Voters hit polls today to take part in primaries

May 7, 2019

Today is Election Day, and polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Voters will head to the polls to determine which local candidates will move on to the Nov. 5 general election. In Fort Wayne, residents will have to choose between candidates for city offices from both parties.

Mayor Tom Henry faces challenger Gina Burgess and perennial candidate Tommy Schrader on the Democratic primary ballot. On the Republican ticket, City Councilman John Crawford, R-at large, faces MedPro executive Tim Smith and perennial candidate David Roach. 

Other contested Fort Wayne races are City Council districts 3, 4, 6 and at large. There are also contested Republican primaries in Grabill, Leo-Cedarville and New Haven. 

Although voting precincts will be open until 6 tonight, turnout of registered voters has historically been low for city primaries. In 2015, turnout in Allen County was just 9.8%. Turnout was 12.8% in 2011 and 14.3% in 2007. 

Early voting this year has gone well for a municipal primary, Director of Elections Beth Dlug said. A total of 4,515 people voted early at the Rousseau Centre and satellite locations around the county. The early voting total for the 2015 municipal primary was 1,634. Today, the Election Board will be operating 91 locations in Fort Wayne, Grabill, New Haven and Leo-Cedarville. 

“I think we’ll see a better turnout because there’s a lot of competition on the ballot,” Dlug said, adding that she’s expecting anywhere from 12% to 15% turnout. 

“The highest we’ve seen was in 1999, and that was 20%,” Dlug said. “So that’s the bar to beat.” 

Information about polling locations can be found at www.allencountyvoters.info.