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Everything you need to know before you vote in the 2018 Midterm Election

Tuesday is Election Day, and it's a day that many have waited for days, months and even years.

Posted: Nov. 6, 2018 7:03 AM
Updated: Nov. 6, 2018 8:19 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Tuesday is Election Day, and it's a day many have waited for days, months and even years. News 18 is keeping our eye on contested races locally and nationally. Here are some guidelines:

You are eligible to vote Tuesday if you are a U.S. citizen and a resident of Indiana. You must be at least 18-years-old. A photo ID is also required.

For a list of where to vote in Tippecanoe County, click here.

You can check your voter registration here.

You can find a sample ballot for Tippecanoe County here.

You can also follow all of the Election Day results online and on air Tuesday night.

Tippecanoe County Early Voting Numbers:

23,953 - 2018 Midterm

30,876 - 2016 Presidential Election

9,359 - 2014 Midterm

Tippecanoe County Sheriff:

News 18 heard from both candidates running for Tippecanoe County Sheriff at a public debate in September. Democratic candidate Bob Goldsmith faces Republican challenger Jason Dombkowski in the race for sheriff. Dombkowski boasts his leadership as the Chief of the West Lafayette Police Department, while Goldsmith says he knows the sheriff's office, working as a Lieutenant and detective. Dombkowski defeated current Sheriff Barry Richard and Lt. John 'Woody' Ricks in the primary. Goldsmith entered the race following the Primaries.

Goldsmith is pushing for additional staff in the sheriff's office while Dombkowski says we can work with what we have. But if we were to add staff, he thinks the resources belong in the jail. Both candidates agreed, the jail needs to be geared more toward rehabilitation.

Related: Sheriff candidates play nice during public debate

Related: Full replay of the Tippecanoe County Sheriff debate

Tippecanoe County Clerk:

After 16 elections, current Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey's time in office is up.  The two women looking to take on this role is Republican Julie Roush and Democrat Vicky Woeste

Woeste has been a law professor for almost 30 years, studying law and legal history since her teens. She wants to make our elections transparent, verifiable, and accountable. Woeste would like to replace outdated election machines and provide a paper trail for recounts. 

Roush has a business background and says the role of a clerk is a business. She wants to improve voter registration and participation, promote trust and confidence in the voting process and adapt security measures to protect the integrity of our elections.

Related: Where the Tippecanoe County Clerk candidates differ

State Representative District 26

Incumbent Republican State Representative Sally Siegrist faces Democratic challenger Chris Campbell in the race for State Representative in District 26. In early September, we spoke with both candidates to schedule a debate. Campbell was open to a debate, while Siegrist was unable to find a debate before today's election. 

We do know Campbell wants to bring quality jobs to our area, put more money into public schools and increase state wages. Siegrist has focused on passing bills in support of students. If re-elected, she plans to focus on the prevention of human trafficking. 

State Senate District 22

Republican State Senator Ron Alting is running for re-election of State Senate in District 22 against Democrat Sherry Shipley. The two participated in a putt-putt debate hosted by WBAA in September. 

Shipley's main priority is to stop sending public money to private schools. Alting said his number one priority would be to get rid of last second amendments to bills.

When asked about a hate crime bill next session, Alting said he hopes to pass a version of the hate crime bill he's been co-authoring for the past 10 years. Shipley said she would sponsor a hate crime bill too.

"I know that transgender Hoosiers are not always included in that bill so we want to make sure that all Hoosiers have equal protection under the law," said Shipley.

When asked why voters should choose them:

"First and foremost, the attitude as to why I want to be and continue to be a Senator. And that is strictly to make a difference to help people, all people," said Alting.

However, Shipley thinks it's time for new ideas and more women at the Statehouse.

"The pink tax is a real thing. Taxes on diapers and tampons and sanitary pads because we have so many men in government who don't think in terms of women's' issues and when we have strong women we have strong families and strong families make for strong communities," said Shipley.

Both hope to be champions for local government.

Related: Senate District 22 candidates putt-putt over issues

4th District Congressional Seat
When Todd Rokita ran for the Senate in the primary, he vacated his 4th District Congressional Seat. That leaves his 4th District seat in congress open. The 4th District includes every county in the News 18 viewing area.

Democrat Tobi Beck is an Army veteran from Avon, Indiana with priorities of campaign finance reform, healthcare for everyone and military spending for the right reasons. Conservative Jim Baird is a Purdue University grad and Vietnam veteran.

Indiana US Senate Candidates:

Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly and Republican challenger Mike Braun haven’t found many nice things to say about each other during Indiana’s fierce Senate race, although they both speak kindly of Donald Trump.

For Braun, a multimillionaire auto parts magnate, it’s a no-brainer in a state the president won by 19 points. But for Donnelly, vocally supporting a divisive president also carries risk if it alienates Democratic voters he needs to win on Tuesday.

Ever since Trump’s victory two years ago, Donnelly has tried to walk a delicate line, celebrating areas where he agreed with the president while promising he won’t be a rubber stamp. Rarely does he mention that he’s a Democrat.

“If you want someone to be with a political party 100 percent of the time, I’m not that guy,” Donnelly said in his final ad of the campaign. “I’m not about party. Our politics are already too partisan and have become way too violent.”

But as the race has tightened, he also has angered members of his party by adopting some of Trump’s rhetoric. He has attacked socialists and the “radical left,” while calling for a border wall with Mexico.

“Career politicians like Joe Donnelly will say anything to keep their jobs,” Braun said.

Republicans say the first-term senator talks a good game. But they argue he has been against Trump when it counts, noting he opposed the GOP-led tax cut, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“Joe Donnelly voted against your tax cuts and he joined the Democrat mob to vote against justice Brett Kavanaugh,” Trump said at a rally in the Indianapolis area on Friday.

Donnelly has had a target on his back ever since he unexpectedly won in 2012 after his opponent Richard Mourdock made incendiary comments about abortion and rape.

Now he’s among a handful of Senate Democrats running for re-election in states Trump won. With his party now poised to retake the House, Republicans have intensified their efforts to maintain or expand their narrow Senate majority, and Donnelly is viewed as one of their top targets.

The race will also offer a strong indicator of whether a conservative Democrat can still win in Indiana.

In decades past, Indiana voters elected Democrats to the governor’s office, as well as Congress. But after voting in 2008 for former President Barack Obama, who campaigned for Donnelly Sunday in Gary, the state has swung to the right.

Related: Indiana Senate candidates work for your vote in final debate

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