2018 elections are coming soon

Sunday, January 7, 2018
Clay County First Deputy Clerk (Elections) Jason Jacobs loads envelopes with campaign finance reporting materials for potential candidates in preparation for the 2018 Primary Election. Those interested in being a candidate for the May primary can sign up in the Clay County Election Office from Wednesday, Jan. 10 through noon, Friday Feb. 9.
IVY JACOBS photo

After a whirlwind presidential election in 2016, election workers received a bit of a reprieve with an off year, but the 2018 elections are coming up quick.

Starting Wednesday, those interested in running for local office on a major party ticket (Republican or Democratic) may begin filling out their declarations of candidacy in the Clay County Election Office, located on the second floor of the Clay County Courthouse.

“Elections are a lot more involved than just making sure everything is up and running on Election Day,” Clay County Clerk Amy Jordan said. “From all the paperwork and recertification of the equipment we use, there is always something going on to prepare during the months leading up to the election.”

For Clay County, much will be at stake as the positions of sheriff, pros- ecutor and both judge seats will be up for grabs, as well as trustee and board positions for each of the county’s 11 townships.

Other county-level positions on this year’s ballot include auditor, treasurer, assessor, all 4 district seats on the Clay County Council, along with County Commissioner, District 3.

“Every election is important, but this year especially to the county with the potential of all the heads of our county judicial system having the possibility of being changed,” Jordan said. “Between having the judges, prosecutor, sheriff and multiple other county positions on the ballot this year, including the district seats on the council, voters in Clay County will have a lot to consider.”

In regards to the equipment being used during the 2018 elections, nothing has changed as they county continues to utilize voting machines from MicroVote General Corporation, Indianapolis, and electronic poll books from KNOWiNK, a St. Louis-based company started by a former clerk of elections.

However, what is changing a bit is how those cast- ing a ballot during early and satellite voting will be checked in.

With recent changes in legislation, voters will no longer have to fill out an additional absentee appli- cation to vote early in person after signing in on the electronic poll book, as they have had in year’s past.

In addition, the setup for early voting in the election office will look different as the office plans to have three machines available to cast ballots.

“With the increased interest in early absentee voting, having an extra machine in the office will hopefully help speed up the lines a bit,” Jordan said. “Also, I think people will enjoy not having to fill out an extra application in order to vote early. Once they sign the electronic poll book, they will be ready to go as soon as a machine is available.”

Voters will continue to have a multitude of options when it comes to casting a ballot.

Other than voting early or on election day (May 8 for the Primary Election; November 6 for the General Election), voters can submit an application to vote by mail, or apply to have the traveling board come to their residence to assist them if necessary.

While the main period to declare candidacy is upcoming, those wanting to run as an independent or for school board will have to wait a little longer to throw their hat into the ring.

Potential school board candidates will have to submit petitions with at least 10 valid signatures of active registered voters between July 25 and noon, August 24, in order to appear on November’s General Election Ballot.

Independent candidates will have to submit their petition signatures to the election office no later than noon, July 2.

The amount of signatures needed to be validated for independent candidates vary depending on the position being sought, but must be at least two per- cent of the votes for Secretary of State cast during the 2014 General Election in a particular district, or 136 if running for a spot voted on by the entire county.

Jordan said she has been involved in working county elections before on a much smaller scale, but is intrigued by being involved completely in the elec- tion process.

“I’ve helped out before by doing things like checking in the paperwork and equipment brought back by poll workers when the polls close, but that is just a tiny part of how things work,” she said. “There is a lot going on, but we have an immensely knowledgeable staff who is more than capable of making things run smoothly. I look forward to being part of the process as a whole.”

For more information about the 2018 elections, contact the Clay County Election Office at 812-448-9023 or jacobsj@claycountyin.gov.

2018 PRIMARY ELECTION DATES TO REMEMBER

There are multiple dates both potential candidates and voters should know regarding when events occur leading up to the 2018 Primary Election.

• Jan. 10-noon, Feb. 9 – Sign-up period for major party candidates for the 2018 Primary Election;

• April 9 – Final day to register to vote in the primary;

• April 10 – Early voting begins in the Clay County Election Office;

• Saturday, April 28 – Early voting in the election office and Bowling Green Community Building;

• Monday, April 30 – Final day to submit an application to vote by mail;

• Saturday, May 5 – Early Voting in the election office and the Perry Township Firehouse, Cory;

• Monday, May 7 (noon) – Early Voting ends; deadline to submit an application to vote by traveling board;

• Tuesday, May 8 – Primary Election Day (Vote Centers open 6 a.m.-6 p.m.); and

• Tuesday, May 22 – Voter registration re-opens for the 2018 General Election.

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