Election officials to consider opening Lucas Oil Stadium for early voting this weekend

The Marion County Election Board is scheduled to meet Friday to consider adding Lucas Oil Stadium to the available in-person early voting locations.

The decision will require unanimous support from the three-member election board, which consists of two Democrats and one Republican.

Marion County Clerk’s Office Deputy Director Russell Hollis told IBJ “all signs indicate the vote will pass unanimously.”

If approved, in-person early voting will be available at Lucas Oil Stadium from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The proposal is in response to long wait lines at all six of Marion County’s existing early voting locations. Some voters have waited between seven and eight hours to cast their ballots.

On Wednesday afternoon, the wait time at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on 86th Street was four-and-a-half hours, according to Indy Vote Times. The shortest wait time as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday was an hour-and-a-half at Krannert Park Community Center.

On Tuesday, Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge announced she would extend the hours of the early voting center in the Indianapolis City-County Building—the only location she can control without the election board weighing in.

Today through Friday, Marion County voters can cast early ballots at the City-County Building from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the office will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Monday it will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.

The hours at the other five early voting locations were not affected by that change.

Through Monday, early voting in Marion County had nearly tripled the numbers seen at this point during the 2016 presidential election.

The election board is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Friday to vote on the proposal.

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14 thoughts on “Election officials to consider opening Lucas Oil Stadium for early voting this weekend

  1. They absolutely must do more. I stood in line for 8 hrs and 15 mins to vote the first day polling stations opened up around the city. It is ridiculous, and should be criminal, to fail to do everything possible to prevent those sort of wait times and discomfort from continuing.

  2. Whoever is responsible for selecting and implementing the early voting process in Marion County has failed miserably. The number of early voters was incredibly underestimated, which shows up as the most common measure of failure, the wait times in line. But, the bigger failure, how can Marion County only have six early voting sites when Hamilton County has 8. Johnson County also has six early voting sites with not near the population of Marion County.

    1. You need the Democrats and Republicans to agree. Why would Republicans make it easier for the most populous, most heavily Democratic area in the state to vote? Marion County only has this pittance of early voting due to a lawsuit.

    2. Joe B. Good attempt to get in a voter suppression argument jab at the Republican Party and not respond to anything I said. Per an IBJ article Saturday night, the five additional voting sites that were opened on Saturday all had 5-7 hour waits to vote. I still had to wait 3 1/2 hours to vote on Tuesday afternoon. Even if Marion County doesn’t have the proportion of early voting you think there should be, there is no reason to have that long a wait for the people wanting to vote. Marion County is majority Democrat, and run by the Democrat Party, you would think they wouldn’t want all their constituents to have to wait that long to vote, (or walk away) unless they are just inept or failed miserably as I mentioned above.

    3. Best I can tell from the reporting … the board only agreed to five, Rod.

      “The number is the result of an agreement between the Marion County Election Board, and that is sort of the tricky thing in all of this. You have to get Republicans and Democrats to agree,” said Vaughn.

      Common Cause Indiana said Indianapolis is stuck with its five satellite locations this year since early voting has already begun. Vaughn thinks the county should add more early voting sites for the next election.

      “We have got to do better in Marion County, and I hope this experience will spur our election administrators to do better next time,” she said.

      https://cbs4indy.com/news/politics/calls-for-more-early-voting-satellite-locations-in-marion-county/

    4. Yes Joe, I read that summary also, and the “settlement” was in July, so maybe the board didn’t know/anticipate the full extent of the mess that was coming. I looked for the political affiliations of the board and couldn’t find a listing with that. I am still wondering why, if the lawsuit was settled at five, what was the reasoning that it wasn’t settled at eight (Hamilton County) or more? I am thinking we won’t be able to get/find that information?

    5. The Marion County Election Board made the decision on how many early voting centers were opened. The board is comprised of two Democratic members and one Republican. The decision to have six centers was made unanimously.

      Jennifer Ping is the lone Republican member of the board and said the decision came down to staffing.

      “To staff an early vote center is a multiple-day process with multiple hours in those days and it really is a staffing issue. Of course, I’m really happy that everyone is coming out to vote. It is really hard to plan for something that’s unprecedented,” said Ping.

      https://www.wthr.com/article/news/politics/elections/verify-few-marion-county-early-voting-locations/531-27960e17-f4a4-47bd-ac1b-a15489a1ce10

    6. I also blame the Democrats … for not being smart enough to limit the donut counties to one early voting site in the interim.

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