Economy and education push southern Indiana voters to the polls | New


FLOYD COUNTY — A steady line ran through the polls all Tuesday morning as Floyd County voters showed up to make their voices heard on Election Day.

Throughout the day, poll workers were busy helping move voters through the queue efficiently. While the number of voters who cast their ballots on Election Day certainly seems higher than expected, the most impressive figure is the number of early votes that had been cast before Tuesday.

“We’ve never had anything like this,” said Dianne McLean, polling officer.

She worked at the polls for several years and estimated that more than 7,000 voters took advantage of early voting at the Floyd County 4-H Fairgrounds this year. Indiana state law requires counties to make in-person mail-in voting available for 28 days before the election, and in Floyd County, early voting began Oct. 12.

Despite the large number of voters, most members of the community seem to agree that the voting process was smooth and straightforward.

“It was surprisingly easy,” said Emma Briscoe of New Albany. “I had no problem. It was a pretty short line too. I voted in the 2020 election and it was a bit chaotic. So I was pretty happy about that.

As the lines grew longer, reaching the parking lot as the day progressed, many other voters appreciated the simplicity of the voting process and the hard work of poll workers in keeping the long lines moving.

McLean credits economic concerns for the increase in voter turnout this year. “People are worried,” she said. “The economy is hurting a lot of people, especially the elderly, and that’s the majority of those who vote.”

In reality, the voters in the ballot box queues seemed to come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but the economy was not far from anyone’s mind.

Floyd County resident Daniel Jacobs is an EMS worker. He said the economy and crime were his main issues in this election. Jacobs’ career puts him at the forefront of the latter, and he has said he thinks Steve Bush is the right man to be the next sheriff.

“I saw it often in the community,” Jacobs said. “He’s pro-community, and that means a lot.”

Besides the economy, many voters have shown interest in the New Albany-Floyd County School Board race. Whether or not they had children in the schools, many were intensely concerned about the trajectory of public schools.

One of those voters was April Simmons, who has one child at Christian Academy and another at Mount Tabor Elementary School. She cited ‘critical race theory’ as a top concern for her in the polls, but added: ‘I don’t think there’s a school here that actually does that, but I just want to make sure that is not the case.”

Another New Albany voter, Clarence Mann, said, “I don’t have kids in school, but the school board needs a lot of clarification,” expressing concern for their conservative values.

And Samantha Couc, a mother from New Albany, said her children, who are 4 and 19, have had positive experiences in New Albany schools, but expressed concern that “boys should be boys and girls should be girls, and keep them in separate schools. bathrooms.

Each of the voters, in turn, repeated the National Conservative talking points while agreeing they had no personal issues with local schools.

Perhaps one of the most excited and engaged voters at the polls on Tuesday was LaMicra Martin, the Democratic nominee for Floyd County Auditor, who shone as she left the voting booth excited not about the possibility of winning or competing. , but energized by the large number of citizens who came to make their voices heard.

“I want voters to know that their vote counts; it’s important,” she said. “Regardless of what or who you believe in; as long as you go out to vote, to make a difference in our community. That’s all I care about. But be sure to make an informed decision about who you vote for, what their values ​​are, what their morals are, so that we can be a better community.


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