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The Journal Gazette

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Thursday, March 22, 2018 1:00 am


Poll position

Act now to assure your vote in May primaries

Primary election calendar

April 9: Deadline at voter registration office's close of business for a voter to register or transfer registration. Deadline to submit a voter registration application online is midnight.

April 10: First day to vote absentee in election board office or satellite voting location

April 19: Start of absentee voting board period

April 30: Deadline to submit an absentee ballot application requesting to vote by mail

May 8: Primary election day

Spring might be slow in arriving, but primary elections – and the opportunity to participate – are fast approaching. If you're reluctant to vote in a primary contest – think again. The quality of the general election candidate pool is mostly determined by what happens on May 8.

April 9 is the deadline to register to vote. Indiana voters do not register as Democrats or Republicans. At the polls or in absentee voting, you will be asked to choose a Democratic or Republican ballot. There's a third choice for voters who live in the Northwest Allen County Schools district. Those voters can ask for a referendum-only ballot to weigh in on the district's proposed $34 million construction referendum.

Indiana voters will elect representatives to Congress, the General Assembly, county and township offices this year. Key races are found on both major-party ballots:

• Voters with Democratic ballots will choose the nominee for 3rd District Congress. Two years ago, perennial candidate Tommy Schrader won the nomination, leaving Republican nominee Jim Banks little competition in November. Schrader is again a candidate for the Democratic nomination, along with Courtney Tritch and John F. Roberson, another frequent candidate.

• The most-contested race on Republican ballots this year is the three-way U.S. Senate battle. Former state Rep. Mike Braun and incumbent congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita are vying to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in November.

• Two Republican candidates, Richard (Rich) Beck and Chris A. Spurr, are seeking the nomination for the seat held by Allen County Commissioner Linda Bloom. There are three GOP candidates for the Allen County Council District 3 seat: Dave Augenstein, incumbent Joel Benz and Frank J. Talarico III. 

• Four candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination for Allen County clerk: Danielle N. Anderson, Dave Burgess, Gina Burgess and perennial candidate David Christopher Roach.

• Republican voters who live inSt. Joseph Township have a 12-way race for three seats on the township advisory board. The candidates are Libby Adamson, Joshua L. Burt, Joel Flaningan, Mark Hagar, Jason A. Hollinger, Jason Mann, John S. McKay, Nicholas Albert Metel, Douglas Mulinix, John Price, Gretchen Spires and Jean Uhrick. 

A link on the Allen County Election Board website allows you to check the status of your voter registration, register to vote or see sample ballots. 

Prospective voters have a new way to register this year. Text “Indiana” to 2VOTE (28683) for a link to the web site. To register online, a voter must have a valid driver's license or state identification card, be a citizen of the United States, be at least 18 years old on or before the next general election and have lived in their precinct for at least 30 days before the election.

With easy registration options at your fingertips, there's little reason not to vote May 8 to help set the ballot for November.