INDIANAPOLIS — With a sense of obligation to vote, and concerned about the economy, a trickle of Indiana residents cast ballots Tuesday in a primary election lacking a galvanizing issue or marquee statewide races.
For those drawn out by any specific issue, it was the economy, even though Indiana's unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in March, well below the national level and some of its neighboring Midwest states.
Chaka Coleman, 29, a homemaker who voted at Allisonville Elementary School in Indianapolis with her 3-month-old baby girl, said she believes politicians embellish the economic statistics.
"There's a lot of places that have very high unemployment and a lot of people that just simply quit trying to find work," she said.
The 2014 primary campaign has been far quieter than 2012, when tea-party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock defeated longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in the GOP primary. Mourdock went on to lose in the November general election.
Turnout on Tuesday was light though workers in some precincts said that was typical for a midterm election. At one location at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, only 10 people had voted during the first three hours. By 3 p.m., only 53 people had voted at a precinct in the Indianapolis suburb of Westfield.
This year's election is largely focused on races for the state Legislature — all 100 House seats are open, along with about half of the state Senate seats.
Many people said they voted in the primary simply out of habit.
"I always vote," said Angela Webb, 47, a registered nurse at St. Francis Hospital who described herself as "ultraconservative."
While the future of Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage got a lot of attention at the Statehouse and the federal courthouse in recent months, it did not seem to resonate on primary election day. The Legislature failed to get a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage on the ballot this year, prompting some conservatives to blame members of the Republican-dominated Legislature. A federal judge in Evansville recently blocked the state from enforcing the ban against a lesbian couple, one of whom has a terminal illness and wanted to be listed as married on her death certificate.