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Getting a Jump on Democracy: Early Voting Begins in Indiana

About one in three votes cast in Indiana in 2016 was through an absentee ballot. (Pixabay)
About one in three votes cast in Indiana in 2016 was through an absentee ballot. (Pixabay)
October 10, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – Election Day is less than one month away, and county election boards in Indiana are ready to take absentee ballots.

Early voting starts today, and all registered voters in the state are allowed to submit an absentee ballot in person at their county election board offices. Ian Hauer, deputy communications director for the Secretary of State's office, said all clerks' offices are open for early voting during normal business hours, but some communities have additional early-voting options.

"Some counties will have additional satellite early-voting locations - some during the week, some on the weekends," he said. "And anyone can request an absentee ballot and vote early by mail from their county clerk's office. And early voting will continue through Monday, Nov. 5, at noon."

About one in three ballots were cast as absentee in the last election cycle.

Voters must meet specific requirements to vote by mail, including a reasonable expectation that they won't be able to vote in person on Election Day or if they have a disability and are age 65 or older.

The deadline to vote absentee by mail is Oct. 29. Registration for all voting ended Tuesday.

Voter turnout in the 2016 election was 58 percent in Indiana and 30 percent for the last midterm. Hauer said he expects a bit more interest this year.

"Candidates and issues tend to drive turnout," he noted. "There have been, obviously, a lot of national and state issues on everybody's minds this year. We have heard reports of above-average voter registration in advance of the November midterms."

Hauer said it's important that Indiana voters understand all the voting tools at their disposal. He recommends as a resource to find and confirm your voter registration, find a polling location and find out which candidates and issues will be on the ballot.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN