Who can I vote for in a primary election?

273

At their core, a primary election is when members of different political parties choose which candidates in their party that they want to represent them in the General Election against the other party’s candidates.

That election happens in November.

When entering the polling place on Tuesday, voters will be asked if they would like a “Democrat” or “Republican” ballot. No one is trying to disclose how a person votes, but in a primary voters must declare their party in order to get the correct ballot.

Those choosing Democrat ballots cannot vote for Republican candidates in the Primary Election, and vise versa.

In the General Election in November, voters are not asked to declare a party, and may vote for whomever they wish, regardless of party.

*

In this year’s Democrat Primary, there are four contested races that voters will decide on.

– In the race to be the Democratic nominee to run for County Recorder in November, Jill Judy is running against Darla McAlister.

– The Democrats will also have a contested race for County Coroner, as Lewis Fritter will face off against Roger “Rocky” Hollingsworth.

– In the race for County Commissioner in District One, there will be a contested race on the Democratic ticket, with Danny Hehe running against Robert Martin.

– For the County Commissioner’s seat in District Two, Democrats H. Craig Bond and Earl W. Holmes will square off in the primary election.

There will also be Democrats on the ballot who are unopposed, and will move into the General Election in November.

– The county will elect three At-Large County Councilmen, and there are only two Democrat candidates in the primary, incumbents Steve Crabtree and Darrell Hansel.

– Democrat Stacey L. Penick is unopposed for County Treasurer.

*

For those pulling Republican ballots, there are no contested races in the primary.

– For At-Large County Councilman, incumbent John Keeton is the only candidate.

– For County Commissioner in District One, incumbent Brian Morton is unopposed in the primary.

– Republican Brian McAllister is unopposed for County Surveyor.

*

Each party also uses the primary election to elect their party leadership, such as precinct committeemen and vice precinct committeemen. The members of the party also elect delegates to represent them at the party’s State Convention, which will be held later this summer.

At the state convention, the party will elect delegates to represent Indiana at the National Convention of the party.

*

Just because there are empty slots on political tickets for the primary election doesn’t mean that primary winners will automatically be elected in the November general election.

Ginger Peters said that both the Democrats and the Republicans have until noon on Monday, June 30th to fill vacancies after the primary, so more contested races may appear as parties fill openings by the deadline.

There is also some confusion concerning the primary election for the office of Superior Court Judge – a post which will no longer exist as of January 1st.

The Indiana State Legislature passed a law establishing a new judicial circuit for Switzerland County, which means that the county will have its own judge and prosecuting attorney beginning January 1st, 2009.

The legislation, however, wasn’t passed until after the primary ballots were finalized, so voters in the primary election will see candidates on the ballot for the office of Superior Court Judge, but those votes will not count.

Both parties will hold caucuses after the primary election to nominate candidates for the offices of Switzerland County Judge and Switzerland County Prosecutor, and the victors of those caucuses will face each other on the November General Election ballot.

Again, votes for judge candidates in the primary election will not count, but the names will appear on the ballot.