INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana has reached a record-breaking voter turnout between absentee ballots and in-person voting this election.
At least 3,023,827 people voted of the 4.5 million registered voters with a 63.6% turnout this year, according to AP Election Results.
Indiana had a 58% turnout with more than 2.8 million votes and a 58% turnout in 2016 election.
The state had a 58% turnout in 2012.
Hendricks County voter Norman Galloway told News 8 although the state has set a record, he believes it is a good start, but it could and it should be higher.
Thousands of Hoosiers executed their right to vote during early voting in October. There were long lines and excessive wait times at many locations in Marion, Hamilton and Madison counties. Some polling sites shattered past voter turnout numbers even through a pandemic.
“We had over 98,000 people walk in for early voting, so it was a good turn out for sure,” said Hamilton County Election Administrator Bethany Sheller.
Indiana University’s expert in racial coalition politics, Jakobi Williams said, “I stand to believe that most of those votes are going to be young voters, people that are 35 and younger, meaning first-time voters, and most were targeted to vote by mail and to vote early.”
Volunteers at vote-counting locations worked around the clock to make sure absentee ballots were verified and counted.
“We make sure the signature is there, the date is there, the precinct is there,” volunteer Debra Mickla said.
Jenny Champa has been counting ballots for more than 20 years in Marion County and said it was the most remarkable election the state has had.
“Everybody is working hard to do what they need to do. This is a labor of love, it’s a labor of civic duty,” Champa said.
Many voters have said they’re grateful that they were able to take part in democracy once again.
“It helps determine and dictate who is going to be running for president, it helps our community in a lot of ways,” said Marion County voter Danis Howard.
Indiana election officials haven’t released the full turnout for this year’s election.