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Polls could be busy as voters cast ballots Tuesday

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READY:Voting machines and polling place material sit ready on Friday in the Miami County courthouse. Officials will open three polling places on Tuesday for city elections.
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RULES AND TIPS:Signs posted outside the early voting polling place at the Miami County courthouse on Friday remind voters of rules and tips to make the process run smoothly.
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EVERYWHEREA SIGN:Campaign signs line a sidewalk in front of the Miami County courthouse on Friday morning.

BY JARED KEEVER - jkeever@perutribune.com

Polls will open early and close late on Tuesday for Peru residents wanting to make their voice known in this year’s city elections.

Things could be busy if voter turnout is going to approach where it ended up for 2015’s city elections. 

On Friday morning Mary Kaye Jones, Miami County first deputy of voter registration said only 531 voters had taken advantage of early voting so far this year, with an additional 70 absentee ballots mailed in. 

That’s in contrast to the 1,165 votes that were cast ahead of Election Day in 2015, a year that eventually saw a 2,467, or 33.38 percent, of 7,390 registered voters turn out. 

This year there are 7,976 registered voters in the city.

In case it does get crowded, local officials have a few reminders in the hopes of making things run smoothly.

“The first thing is to plan ahead,” says the Miami County Clerk of Courts Election Day web page.

Voters this year can select from one of any three voting locations (regardless of home address).

One will be set up at the courthouse. There will be another at the Area 5 senior center at 661 E. Main St. as well as one Parkview United Methodist Church at 1785 South S.R. 19.

The locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Voters are reminded that they must bring a government issued photo ID with them and present it to poll workers, who will match to voter registration lists, before they will be able to cast a ballot.

The Clerk’s web page says that identification must meet the following criteria:

It must display the voter’s photo.It must have the voter’s name, which must conform to the voter’s registration record.It must display an expiration date and must be either current, or have expired after the last general election date.It must be issued by either the State of Indiana or by the United States government.“If you have registered to vote but your name isn’t on the list, don’t panic,” the page says. “Ask a poll worker for help to make sure that your vote gets counted. They may direct you to a different polling location, or give you a provisional ballot.”

Polling places will have signs with additional information, including directions on how to cast a ballot, a list of voters’ rights and instructions on how to file a complainant should it seem those rights were violated.

If there is a problem, voters are encouraged to ask questions.

“The poll workers are there to help,” the page says. “They can show you how to work the voting machines, and they can give you a provisional ballot if you need one.”

This year’s election sees challengers to all offices, including a Republican and Independent challenger to incumbent Democrat Mayor Gabriel Greer.

The names voters will see on their ballots – depending on where they live in the city – are as follows:

Mayor

Gabriel Greer, Democrat

Miles W. Hewitt, Republican

Chris Wolfe, Independent

Clerk-Treasurer

Tish Soldi, Democrat

Susan E. Stanley, Republican

CITY COUNCIL SEATS

District 1

Betsy Edwards-Wolfe, Democrat

Blane C. Holland, Republican

District 2

Brian A. Arwood, Democrat

Tom Gustin, Republican

District 3

Jason Bowman, Democrat

Peter Sahaidachny, Republican

District 4

Cheryl Lee, Democrat

Patricia A.Russell, Republican

District 5

Joyce Greer, Democrat

Mark E. Ramsey, Republican

At Large - Two seats

(Voters select two candidates from the field. Top two vote-getters win the seats.)

Steve Anderson, Democrat

Andrea J. Harris, Republican

Kathleen L. Plothow, Republican

Carrie Young, Democrat

City residents who don’t think they can make it to the polls on Tuesday can still vote early. A polling place will be open at the courthouse today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Monday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Tuesday's Polling Locations

Miami County Courthouse: 25 N Broadway

Area 5 senior center: 661 E. Main St.

Parkview United Methodist Church: 1785 South S.R. 19.

Polls open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.