How do I vote in Indiana? And other Election Day questions
Indianapolis voters wait in line to cast their ballots Monday Nov. 7, 2022. (Whitney Downard/Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Today is the last day for Hoosiers to vote in the 2022 midterm elections, and hundreds of thousands have already cast their ballots for their preferred candidates. Every vote counts in a tight election and the Indiana Capital Chronicle has those all detailed for you here.
For those voting in person
First, interested voters should check their voting status by visiting indianavoters.in.gov. Indiana’s voter registration deadline ended Oct. 11 and Indiana doesn’t allow same-day registration.
The state’s website will also direct voters to their polling place based on their voting precinct, though 58 counties also use vote centers. Vote centers can process ballots for voters in every county precinct and have been an option for counties since 2011.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. Some of Indiana’s counties are in the Central Time Zone but the majority of the state is in the Eastern Time Zone. Voters in line when the polls close have the right to vote but must stay in line.
Registered voters need to bring a valid photo identification with them, such as a driver’s license or military ID. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles offers a free photo ID for voting purposes and has extended their branch hours on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to assist with ID card issues.
If a voter doesn’t have an ID, or maybe their driver’s license is expired, the voter can submit a provisional ballot. Voters then have the next 10 days after the election to follow up with the county election board and provide the necessary documentation or submit evidence of an exemption.
Voters are not permitted to wear campaign t-shirts or political clothing at the polls. Candidates similarly cannot campaign within 50 feet of a polling entrance.
Voting using an absentee ballot
With more than 4.7 million registered voters, not all choose to go to the polls. Some opt to vote at their precincts early, a practice that ended Monday but is growing in popularity following the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Monday afternoon, 684,692 Hoosiers voted absentee this year — this includes both mailed ballots and early in-person voting. By comparison, it was 748,106 in 2018.
Still others, including those with disabilities or other obligations, may apply for an absentee ballot or vote via a travel board. The deadline to apply to vote absentee was Oct. 27, but those approved voters who received their ballots can still cast them on Election Day. County election officials must receive an absentee-by-mail ballot not later than 6:00 p.m. (local prevailing time) on Election Day, according to the Secretary of State.
However, absentee voters cannot submit their ballot and then also vote in person on Election Day.
The traveling board, which accepts ballots for those who cannot physically vote themselves, will be working on Election Day but must have been requested through a local county clerk by noon the day before. Hoosiers who tested positive for COVID-19 less than five days before the election, as well as those in isolation due to monkeypox, may request a travel board.
Those lacking transportation on Election Day may still have some options. Some local mass transit lines, such as Marion County’s IndyGo, are free on Election Day and the ride-sharing app Lyft is offering 50% off of a $10 ride using the code VOTE22.
Troubles at the ballot box
Voters who experience difficulties at the polls should contact their local election board, though several nonprofit organizations also offer resources.
The nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline can be reached by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE and has trained volunteers to answer questions in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
Additionally, it is illegal for someone to intimidate voters and a federal crime to interfere with someone’s right to vote.
Voter intimidation can include sharing misleading information, such as saying only English speakers can vote, harassing voters or falsely presenting yourself as an elections official. Violations should be reported to your local election officials.
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