Marion County voters will be able to cast ballots at several major sports venues in Indianapolis on Election Day this year.
The Marion County Election Board on Wednesday morning approved the vote center plan, which calls for opening a total of 188 vote centers—including Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium and Hinkle Fieldhouse—on Nov. 3.
The Indiana State Fairgrounds also will be used as a vote center on Election Day. Other locations include a variety of schools, churches, fire departments and even a handful of golf courses.
“We’re doing all that we can to make sure that we have a safe Election Day process,” board member Jennifer Ping said.
The number of available polling locations is significantly higher than the 22 vote centers that were open for the June 2 primary, but less than the usual 270 locations that would normally be available in Marion County. Some voters waited in line for hours to cast their ballot in June, and turnout is expected to be significantly higher in November.
Russell Hollis, deputy director of the Marion County Clerk’s Office, previously told IBJ that one reason for the fewer number of vote centers is a lack of available poll workers. Hollis said about 1,000 poll workers have been recruited so far, and he’s hoping to get 2,000 total. But opening 270 vote centers would require about 3,000 poll workers.
Early voting is expanded from past elections, though, with a total of six locations. Last year, for the November municipal election, the county opened a total of five early voting centers, but prior to 2019, early voting was only allowed at the Marion County Clerk’s Office in the City-County Building.
This year, early voting will start Oct. 6 at the City-County Building. Through Oct. 23, voters can cast ballots at that location from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
The rest of the early voting centers will open Oct. 24. Those locations are Krannert Park Community Center, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township Administration Building, Perry Township Government Center, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and the Warren Township Government Center.
The satellite early voting centers will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Early voting will also be available on weekends at the City-County Building starting Oct. 24. The hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Starting Oct. 26, early voting hours at the City-County building will be extended to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The last opportunity for early voting is from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 2, only at the City-County Building.
The Marion County Election Board also approved a resolution that will allow voters from other counties to help count absentee ballots in Marion County. Director of Elections Brienne Delaney said this will help speed up the counting process.
If a voter wishes to cast a ballot by mail, they can request the absentee ballot now, but the clerk’s office cannot start mailing ballots to voters until Sept. 19, Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge said.
Voters can find more details on early voting, the application for an absentee ballot and a list of all of the vote centers that will be open at vote.indy.gov.