Races now set for General Election, absentee applications available

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The deadlines have passed and Labor Day is behind us, so all eyes now fall on Tuesday, November 8th, when Election Day 2016 happens not only in Switzerland County, but around the nation.

The final deadline here in the county passed last Tuesday, August 30th, when candidates who had already filed had until noon to withdraw their name from the official ballot. According to the Switzerland County Clerk’s office, no one withdrew, so the field is set for November.

The clerk’s office said that voters who know that they will want to vote absentee in the November election may pick up applications to do so now, and the office is currently going over the ballot proofs to make sure that all names are spelled correctly and the right candidates are under the correct offices – all standard work at the local level and also at the state level before the ballots are sent off to be printed – and also waiting to receive proofs back from the state level for those candidates.

“The first day that a voter can vote absentee here in our office is Wednesday, October 12th. That’s the first day we will have voting here,” Meagan Kilborn, Voter Registration/Election Deputy for the clerk’s office, said. “They pick up the application and then send it to me, and once that’s processed, we’ll send their ballots out when that time comes.”

Kilborn said that those wanting to register to vote in this year’s General Election may do so until Tuesday, October 11th, and there are many different ways that a person may be registered.

“They register here in the clerk’s office, or they can do it online at www.in.gov,” Kilborn said. “If they renew their driver’s license or anything like that, they can do it at the license branch. They can register up until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11th.”

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This year’s election here in Switzerland County has some important races, as two County Commissioners and three members of the County Council will be elected; as well as County officials and four members of the Switzerland County School Board of Trustees.

– In the race for County Commissioner in District 1; incumbent Republican Josh South is facing current County Councilman Steve Crabtree. In the race for the District 2 County Commissioner seat, Democrat Lane Armstrong is facing Republican Jerry Monjar in a race that guarantees there will be a first-time Commissioner; as Armstrong defeated incumbent Steve Lyons in May’s Democratic primary.

– The Switzerland County Council races: this year county voters are electing the three members of the seven-member council who are in the “At Large” seats, which means that they do not have to live in a particular district in order to serve. The other four seats on the County Council represent four specific districts of the county.

Each political party elected three candidates in the May primary election; and now those six candidates will vie for the three seats, with the top three vote getters, regardless of political affiliation, winning the four year terms.

Democrats seeking the offices are incumbent Rachel Bladen Schuler, Andrea Brogan, and Matt Levell; while the Republican candidates incumbent Terry Hall along with Lisa Fisher and Andrew Haskell.

– There will be a contested race for the office of County Coroner; as Republican Clinton Earls is facing Democrat Alicia Fritter in the General Election.

– In May, Democrat Nancy Brown Barker won the primary election for the office of County Recorder; and there is no Republican candidate for the office, so she will begin a four year term on January 1st, 2017.

– Incumbent County Treasurer Vickie Bailey James was unopposed in the May primary; and with no Republican challenger in the November General Election, she will begin another four year term on January 1st, 2017.

– Incumbent County Surveyor Brian McAllister was unopposed in the Republican primary in May; and there is no challenger in the General Election, so he will begin another four year term on January 1st, 2017.

– There will also be four residents elected to serve four year terms on the Switzerland County School Board beginning on January 1st, 2017. Each of the seven seats on the School Board represent specific areas around the county, but are voted on county wide.

This year, three of the four seats are unopposed: with incumbent Katie Collier, who represents Pleasant Township; and incumbent Josh Deck, who represents York Township, winning reelection. First time candidate Amy Jessup Combs is unopposed for the seat representing Cotton Township.

The only contested race of the four comes for the seat representing the Town of Vevay, where Carla Burt and Tye Sullivan are opposing each other.

– There are races at the State level, where Governor Mike Pence’s selection as the Republican nominee for Vice President changed the Governor’s race here to current Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb now challenging Democrat John Gregg.

– There is a contested race for the State Representative post for District 67; where incumbent Republican Randy Frye is facing Democrat Rudy Howard from Aurora.

– Of course the eyes of the nation will be on the race for the White House, where Republican Donald Trump is facing Democrat Hillary Clinton. Closer to home, in the race for the House of Representatives seat for Indiana District 6, Republican Congressman Luke Messer is running against Democrat Barry Welsh from Fayette County.

There was also a shake up in the race for the Indiana U.S. Senate seat, where Democrat Baron Hill won the primary but then withdrew from the race, which led State party officials to appoint former Governor and Senator Evan Bayh to take his place on the ballot. Bayh is facing Republican Congressman Todd Young, who at one time represented Switzerland County in Congress.