By Brenda L. Holmes and Wade Coggeshall
DANVILLE — Hendricks County once again enjoyed a smooth election process with strong turnout.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, Laura Herzog, the county’s election supervisor, said things were going well. All 99 precincts opened on time and no problems were reported with the voting machines.
“We’re right on schedule,” Herzog said.
There were a handful of voting precincts that weren’t fully staffed when they opened.
“We’ve had a flu outbreak among our poll workers over the last three days,” Herzog said. “But we were able to get those missing replaced. We’re in good shape.”
Some other polling places reported some voters had difficulty figuring out which door to enter.
“There aren’t as many candidate signs out as they’re usually are,” Herzog said. “We usually advise voters to go in the door that has all the candidates’ signs.”
As results began to come in, Herzog said the process has gotten even smoother this year.
“We had the first election with the electric machines in 2006,” she said. “Now that we’ve had a few elections under our belt, it’s going well.”
She said the poll workers and voters all have more of a comfort level with the machines and how they work.
“It was a good day,” Herzog said. “We had no machine failures.”
Election board member David Sutherland was helping to get all the votes counted.
“There were no real major issues,” he said. “People delivered the votes quickly.”
He said he would encourage more people to vote early rather than using the absentee method.
“They come in and vote by machine and it’s less expensive than voting by paper ballot,” Sutherland said.
He said fewer people did vote in this mid-term election.
“We had about 45 percent of voters turn our,” Sutherland said. “But we only had 21 percent for the Primary Election. So we did double that number.”
The last presidential election brought out more than 70 percent of the registered voters.
Most of the big races for Hendricks County in this mid-term election occurred on the state level. There’s the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Evan Bayh. Republican Dan Coats, Democrat Brad Ellsworth, and Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris were vying to replace him. Coats won that race handily with more than 67 percent of the vote in Hendricks County.
Republican Todd Rokita, Democrat David Sanders, and Libertarian John Duncan were competing to replace Republican Steve Buyer for Indiana’s Fourth Congressional District. Rokita came out on top in that race with nearly 75 percent of the votes in Hendricks County.
State positions for secretary, auditor, and treasurer were also up for grabs.
A yes-or-no vote on whether to add property tax caps to the state constitution was also a big issue on the ballot.
Bipartisan couriers reported to Herzog that voting in many precincts was steady without long waits.
“We haven’t received any complaints about long lines at all,” she said.
That’s on top of the large number of early voters the county saw — especially for a mid-term election. The county’s Voter Registration Office had well over 3,000 absentee ballots by last Friday morning. Of those, almost 2,000 of them were walk-in voters. Compared to the last mid-term election, Herzog said the total number of absentee ballots this time surpassed that election’s total a week before Election Day.