Primaries matter despite one-sided races

May 5, 2014
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Tuesday’s primary election is more than a practice run for November—especially in Republican-dominated Hamilton County, where partisan voters essentially are choosing the eventual winner.

Take the hotly contested mayor’s race in Fishers, which drew six GOP candidates interested in leading the fast-growing town as it becomes a city. No Democrats are running.

Fishers' first city election is generating most of the buzz, but Hamilton County voters also will find other key contests on the ballot: U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks has a primary opponent (and three Democrats are vying to take her on in November), for example, and state legislators Eric Turner, Jerry Torr and Jim Merritt are seeking re-election.

With such high stakes, you’d think the primary would draw voters from both parties who want their voices to be heard. All too often, the opposite is true.

In the midterm election four years ago, just 26 percent of registered voters in Hamilton County cast primary ballots.

The turnout was even worse for municipal elections in 2011: Despite contested mayoral races in Carmel and Noblesville, the primary drew less than 15 percent of registered voters, according to results from the Hamilton County elections office.

We can and should do better than that.

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  • We CAN do better
    We can do better than that! You are absolutely right! We can, should and ought to for so many reasons. The closing line can also be the headline.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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