In Boone County, the first day political candidates can file to run for office each year is like a community event. On Jan. 8 at 8 a.m., six candidates filed for offices for the 2020 election cycle which includes choosing the Indiana Governor and the President of the United States.
This year Boone County will vote for several county offices including two commissioner districts, county council at-large seats (3), auditor, recorder, treasurer and coroner.
“Some of these offices are hard the first four years, before you really have a handle on things,” current Boone County Auditor Heather Myers said. She is running for her second term and brought several supporters as she filed for a second term.
“I’m serious about it,” Don Lamb, who is running his first county-wide campaign for a County Council seat at-large, said. “It’s a priority for me, so why not show that it’s a priority.”
Lamb is filling out the term of State Senator Brian Buchanan who left the council to take his current position. He won a caucus of precinct committee chairs. In 2016, Elise Nieshalla won her first term to the council and Marcia Wilhoite was re-elected to her third term on the council. Both women have filed again.
“This will probably be my last time,” Wilhoite said. “I’m a CPA, so it fits my skills.”
County Clerk Jessica Fouts said this is one of the busiest years in the election cycle because of the presidential election. Again this year, Fouts said voting will be available for the full week before the Primary on May 5.
There will be a total of nine, possibly 10, voting centers across the county, she said. Again this year, as last year, Boone County is participating in a trial of Voter Verification Paper Trail which shows voters a paper ballot of their electronic votes to ensure that the machine is working as it is intended.
The Boone County Courthouse will begin taking ballots 30 days before May 5 and Fouts encourages voters to come to the polls early.
“Everybody is like, ‘I didn’t know you were open for 30 days,’” Fouts said. “They come the last week when it's busy. If you come early in April, you walk right in.”
The only difference, Fouts said, from previous elections is the deadline for absentee voting by mail. This year the applications must be in by April 23.
Another veteran of elections is Jeff Wolfe who will be making his fourth run as a Boone County Commissioner in Dist. 3. He said he spoke with some other candidates who said they were coming in to file and he decided to join them.
“It’s kind of nice to do it this way,” Wolfe said.
Donnie Lawson filed on Wednesday. He is running for a second term as Boone County Commissioner in Dist. 2.
Superior Courts 1 and 2 judges will also be on the ballot this year.
For the first time during a presidential election year, there will be council at-large seats in the election for Advance and Thorntown. In the fall, voters will choose members of the school boards in all four school districts.
Also on the ballot in 2020 is House of Representative districts 4 and 5, three state representative districts as well as statewide offices of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Attorney General.