Marion County sees three times as many early voters as in 2016

More than 213,600 Marion County residents have already cast ballots heading into Election Day—more than three times the number who voted early in the 2016 presidential election—according to numbers released Monday evening by the County Clerk’s Office.

The county total includes more than 130,000 in-person early votes and 81,800 mail-in ballots.

Statewide, more than 1.7 million voters cast ballots by mail or in-person at an early-voting location through Monday, according to preliminary numbers from the Indiana secretary of state’s office. That total could grow overnight when some counties update their numbers in the state voter registration system.

The statewide total includes more than 1.23 million early in-person votes and 563,650 mail-in votes.

In the 2020 primary election, a total of 640,225 Indiana residents voted absentee in-person or by-mail. In 2016, during the entire period of absentee voting for both in-person and by-mail, 977,239 ballots were submitted.

Indiana’s record early turnout follows a national trend of voters looking to avoid possibly crowded Election Day polling places amid the coronavirus pandemic or wanting to make sure there’s no doubt about getting their ballot in.

Besides the Donald Trump-Joe Biden presidential race, Indiana voters are deciding whether Republicans will continue their political dominance of the state.

But with the sheer volume of early votes, election officials say it could take more than one day to tally them all, possibly delaying determination of some winners.

In Marion County, the state’s largest county, teams will begin processing early ballots by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, said Russell Hollis, deputy director of the Marion County Clerk’s Office. As a result, key races are not expected be decided on Election Night.

“The only prediction I have is that we’re looking at multiple days. It’s going to take us until Thursday or Friday until everything is counted,” Hollis said.

Hamilton County will start counting ballots at 8 a.m. Tuesday, said county clerk Kathy Kreag Williams: “I’m anticipating it won’t be until late Wednesday afternoon before we get done. We just have so many absentees to get through.”

Early voting ended Monday at noon local time. Mail-in ballots must arrive in county election offices by noon Tuesday to be counted.

The last chance to vote will be at in-person voting sites that are open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. local time Tuesday.

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