The Herald Bulletin

November 7, 2012

A few problems, some delays on Tuesday

By Dani Palmer and Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — With national races and important topics, Madison County saw 56 percent of registered voters turn out for Tuesday’s general election.

Barbara Hutton, Republican chairwoman of the Madison County Election Board, said polls “quieted down” in the evening with just “run-of-the-mill” issues at closing, such as calls regarding what envelope to use or what form.

According to unofficial results from the county clerk’s office, 53,047 cast ballots in Madison County, where there are 94,766 registered voters. Polls opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 6 p.m. About 20,400 voters cast straight-party tickets, with 11,265 of those being Democratic. Final results were posted on the clerk’s website about 8:30 p.m.

But throughout the day, she said, townships such as Jackson and Monroe saw heavy turnout. At one point, near noon, voters waited in line about an hour in Jackson Township.

“Most places were steady with a few lines,” Hutton said. “Some were hectic.”

Bret Callender voted for the first time and said it felt good.

The 31-year-old Anderson man said he was influenced to vote because so many across the country are having their rights challenged.

“That undermines the entire idea of democracy,” said Callender, who cast his ballot Tuesday in Anderson.

He said the presidential race seemed like the most important one because the race is heavily rooted in ideas.

“I have an idea of how the country should be run,” Callender said. “I want to have a say in who does that.”

A glitch caused some problems for Union Township early in the day after a voter reported being turned away along with everyone else in Precinct 2 because they had supposedly already voted absentee. But Hutton reported no other voting site problems — just standard calls about registration and where to vote.

Hutton said Union must have received the wrong list because of a “printing glitch” from the voter registration office but that the problem was “ironed out” quickly.

The voter registration phone system, though, did have some issues with callers unable to get through early in the day, Hutton said, and a repair person had to be called out to take a look at the phone lines.

Troy Knight wanted to make a difference, and his way to do that was by voting. The Anderson man said the most important races to him are president, governor and school board.

“With the state of America and our economy, it is important to get out and vote,” Knight said.

Adrienne Lee, of Anderson, said it was important for her voice to be heard.

“There were a lot of people who fought hard for the right for women and blacks to be able to vote,” said Lee, who is black. “There was a long time they couldn’t vote.”