INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana steps into the national spotlight Tuesday with a primary election that could play a significant role in deciding Republican and Democratic presidential contests, as well as a spirited Senate GOP primary election and crowded races for Republican nominations in two U.S. House districts. Two state Senate Republican primaries also are drawing attention as Senate leaders try to fend off challenges.
Voters cast a record number of early ballots and high turnout is expected, especially in some heavily Republican counties in suburban Indianapolis.
Some Indiana voters encountered long lines at polling sites as they ventured out on a rainy Tuesday to cast ballots in the state’s closely-watched primary election.
Voter turnout was heavy in Johnson County, just south of Indianapolis, where clerk of the courts Sue Anne Misiniec said more than 6,400 people voted in the first 2 ½ hours after polling sites opened Tuesday. She said the county could see a 50 percent voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary.
But Allen County in northeastern Indiana had seen only about a 13 percent voter turnout by midmorning Tuesday, much of it in Fort Wayne, Indiana’s second-largest city.
County election director Beth Dlug (Duh-lug) said about 20,000 people had voted at polling sites by about 9:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Another 16,000 voted before Tuesday’s primary.