The Times photo by Betsy Reason
All was quiet at the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center on Election Day.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason All was quiet at the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center on Election Day.
When I dropped in at the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center on Election Day, all was quiet.
Except for the telephones.
“Am I at the right place to vote?” callers asked.
“Why can’t I vote?” callers also asked.
“Because they’re not in the city. They have to be in city limits. There were a lot of them,” said Beth Sheller, the county’s new elections administrator.
She was among registered voters who couldn’t vote for mayor, because she doesn’t live in the city limits.
The Green Valley neighborhood, where election worker and retired librarian Linda Shaw and husband, Steve, live, in a little pocket near White River Elementary, is another neighborhood that looks like it should be in Noblesville but isn’t in the city limits. Those Noblesville Township areas are referred to as taxation without representation.
Sheller said she and election workers answered a lot of those questions from voters, as well as questions coming from poll workers (there are more than 1,000 poll workers this year) on her first Election Day, which she said went well.
Sheller at the first of the year replaced Kathy Williams, who was elected county clerk.
But Sheller admitted she was “very nervous.” All polls opened as scheduled, and iPad-based electronic poll books, that were new a year ago, were working smoothly.
All votes, including early voting ballots, were tallied beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, when the polls closed. The final election summary report came out just minutes after 8 p.m.
And I share some of her statistics about the Election:
Of the 235,810 registered voters in Hamilton County, there were 219,444 voters eligible to vote in the cities and towns in the May Primary, compared to 187,354 voters in 2015, the last mayor’s race. There were 7,861 registered voters who cast ballots early by mail or by walk-in, in 2019, compared to 2,739 early voters in 2015.
There were 29,155 registered voters who voted on Election Day, compared to 27,447 in 2015. Keep in mind, both of these years, there were no federal offices at the top of the ticket, like in 2016, when of the 220,813 registered voters, 92,002 voted on Election Day and 11,716 early voted, for a total 103,718 votes cast in Hamilton County during the Presidential Election.
In Noblesville, there were 38,864 registered voters and in Wayne Township another 4,684 registered voters, with a total of 43,648 registered Noblesville municipal voters.
I really expected it to be a better turnout at the polls due to the mayors’ races in Hamilton County’s four cities.
Only about 16.86 percent of registered voters cast their votes in the May Primary. That included early voting as well as Election Day.
Overall, the highest percentage of voters, at 24.7 percent, came from Arcadia. Second highest was 21.1 percent, reported in Carmel, where Mayor Jim Brainard, with a majority vote, won the seventh-term nomination in the Republican primary, beating County Councilman Fred Glynn.
Fishers and Noblesville had less voter turnout, 15.8 percent in Fishers, where Mayor Scott Fadness, with a majority vote, won the second-term Republican nomination, beating Logan Day; and 15.7 percent in Noblesville, where City Councilman Chris Jensen, with a less than majority vote, won the primary, beating out Mike Corbett, Julia Church Kozicki and Vince Baker.
Besides chatting with Sheller, I caught up with some of the candidates today to see how they were spending their day and evening.
In the City Council race, at-large candidate Rock Shanehsaz, who ended up garnishing only 19.76 of the votes, losing to three incumbents, got up early Tuesday to vote at his local polling station and then went into work. “As a local businessman and entrepreneur, I often work seven days a week, so Election Day will be no different,” he said Tuesday morning with plans to watch the results with family and friends at the Model Mill Building, which he owns.
“While I may be the underdog, trying to break the chains of establishment politics in Noblesville, my Rocky for Council campaign has tried to share a message that is positive and proactive.”
Noblesville mayoral candidate Mike Corbett was feeling positive. He said while it was his third time running for mayor, it was also his “best chance ever to succeed.”
He spent the day visiting polling places, talking to poll workers and voters, and then spent the evening at a watch party at Logan Street Sanctuary. Corbett, who expected the margin to be close, lost to Jensen, with 31.43 percent of the votes.
Fellow mayoral candidate Julia Church Kozicki was circling to various polls all day and visiting with her poll workers. She had plans to be in the Green Room at Federal Hill Commons, a city park in Noblesville. She received 19.34 percent of the votes. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to connect with voters and look forward to serving our community,” Kozicki said Tuesday morning.
The fourth mayoral candidate Vince Baker said he was at the polls all day, and would spend the evening at home with his family. “I wanted to thank everyone who came out and voted and all the support I have received,” Baker said.
City Councilor, at-large incumbent Mark Boice, who earned the highest percentage of votes for the office, got a late start after his daughter, Ali, had a broken orthodontic appliance. Then by late morning, he was back to circling various polls all day and visiting with poll workers. He had plans to be at the Green Room with his family and supporters. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to connect with voters and look forward to serving our community,” Boice said Tuesday.
Mark F. Hall, a candidate for Noblesville City Council, District I, who lost to Mike Davis, had plans to watch the election results at Wolfies.
Aaron Smith, a candidate for Noblesville City Council, District III, garnered 47.47 percent of the votes, over Brenda L. Cook and incumbent Rick Taylor. He sepnt the day talking to voters in Old Town and then a party Tuesday night with family, friends and supports at his house in Old Town.
-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. To read about how some of the candidates spent their Election Day, visit www.thetimes24-7.com.