General election will see nearly all races contested here

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With voting open at country traveling boards now approximately two months away, for candidates in the upcoming General Election, now is a busy time as candidates put up election signs and visit with voters.

Traditionally, campaigns shift into high gear between Labor Day and Election Day, but with Switzerland County again using the Traveling Voting Centers, the time to campaign before the polls open is shortened by two weeks.

The voting centers take the place of the traditional polling places, which in the past have been located all around the county on Election Day. Voters have also been able to vote in the courthouse at designated times prior to election day, and also have been able to vote by absentee ballot.

Now, instead of the 12 different precincts all voting on one day; the new voting centers will circulate throughout the county for days leading up to election day; and then there will be one voting center open on election day itself.

County residents may vote using an absentee ballot in the Courthouse beginning on Tuesday, October 7th. Voting in the courthouse is available each day from 8:30 a.m. until noon and again from 1-3 p.m.

Voting Center dates and times for the upcoming General Election include:

– The voting center will be at the Moorefield Firehouse on Thursday, October 23rd, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; and again on Friday, October 24th from 1-5 p.m.

– The voting center will be at the East Enterprise Firehouse on Saturday, October 25th, from 8 a.m. until noon; and again on Monday, October 27th from 1-5 p.m.

- The voting center will be at the Patriot Town Hall on Tuesday, October 28th, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; and again on Wednesday, October 29th from 1-5 p.m.

- The voting center will be at the Florence Firehouse on Thursday, October 30th, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; and again on Friday, October 31st from 1-5 p.m.

- The voting center will be at the Switzerland County TEC Center Building on Seminary Street on Saturday, November 1st, from 8 a.m. until noon; and on Monday, November 3rd from 8 a.m. until noon.

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On Election Day, Tuesday, November 4th, there will only be one polling place open in the entire county: The Switzerland County TEC Center Building, 708 West Seminary Street; while will be open for voting from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. that day.

There will be a test of the voting system this Monday, September 29th. The test will be conducted in the basement of the Switzerland County Courthouse, and will begin at 11 a.m. This test is open to the public and anyone may attend and observe the process.

Anyone having any questions or feedback on the new voting centers can contact the clerk’s office at 427-4415; or email those to clerk@switzerlandcountycourthouse.com.

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The upcoming fall election will see plenty of excitement in that nearly every campaign is contested.

After the primary election season, political parties have the opportunity to fill vacant spots on the general election ballot if there was not a candidate for that post in the primary. Many of the vacancies were filled by the Switzerland County Republican Party; so voters going to the polls this fall will have choices.

The general election will also feature the traveling election centers that have functioned here for the past two elections.

Here’s a look at the full election rundown for this fall:

-  In the race for U.S. Representative for Indiana’s Sixth District: Republican incumbent Luke Messer will face Democratic challenger Susan Hall Heitzman.

-  For the Indiana State Senate, District 45: Republican incumbent Jim Smith is facing Democrat Julie Berry.

-  State Representative District 67 Republican Randy Frye is unopposed for reelection.

-  Democrat Greg Coy, Judge of the Circuit Court of the 91st District, is unopposed for reelection.

-  Democrat Monica Hensley, Prosecuting Attorney, is unopposed for reelection.

-  In the race for Switzerland County Clerk of the Circuit Court: Democrat incumbent Kim Hambrick is facing Republican challenger Gayle Sullivan.

-  The Switzerland County Auditor’s race will feature Republican incumbent Gayle Rayles being challenged by Democrat Carla Harsin.

-  Switzerland County will have a new County Sheriff in 2015, as Democrat Nathan Hughes will face Republican Robert Stockmeier.

-  Democrat County Assessor Joan Armstrong is unopposed for reelection.

-  One of the county’s three Commissioner seats is up for election, District 3. There, Democrat incumbent Mark Lohide will be facing Republican Tom Stow.

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There will be four County Council seats up for election this fall, with each of the four representing specific districts. Only voters living in those districts will be able to vote for the candidates in that district. They are not elected county-wide.

-  In the race for the County Council District 1 seat: Democrat incumbent Tom Conroy is being challenged by Republican Elizabeth “Itsy” Jones.

-  In the race for the County Council District 2 seat: Democrat incumbent Mike Jones is being challenged by Republican Mike Bear.

-  In the race for the County Council District 3 seat: Republican incumbent Glenn Scott is unopposed for reelection.

-  In the race for the County Council District 4 seat: Democrat incumbent Jeff Darling is being challenged by Republican John Gary Welch.

Also being elected in each county township are the Township Trustees.

-  In Cotton Township: Democrat incumbent Barbara Bowling will face Republican challenger Matt Level.

-  In Craig Township: Democrat incumbent Stacey Mathews was to face Republican challenger Toni Kniola, who passed away following a bicycle accident last week. That spot may be filled by the Republican party within the next 30 days.

-  In Jefferson Township: Democrat incumbent Wade Hughes is unopposed for reelection.

-  In Pleasant Township: Democrat incumbent Jim Wingate will face Republican challenger Missy Stow.

– In Posey Township: Republican incumbent Joey Rider is unopposed for reelection.

-  York Township will have a new Township Trustee next year. In the fall election: Democrat Andrea Brogan will face Republican Kenneth Lee Byars.

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Also up for election this Fall are three seats on the Switzerland County School Board of Trustees; and all three races will be contested.

Up for election are the seats representing Craig Township, Jefferson Township, and Posey Township.

Here’s a look at the candidates who filed:

-  In Craig Township, incumbent school board member Nancy Peters will square off against Kenny Briggs, who is a former member of the school board.

-  In Jefferson Township, school board member Andy Truitt run against former teacher Susan Jill Cord.

-  In Posey Township there were two filings. Former board member Laurice See filed for election and will run against Joe ‘Joey’ Bennett.

Current Posey Township school board member Laura Schroer chose not to run for reelection.

The school board seats are non-political, meaning that candidates do not run as Democrats or Republicans, but simply as citizens.

Those three members elected in November will begin four year terms on January 1st, 2015.

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For information on this year’s election, contact the Switzerland County Clerk’s office at (812) 427-4415.