Everybody's Talkin': Testing the voting machines

By Mike Lewis
Published April 6th 2008 in Times and Mail
Elections are full of rituals, from stump speeches to political conventions to endorsements.

A behind-the-scenes, but critical, ritual will take place next week.

The required test of the ballot card system and voting machines is set for 1 p.m. April 15.

Myron Rainey, Lawrence County clerk, said the test will be in the lower level of the Lawrence County Courthouse (where the museum used to be).

The idea, of course, is to make sure the ballots are proper and that the machines accurately count the votes for all candidates in the May 6 primary.


Real voting

The primary is still a month away, but voting for real starts Monday.

That’s the first day people can cast absentee ballots at the Lawrence County Voter Registration Office, which is in Room 20 on the first floor of the courthouse.

Monday is also the final day to register for the May 6 primary.

“It could be an exciting day come Monday,” Rainey told me Friday.

Real attention

It’s an exciting time for Indiana, period.

Suddenly, because of the tight race between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, Hoosier primary voters matter on a national level — at least in the Democratic race. That means the candidates, and their supporters, have to pay some real attention to Hoosiers.

So Bill Clinton speaks in Bedford, urging people to turn out for Hillary Clinton. And musician Dave Matthews plans a concert in Bloomington, sponsored by Barack Obama.

But the real action, so far, seems to be in Fort Wayne.

Obama was in Fort Wayne Friday. And both Bill and Hillary Clinton have stopped in the city during the past few weeks.

It must seem like New Hampshire up there.

Really close

One of our sister newspapers — the South Bend Tribune — helped sponsor a poll to see just how close the Clinton-Obama race is in Indiana.

It’s close. Really close.

As we reported Friday, the poll showed 49 percent for Clinton and 46 for Obama.

The poll has a margin of error of 5 percent ­— which means it’s simply too close to call.

(Schurz Communications Inc. is the parent company of both the Tribune and the Times-Mail.)

Times-Mail Managing Editor Mike Lewis welcomes comments at 277-7258 or by e-mail at mikel@tmnews.com.