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Voters get set to select mayors, consider referendums Tuesday

Vote centers replace replace precincts in Hendricks, Marion and Morgan counties

Dan Klein | News 8 at 10 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Voters across Indiana will go to the polls Tuesday to select among candidates to run cities and towns and, in a few cases, decide whether to raise taxes for school operations.

Polls across Indiana will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Not all Hoosiers will be voting, only those in areas with contested municipal races or ballot questions. WISH-TV will have running totals in the races after polls close and live election coverage on its Facebook page and News 8 at 10 and 11.

One of the biggest changes in how the election works in the Indianapolis area will happen in Hendricks, Marion and Morgan counties. Voters can go to any vote center rather than a local precinct.

In Indianapolis, incumbent Mayor Joe Hogsett, a Democrat, faces challenges from state Sen. Jim Merritt, a Republican, and Libertarian candidate Douglas McNaughton. In addition, 24 City-Council Council seats are up for grabs. Also in Marion County, voters will choose mayors for Beech Grove and Lawrence.

Mayoral races are on top of the ballots in many communities, including Zionsville, which is having its first-ever contested election for the town’s top job. Central Indiana cities with mayoral races are Alexandria, Anderson, Bedford, Connersville, Delphi, Gas City, Greenfield, Greensburg, Hartford City, Kokomo, Logansport, Marion, Martinsville, Mitchell, Monticello, Muncie, Peru, Richmond, Shelbyville, Tipton, Westfield, West Lafayette and Winchester.

Several central Indiana school districts are asking voters for additional cash for construction or other projects and initiatives. Referendums are on ballots for voters in these districts: Carmel Clay, Center Grove, Danville, Lawrence Township and Zionsville. A state website has information on the questions voters will see on their ballots.

Another state website has a complete list of candidates on Tuesday’s ballots across Indiana.

Gregory Shufeldt, a political science professor at Butler University, says only a small pool of potential voters will cast ballots in these off-year elections.

“What I’ll be interested to see is, with vote centers and early voting, does it just make it more convenient for people who are already going to vote or does it bring new people into the process? The political science literature suggests oftentimes it just makes it more convenient for those of us who were already going to vote.”

Early-voting turnout

Early voting in Indiana ended at noon Monday. Marion County reported 17,609 people voted early.

Early voting numbers for other counties: Boone, 4,570; Johnson, 4,089; Hamilton, 5,797; Hancock, 1,362; Madison, 2,773; and Morgan, 1,032.

Hendricks County officials said numbers were not available Monday afternoon. Shelby County did not immediately reply to requests for early-voting turnout.