While some of us are still struggling with our options on the presidential ballot this year, early voter interest is higher in Gibson County than the last presidential election.

Early voting began this week in the main hallway of the Gibson County Courthouse, and Gibson County Deputy Clerk Georgia Straw told Daily Clarion reporter Quiche Matchen that 109 ballots were cast the first day for early voting Wednesday, compared to 85 in the 2012 election.

Voting was on target to continue at a brisk pace, with at least 50 people by 11 a.m. Thursday, compared to 54 for the while day in 2012.

“We’re going to be busy Election Day if you want to cut down on standing in lines you may want to vote early,” she told Matchen.

Early voting continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the hallway through Nov. 4, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Monday, Nov. 7.

Additional early voting opportunities are scheduled on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5.

Early voters will be required to show their voter identification card, the same as election day voters at precinct voting centers.

Absentee mail ballots can be requested by phoning the clerk’s office at 812-385-2541. Ballots must be returned with a postmark no later than Oct. 31, or hand-delivered to the office by that date.

The traveling voting board is available by request for homebound registered voters until noon Nov. 7. Call the clerk’s office at 812-385-2541 to make the request.

In addition to presidential and state races, the Nov. 8 ballot includes local races at the county level and three school district elections.

Gibson County voters will see a new Gibson Superior Court Judge this year, with the retirement of Judge Earl Penrod. Gibson County Prosecutor Robert Krieg is unopposed in his bid for the Superior Court bench, and once his term begins, the Gibson County GOP Central Committee will caucus to choose a successor to fill the remainder of Krieg’s term in the prosecutor’s office.

Gibson County Commissioners Gerald Bledsoe and Steve Bottoms, both Republicans, are unopposed in their bid for re-election.

In contested county races:

• Republican incumbent Sherri Smith is challenged by Democrat Jeff Hill for Gibson County Auditor

• Republican Misty Hoke and Democrat Jerry Basham compete for the Gibson County Coroner post held by Barret Doyle

• Republican Scott Martin competes with Democrat Tommy White for the Gibson County Surveyor post held by Michael Stevenson.

• Republican incumbents Bill McConnell and Derek McGraw compete with fellow Republican Mike Stilwell for two at-large seats on the Gibson County Council.

In school elections:

• Wendi Nurrenbern and Roger Sermersheim are unopposed in bids for seats on the East Gibson School Board.

• In North Gibson, incumbent Travis Nolcox is unopposed for his District 4 seat, while incumbents John Woods and Mark Iunghuhn are challenged by Krieg Christy and Josh Shearer for two District 3 seats.

• In South Gibson, Stacey McKee and Tim Nurrenbern compete for the District 1 seat on the school board, David Lewis is unopposed for the District 2 seat and Janet McBee and Daniel Kautzman compete for the District 3 seat.

In addition to national coverage of the presidential election issues, The Daily Clarion will feature, in coming days, stories about the candidates in the local races.

We’ll also provide voter information about polling sites as election day approaches.

As a reminder, we welcome letters to the editor about matters of public interest, but we do not accept letters from candidates for publication on the opinion page in the weeks approaching the election.

When the summary of local voting is available to us on election night, we will post the precinct charts online at pdclarion.com.

That information includes the precinct-by-precinct votes for each candidates.

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