Finish line in sight for candidates

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By Vince Luecke

PERRY COUNTY - Candidates for city offices in Tell City and Cannelton, in the final stretch of months-long campaigns, are knocking on doors and passing out literature as Tuesday's election fast approaches.

"The rain (last week) put me a little behind schedule but I'm catching up," Barbara Ewing said Sunday afternoon while knocking on doors on Tell City's 19th Street. The five-term city clerk-treasurer is hoping to win the office of mayor and, like many of her fellow candidates, has been canvassing the city, sharing her ideas for the office.

At the same time, several blocks to the west, incumbent Tell City Mayor Gayle Strassell was visiting residents in the 1300 block of 12th Street. With her were incumbent at-large Councilman Jim Adams and Barbara Parker Steen. Adams is trying to win a second four-year term on the city council while Steen is running against Democrat Jenny Richter for the clerk-treasurer's seat being vacated by Ewing.

Steen has been canvassing the city for weeks, she said, and will be working right up to Election Day. Richter said she also has been knocking on doors and planned to visit several homes Sunday afternoon. Gerald Yackle, Democrat third-district incumbent planned on doing the same in parts of his ward, as did other candidates from both political parties.

Tell City voters will decide contested races Tuesday for mayor, clerk-treasurer and four of the five council seats. Only District 1 Councilwoman Dianne Rudolph has no opposition.

In Cannelton, candidates have been working equally hard. Voters there will decide eight contested races, including the one for mayor. Melvin McBrayer, a Republican is seeking another term but faces a challenge from Democrat Smokey Graves. The race is a repeat of the 2003 election that saw McBrayer win by 42 votes.

Mary Snyder, seeking re-election as clerk-treasurer, said she has been visiting with as many voters as possible, as has her Democrat challenger, Arvina Bozarth.

Both political parties in the county have been working to secure rides to the polls for voters and assisting people cast absentee ballots.

Absentee voting continues until noon Monday, with the courthouse open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The courthouse will be closed Tuesday in observance of Election Day, as will city offices in Tell City and Cannelton.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the eight Tell City precincts and Cannelton's two voting locations in the city's community center.

Voters living in three other precincts, Town of Troy and Troy Township 1 and Troy Township 2 are also eligible to vote in a Tell City-Troy Town-ship School Corp. ballot measure to decide how board members will be chosen.

Residents of those three precincts will vote at the county courthouse.

Other voters will be able to vote in the school-board issue at their respective polls.

Indiana's voter-ID law remains in place, meaning voters will be required to show an acceptable form of photo identification before casting ballots.

Identification must meet the following criteria:

Display the voter's name and the name must conform with the name on the voter registration record.

Display the voter's photo.

Contain an expiration date, and either be current or have expired after the date of the last general election, Nov. 7, 2006.

Be issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government.

In most cases, an Indiana driver's license, Indiana photo ID card, U.S. passport or military ID is sufficient.

If a voter does not possess ID meeting these requirements, the law requires the BMV to issue an state ID card free of charge, as long as the voter is able to present sufficient identifying documentation.

The Perry County License Branch in Tell City will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to assist residents who need identification cards.

Voters should note that an expired ID that is otherwise valid would fulfill the photo ID requirement as long as it expired within the deadline.

Voters should note that the photo ID law does not contain a requirement regarding the voter's address.

Voters who are unable or unwilling to present photo ID at the polls will be asked to cast a provisional ballot.

The voter will then have 10 days to follow up with the county election board and either present a valid photo ID or affirm that one of the law's exemptions applies to them.

For more information, visit the county clerk's office in the courthouse or call 547-3741.