Voter turnout was “brisk” all day Tuesday across Decatur County’s 19 polling places, according to Deputy County Clerk Faith Koors.
The Daily News visited 3 of those polling places Tuesday and found high voter turnout at all three.
Greensburg First Lady Sharon Herbert served as Poll Inspector at the polling place at Greensburg First Christian Church, at 425 North Broadway.
According to Herbert, by 4:30 p.m., the polling site had recorded 338 votes, with an additional 137 absentee votes being added to the precinct count.
Republican Poll Clerk James Rosenberry, also serving at the Broadway site, said voter turnout for the precinct, including absentee voting, was well over 50 percent.
“We have 728 registered voters in our precinct,” Rosenberry said.
Indeed, those numbers point to almost 50 percent participation across the district on election day alone, and well over 50 when absentees are factored.
Dave Bean, poll inspector for Decatur County District 6, told the Daily News Tuesday night that his precinct saw 60 percent voter turnout, with 253 election-day voters and 293 absentees.
Westport Poll Inspector Dean Hokum reported similar numbers, with 60 percent turnout in that precinct.
In addition, according to Hokum, Westport shared a polling place with the Sand Creek South District. Hokum reported that Polling Inspector Kim Porter told him Sand Creek had 70 percent turnout.
According to Washington Precinct Poll Inspector Jan Bartell, at the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library polling place, that precinct had recorded 504 walk-in votes by 3 p.m., with an addition 296 absentee votes, for a total of 800; those numbers were with 3 hours of poll time remaining.
Poll workers at the Greensburg Community High School (GCHS) Polling Place reported equally brisk numbers.
Poll Inspector Mary Dickman told the Daily News that 300 votes had been recorded for the precinct by 3 p.m.
The five poll workers at the GCHS said they’d all been working since 5 a.m., and would remain until well after poll closing at 6.
Dickman provided the Daily News with a breakdown of poll personnel.
“Poll inspectors are Republicans in Ind.,” Dickman said, “because of the attorney general. There are also two poll clerks at every site and two polling judges. By Indiana law, one of the clerks and one of the judges must be Republican, while one of each must be Democrat.”
Outside the GCHS polling site, GCHS Freshmen Mary Kate Porter and Maddi Hellmich handed out literature regarding Democratic candidates to prospective voters — or at least, they tried to.
“[Decatur County Democratic Chairman] Al Moore asked us to do this,” Porter explained. “But we’ve dealt with a lot of rejection today. Most people have told us either, ‘No thanks, we already know all the candidates,’ or ‘Our minds are already made up.’”
By the time the Daily News spoke with them, in fact, the two girls had given up their attempt to disseminate Democratic campaign materials.
“We’re mostly just greeting people now,” Hellmich explained, “telling them ‘thanks for voting.’”
Both girls, despite serving as Democratic surrogates, professed to being future Republicans.
“I don’t think I’ll ever vote straight ticket,” Hellmich said, “but I believe in most of the same things the Republican Party stands for, so I’ll mostly be supporting them when I’m older.”
“I know one thing for sure,” Porter added. “Next year, I’ll be handing out stuff for the Republicans.”
“I’d rather be working for them,” she said. “There are more of them in Decatur County. Plus, they were handing out free pizza to their workers earlier. We only got French fries.”
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.