SJC early voting on pace with 2018, the race to watch

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 5:41 PM EST
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Early voting totals unofficially are within striking distance of the previous midterm numbers from 2018. That’s according to the St. Joseph County Clerk’s Office.

Right now, close to 22,300 residents have voted absentee in St. Joseph County with more ballots possibly arriving on Election Day.

In 2018, a little over 22,600 people voted early.

“Voting is your right. A lot of people have to fight for these rights. For me, it makes me very proud and honored to be Hispanic, to be female, and to be able to cast my vote and to have an opinion that matters,” remarked Elena Zaradona, a St. Joseph County resident.

Fellow St. Joseph County resident Randy Varga weighed in.

“Of course it’s always important to vote to get people in there that you like. You look at the border. You look at inflation. You look at what’s going on around the world now - just terrible. I think I voted for the people that I thought could change that,” said Varga.

Jack Colwell: SJC County Commissioner, District 1 “most interesting race”

Political analyst Jack Colwell dubbed 1st District St. Joseph County Commissioner race as the “most interesting” contest in the county, citing there are three people from three political parties squaring off.

Don Westerhausen, the Democrat, faces Republican and current St. Joseph County Commissioner Carl Baxmeyer, whom GOPs picked in a July caucus to full the remainder of Andy Kostielney’s term.

Independent Kevin Conery is also in the race. In March, WNDU reported that Conery tried to file as a Republican but had failed to meet a requirement that he must have voted Republican in two consecutive primary elections.

“Two very keen observers of that district - one a republican and one democrat - have told me that a lot of [Conery’s] yard signs are in yards of Republican voters. Now if that’s true, and he’s getting Republican support, that could hurt Carl Baxmeyer who is the Republican nominee for that district, could help Don Westerhausen who’s the Democratic nominee,” analyzed Colwell. “Now Conery, could he actually win? I doubt it. Historically, third party candidates, independent candidates do not do well in Saint Joseph County. But we don’t know, have to wait until the votes are in.”

Click here for information on polling hours and locations within Indiana.