Election 2020

With protests consuming the country along with the ongoing pandemic, one could easily forget that it’s an election year. Indiana residents ventured out to polling locations Tuesday to cast votes in a variety of federal, state and local primaries. 

Due to the threat posed by the coronavirus, clerks in Clark and Floyd counties have been pushing for voters to utilize absentee ballots in recent weeks. The effects were obvious at polling sites like Spring Hill in Jeffersonville.

“It’s definitely slower than it has been in previous elections here at this location, but I do know that there is a record number of absentee ballots that have been submitted,” poll worker Jamie Huber said. “So I’m hoping those kind of offset the lower attendance today.”

Over 544,000 Hoosiers registered to vote by mail this primary. Despite those figures, many voters still showed up to make their voice heard in person, including Jeffersonville native Michelle Smith. She said she was focused on the race for the nation’s top office. She pointed to President Donald Trump’s handling of nationwide protests in recent days as a reason for change.

“What he just spoke on last night and his comments are just fueling the fire,” she said. “And we need somebody to just be a blanket to put it out.”

A number of other significant races are also on this year’s primary ballot. Among them are battles for 9th District U.S. Representative and several state and county level offices.

Polls closed at 6 p.m.

John Boyle covers southern Indiana communities and health for WFPL News. He is a Report for America Corps member.