Voter headquarters on near-east side to register low-income families

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A voter headquarters has been created for people to get registered to vote.

It’s there to target low-income families on the near-east side.

The deadline to register in Indiana is Oct. 5.

Volunteers with the organization Inspire 10th Street and the John Boner Neighborhood Centers are facilitating the headquarters on East 10th Street. The building was an art space that’s been renovated into a voter headquarters.

“They don’t have to have a computer. They don’t have to have internet. They don’t have to make it downtown to register to vote,” said James Taylor, chief executive officer of John Bronner Neighborhood Centers. “The idea is to bring it into the neighborhood itself and making it very convenient.”

The CEO mentioned that volunteers are handing out postcards and canvassing the neighborhood. Taylor said it’s the first time they are doing community outreach on voting in such an intentional fashion.

A heat map shows thousands of people unregistered to vote across Indianapolis, according to Map The Vote.

The near-east side is also populated with nonregistered voters. Taylor said the poverty rate is probably from 35-40% within a mile surrounding the headquarters.

Many low-income families face challenges such as transportation and can’t get registered or vote.

“For a lot of our low-income neighbors, they have other challenges going on in their lives and voting is not going to hit their top 10 list because they’re worried about things like food and keeping the utilities on and ‘I want to keep my housing’ and all those kinds of things,” Taylor said.

The headquarters allows people to register, confirm voter registration status, request an absentee ballot, know your Election Day and early-voting polling sites, and to ask common voting questions.

“For the first 100 that come in this weekend, they’re going to get a free tote bag and they’re also going to get a a gift card to Chuck’s Coney Island,” Taylor said.

The voter headquarters will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 3, and no Oct. 5.