INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be among 188 polling places in Marion County on Nov. 3 general election.
Russell Hollis, deputy director in the Marion County Clerk’s Office, on Wednesday made the announcement, which was hinted at last week in a report from News 8.
The goal is to make voting easier than it was for the June primary election, where voters suffered through long lines while absentee ballots overwhelmed the system. Marion County election officials say they do not want a repeat of issues they and voters faced the primary. Less than an hour before the polls closed for the primary, a healthy line of voters were still waiting to vote.
Hollis said, “I think having 188 during the general elections instead of the the 22 during the primary. I think that is a big step.”
Those locations and others for early voting are listed on a city government website.
Also, for the first time in a federal general election, Marion County voters can cast their vote Nov. 3 at any polling location, which should eliminate long lines in more populated areas, Hollis said.
Absentee voting by mail
As far as absentee balloting by mail, Marion County has received 20,000 requests so far. The county expects more than 100,000 thousand requests.
Indiana has 13 criteria that allow Hoosiers to vote absentee by mail, and a federal court ruling Friday said those criteria are constitutional. An Indiana government website provides details on who can vote absentee by mail. Indiana is one of nine states requiring a reason to cast an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election.
“How are we checking to make sure these people are complying? Well, what we do is make sure that a voter selected a reason and that is as far as we go,” Hollis said. “So, nobody is really checking. We just check that they made a selection.”
The last day to request an absentee ballot in Indiana is Oct. 22, and the last day to register to vote in Indiana is Oct. 5.
The Postal Service says applications for absentee ballots should be mailed by Oct. 19 and returned by Oct. 27. However, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Wednesday that Hoosiers should not wait until those deadlines; they can apply now for absentee ballots. Counties are not yet sending ballots since the Republican Party has yet to formally approved its candidates, which is expected to happen Thursday.
Lawson also said, for those Hoosiers who may not get their absentee ballots returned by Oct. 27, the state has laws that only allow absentee ballots to be dropped off at county clerk’s offices, not at polling places. The absentee ballot has to be dropped off by the voter or a member of the voter’s immediate household.
5 early-voting centers
Five early-voting centers will open from Oct. 24-Nov. 1 in Marion County. They will be located at the Indianapolis City-County Building, the Krannert Park Community Center, the administration building for Lawrence Township Schools, the Perry Township Government Center, St Luke’s United Methodist Church, and the Warren Township Government Center.
“We are excited and honored to have the chance to participate in this year’s elections as a voting site. We are reminded today, as we commemorate women’s suffrage, that elections can be powerful, unifying demonstrations of what makes our democracy so special. Making a community asset like Bankers Life Fieldhouse available on election day reflects our commitment to encouraging all Hoosiers to play their part in that process. Thank you to the Marion County Election Board for including us.”
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