Monday, May 05, 2008


Phones ringing. Knocks on doors. Volunteers pounding the pavement. Candidates crisscrossing New Albany and Indiana.

Blitz to tip the scales in their favor before the polls open at 6 tomorrow morning, Sens. Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were making final appeals to undecided voters today in their quest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Downtown swarmed with people. Hundreds lined up to get into the event in a line that stretched several blocks.

Clinton, joined by Sen. Evan Bayh, was hitting both ends of Indiana yesterday with campaign stops at a Merrillville fire station in the north, before heading south to a New Albany fire station.

The Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns will be following each other closely across Indiana as votes are cast today in the most hotly contested presidential primary the state has ever seen.

Election officials say they are prepared for record voter turnout for an Indiana primary as early voting concluded today at levels triple those of the 2004 presidential primary.

Floyd County Clerk Linda Moeller tells Freedom Of Speech, "We've got, 40% of our poll workers are first-time workers. We've tried to put out a lot of our experienced people as inspectors, but of course we have some new inspectors and it's the first time, you know, that they're working. So everyone needs a little patience, to allow enough time if there is a line.

Wait, there's more: State, local races are key, too.

Our position: Don't overlook the lasting importance of lower races on Tuesdays ballot.

On the local level, school board races will be settled Tuesday. Those aren't primaries; the elected leaders who in the years to come will make educational and financial decisions affecting students, teachers and taxpayers will be chosen, and not in the fall.

We ask for your vote for the following School Board candidates:

* Trisha Badger-Byrd

* Neal Allen Smith

Superior Court 1 candidate:

Susan L. Orth

Superior Court 3 candidate:

* Maria Granger

County Council AT-LARGE Candidates

* Donnie Blevins

* Ted Heavrin

* Carol Shope

In short, the importance of Tuesday's primary stretches well beyond the names at the top of the ballots. Voters' decisions in state and local races will have effects that linger here long after the presidential candidates, the national media and all the attending parties have moved on to Virginia.

Tuesday is a big day for Freedom Of Speech and Indiana, in more ways than one.

Vote Hillary Rodham Clinton!