Hoosiers Voting With Specific Issues in Mind in Primary

by ekramer on May 4, 2010

Voters heading to the polls for today’s primary in Indiana say they aren’t seeing the lines they saw during the 2008, when there was a presidential election. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

By early afternoon, voters were trickling in at Jeffersonville’s Wilson Elementary School. But Kelly Khuri, who is campaigning for several Republican candidates, says there was a different picture when she came to the school to vote at 7:30 a.m.

“Throughout the early morning, it was steady,” she says. “Now, there’s like a little lull. And we expect, you know, it will be picking up here shortly and then we’ll probably get slammed.”

Khuri says she’s seeing fewer voters than came out in the 2008 elections.

Most election officials in the state say it’s too early to characterize voter turnout and some have reported minor problems such as missing forms and absent poll workers. Indiana’s secretary of state’s office predicted that voter turnout would be strong because about 30,000 more people sought ballots early this year than did four years ago.

One of the handful of voters this afternoon at Jeffersonville’s Wilson Elementary School was Donny Brison, who says he looked at candidates’ views on the second amendment to help him decide who to vote for.

“I believe in, obviously, all the amendments, but without the second one all the rest of them can fall,” he says. “If we don’t have that right to freely keep and bear arms that God has given us, then if we allow the government to take that away, what else are they going to take away after that?”

And there were other specific issues motivating voters in their decisions at the polls. Jerry Vest says he thinks government has gotten too big and that he’s concerned about the quality of education in public schools.

“They’re not educating the kids, which, you know, may not be all their fault.” Vest says. “Parents, I think, are responsible, also. But teachers are a little too powerful. Their union’s a little too strong. And they can pretty much get what they want, but they don’t do their job too well.”

Voters in Jeffersonville’s Clark County as well as Floyd County and others were also voting for school board candidates.

The highly competitive primary races include the GOP Senate primary involving former Sen. Dan Coats, former Rep. John Hostettler, state Sen. Marlin Stutzman and the another between Republicans Mike Sodrel and Todd Young to challenge Democrat Congressman Baron Hill for Indiana’s 9th District.

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