballots, it was an improvement on the 2014 midterm election, when 35.23 percent of the county’s voter base participated.

This year’s election cycle marked the third in Huntington County where voters cast their ballots at vote centers on Election Day, as compared to assigned polling places. Fowler says this election showed her that voters have finally adjusted to that switch.

“We’re not getting the amount of calls anymore saying, you know, ‘Where do I go?,’” states Fowler.

Of the six vote centers in the county that locals had the option of pulling the lever at, Fowler says Huntington First Nazarene Church, in Huntington, proved to be the most popular site, retaining a distinction it has held since the vote center system was implemented. Despite drawing the most voters, Fowler says citizens did not experience much of a delay at the center, with trips in line only lasting an average of 10 to 15 minutes.

“That’s fantastic,” she remarks.

While voters had several choices to make in state and federal races in the election, there was only one contested race locally. That race saw a field of three nonpartisan candidates vying for two seats on the Warren Town Council. Ultimately, incumbent Steven L. Buzzard and Carrie M. Miller claimed those seats, garnering 325 and 304 votes, respectively. The race’s third candidate, Michael Yoder, received 140 votes.

At the state level, a race for the District 50 seat in the House of Representatives saw incumbent Daniel J. “Dan” Leonard, a Republican, fend off a challenge from Democrat Jorge Fernandez. Leonard collected 10,140 votes to 2,872 for Fernandez.

A contest for the District 17 seat in the Indiana Senate saw incumbent Andy Zay, a Republican, beat Democrat Gary L. Snyder. Zay earned 6,797 votes while Snyder received 2,351.

In federal action, Republican Jim Banks won another term representing District 3 in the United States House of Representatives. Banks defeated Democrat Courtney Tritch, garnering 9,665 votes locally to Tritch’s 3,390. A race for the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs this election cycle saw Republican Mike Braun oust incumbent Joe Donnelly, a Democrat. Locals cast 8,879 votes for Braun and 3,699 for Donnelly.

A public question on ballots statewide received an affirmative answer. The question concerned the passage of an amendment to the state constitution that would obligate the general assembly to adopt balanced budgets for state government that do not exceed estimated revenues. Huntington County voters joined their peers across the state in approving the amendment, 9,211 votes to 3,096.

The following candidates won their uncontested local races:

REPUBLICAN
State Senator Dist. 19
Travis Holdman * – 3,153 votes.

Circuit Court Judge
Davin Glen Smith – 10,994.

Prosecuting Attorney
Amy C. Richison * – 11,060.

Circuit Court Clerk
Shelley Malone Septer – 10,927.

County Auditor
Jill M. Landrum – 11,040.

County Recorder
Vicki G. Pearson – 10,931.

County Sheriff
Christian E. Newton – 11,129.

County Surveyor
Jay D. Poe * – 10,670.

County Assessor
Terri L. Boone * – 11,104.

County Commissioner, First District
Rob Miller * – 10,902.

County Council, First District
Todd M. Landrum * – 3,126.

County Council, Second District
Kendall Mickley * – 2,696.

County Council, Third District
Raymond Keith Eller * – 2,367.

County Council, Fourth District
Kittie Keiffer – 2,769.

Huntington Township Trustee
Everett “EJ” Carroll – 5,167.

Huntington Township Board (three)
John L. Baker * – 3,510.
Tim Guy – 3,536.
Tammy Kline * – 3,644.

Jackson Township Trustee
Sheila Hines * – 1,502.

Jackson Township Board (three)
Wayne M. Fox * – 1,221.
Larry G. Lahr * – 1,131.
Steve Thomas * – 1,167.

Clear Creek Township Trustee
Jay R. Hammel * – 858.

Clear Creek Township Board (three)
Eldon L. Bruner * – 659.
Richard W. Michel * – 616.
Roger L. Warner * – 685.

Dallas Township Trustee
Julie Newsome * – 575.

Dallas Township Board (three)
Kyle Kitt – 444.
Eric J. Powell * – 405.
Katherine M. Yoder – 386.

Warren Township Trustee
Kathy Morton * – 260.

Warren Township Board (three)
Angie Landrum * – 225.
Lee J. Schmalzried * – 201.
Jack G. Sell * – 209.

Union Township Board (three)
William B. Armfield – 344.
Ron Goetz * – 447.
Neil R. Kline * – 388.

Lancaster Township Trustee
Thomas J. Allred * – 429.

Lancaster Township Board (three)
Linda S. Couch * – 356.
Richard D. Keiffer * – 320.
Terry W. Updike * – 336.

Jefferson Township Trustee
David Keller * – 252.

Jefferson Township Board (three)
Jon S. Smith * – 173.
Mark D. Vickrey * – 177.

Polk Township Trustee
Gary Miller * – 157.

Polk Township Board (three)
Renee Eisenhauer * – 126.
Angie Tyner * – 115.
Matt Tyner * – 117.

Wayne Township Trustee
Ashley Tinkle * – 187.

Wayne Township Board (three)
Kevin C. Killen * – 137.

NONPARTISAN
Roanoke Town Council (two)
Ryan Carroll – 594.
Troy Karshner * – 492.

School Board, Second District
Mathew Jay Roth * – 1,808.

School Board, Third District
Brian Warpup * – 1,581.

School Board, Fifth District
Gary McClellan * – 858.
* denotes incumbent.