Ken de la Bastide: Ken de la Bastide column: Voters shouldn't overlook county concerns in this election

Oct. 29—With Election Day fast approaching, the two major parties have drawn the battle lines around a few state and national issues hoping to attract voters.

The Democratic Party is focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade, and the Indiana General Assembly's passage of a more restrictive abortion law.

Along with that, party candidates are talking about the state's infant mortality rate, child care and pre-kindergarten education opportunities.

The Republican Party, as can be expected during an off-year election, is focused on national issues like persistent inflation and stubbornly high gasoline prices.

Without a doubt, there are women in many areas of the Hoosier State who will be voting this year based on the changes in the state's abortion law and what is perceived as a lack of freedom of choice.

The question is, how many women will go to the polls and cast a ballot based on that issue?

Everyone is feeling the impact of inflation and the higher gas prices at the pump.

The Legislature could have relieved some of the pain at the pump by suspending the state's gasoline tax and possibly the sales tax to lower prices on essential food items.

I had to laugh at a recent flyer mailed by the "dark money" political action committee Americans for Prosperity blaming Democratic lawmakers for the high price of Halloween candy.

That's just a little farfetched.

While national issues should be a concern for everyone, there are plenty of issues that should be considered by local voters.

No matter what happens on Election Day, the Republican Party is going to retain its control of supermajorities in the Legislature.

What legislation will be considered that will impact people on an almost daily basis?

Economic development should be at the top of the list. We all know there is a need for better high-paying jobs throughout Indiana.

Will an effort be made to raise the state's minimum wage?

Voters should look at statehouse candidates that have demonstrated the ability to work with members of the opposite party to adopt meaningful legislation.

Sometimes endorsements matter, so it's important to know what organizations are backing a certain candidate and the reasons why.

There are several issues facing Madison County.

Voters should weigh the potential cost of a new jail, fighting the climbing rate of substance abuse and the related crimes, homelessness and being able to work together to address these concerns.

Right now, the Republican Party in Madison County has safe majorities on the county council and Board of Commissioners. Those are not likely to change on Nov. 8.

No Democrat has served as a commissioner since 2016, and there is only one party member on the council.

Early voting numbers are encouraging and everyone is hoping more people go to the polls.

We're electing a sheriff, clerk, recorder, treasurer, four council members and a commissioner this year.

As several people related recently: "If you don't vote, you can't complain."

Senior Reporter Ken de la Bastide's column publishes Saturdays. Contact him at or 765-640-4863.