Posted: Monday, April 4, 2016 6:42 am
Today is the last chance to register to vote in this year’s May 3 primary.
Election Supervisor Tree Martin said those wanting to register can do so either at the registration office — 401 W. Seventh St., Suite 100 — until 4 p.m. today or online at www.indianavoters.in.gov until midnight.
Contested races at the national and local level seem to have attracted voter interest, election officials say, and the registration office is seeing an uptick in the number of new registered voters. Just last week, the office received more than 1,800 new registrations. Martin said that number is expected to grow.
“We are hoping that when we walk in (today), we are just packed with new registrations,” Martin said.
Monroe County Election Board member and Republican Party Chairman William Ellis said he is pleased that more residents are showing interest in the voting process. He said his guess is that many see something exciting about this year’s campaigns both locally and especially at the national level.
Carolyn VandeWiele, Democratic representative on the election board, said this could be good news in regard to voter turnout for Monroe County, which has been on the low end when compared with other Indiana counties.
A recent example of a contested primary affecting voter turnout was the presidential campaign of 2008, when Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were waging a competitive race for their party’s nomination. According to Monroe County data, 45 percent of registered voters went to the polls that May, compared with a 16 percent voter turnout in the next presidential year.
Monroe County residents wishing to vote prior to the May 3 primary election can do so starting Tuesday at Election Central, located at 401 W. Seventh St. near the intersection of Seventh and Morton streets.
Starting April 18, in addition to Election Central, the Monroe County Election Board will open a second early voting location at the North Showers Building at 501 N. Morton St. in rooms 201 and 202 to handle anticipated turnout.
Voters will be required to show a valid photo ID to receive their choice of either a Democratic or Republican primary ballot.
According to the Indiana State Election Division, that ID has to be state or government issued and must display the name as it appears in the voter registration record.
In addition, those who will be 18 years old before the next general election, on Nov. 8, can vote in the primary elections. Those voting in an Indiana election must be a resident of the state and live in the precinct at least 30 days before the election, according to a news release from the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office.
All registered voters can vote early in person if they so desire. For more information on Indiana voting laws, visit www.in.gov/sos/elections.
Here are the primary election dates and hours:
Election Central location only
April 5-8, 11-15 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Election Central and North Showers Building (Room 201-202)
April 18-22 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
April 23 — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
April 25-29 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
April 30 — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
May 2 — 8 a.m. to noon.