Early voting numbers up in most central Indiana counties

May 4, 2018

Early voting in Indiana started April 10, and more than 116,500 residents have cast a ballot across the state.

More Republican ballots have been turned in so far than Democratic ballots—more than 67,500 compared to 48,600. But the top-of-the-ticket race for U.S. Senate is only competitive on the Republican side. U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita and former state lawmaker Mike Braun are running for a chance to face Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in the fall.

Most counties around Indianapolis are reporting higher turnout so far than this time in 2014—the most recent similar election year—but a couple of counties are seeing fewer or the same number of voters.

Turnout has been the highest so far in Hendricks County, where County Clerk Debbie Hoskins attributed the increase to the county's use of a vote center system for the first time.

So far, 4,080 residents have voted early there, including 3,637 in person. At the same time in 2014, only 2,156 had voted early.

“We are so excited and pleased with the early turnout so far,” Hoskins said.

In Marion County, early turnout has doubled from 2014. It’s also up 58 percent from 2010 early-voting figures, with more than 2,600 residents who had already voted as of Thursday.

Morgan County Clerk Stephanie Elliott said the county has probably doubled early voting figures from 2014.

“People are liking early voting here in Morgan County,” Elliott said.

Numbers are also up in Hamilton County—3,863 this year compared to 1,525 in 2014—and Boone County—1,357 this year compared to 1,264 in 2014.

Hancock County Clerk Marcia Moore said more than 2,600 people had voted early as of Thursday and she thinks the figure will climb to 3,500. That could mean a total turnout of 14,000, according to Moore, which would be up from 9,710 total voters in 2014 and 12,343 in 2010.

In Shelby County, election deputy Jeff Sponsel said early voting seems to be about the same this year, and he expects total turnout to be about the same as what the county saw in 2014 when a total of 6,251 people voted in the primary.

“I would say we’re going to be somewhere in the same neighborhood,” Sponsel said.

And, in Madison County, election director Mary Retherford said she thinks turnout is actually low—only 683 people have voted early so far—but she attributed that to the voting center being in a different location while the local courthouse undergoes asbestos removal.

“I think that may be a little bit of the problem,” Retherford said.

Early voting ends at noon Monday. Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 6 p.m.


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