Primary sees soft turnout, no problems

Herald Staff Writer

The results were in and tallied by 7:28 p.m.

A relatively soft voter turnout lead to a smooth primary without any major problems, Dubois County Clerk Bridgette Jarboe said this morning.

“The morning started out a little busy. It wasn’t so bad. Just a lot of questions in the beginning, people asking, ‘Where do I vote?’” Jarboe said. Many voters had forgotten where their polling station was since the precinct redistricting in 2011. “It was a lot of reminders.”

Overall, 4,537 votes were cast out of 29,732 active Dubois County voters for a turnout of just 15 percent. Jarboe said the light participation was expected, as it was a non-presidential election and a May primary, typically known for having a lower interest.

“There was nothing major, nothing crazy throughout the day,” Jarboe said. “One gentleman tried to take a picture of his ballot, which is a Class D felony. We just told him, ‘Hey look, you can’t do that.’ It wasn’t a problem.”

Although Jarboe said Jasper Middle School, which was the polling station for six districts, saw a steady stream of voters throughout the day, many precincts had fairly slow action. St. Mary Church in Ireland hosted four precincts and had just 323 walk-in votes all day. Poll workers at Holland Methodist Church, home to the Cass 1 district, had only 38 voters. Many other precincts reported similar numbers.

“The joke was that there were a lot of good poker games going on,” Jarboe said.

The clerk’s office received 939 absentee ballots, either by early walk-in voting or by mail.

“That’s pretty soft to what we had in the presidential election. Almost 1,000 isn’t too bad,” she said.

In past elections Jarboe said officials have encountered issues with voter and tally machines, so she had extra machines on hand Tuesday. But they proved unnecessary. Even replacing a couple poll workers — one to illness and another to a family emergency — went smoothly.

“With the quieter turnout the poll workers were able to get their information to us and out the door fairly quickly,” Jarboe said.

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