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Ballot Box

Welcome to Ballot Box 2016, your source for coverage of state and local elections—with a bit of presidential politics thrown in as well. Your hosts are Hayleigh Colombo (hcolombo@ibj.com) and Lindsey Erdody (lerdody@ibj.com).
Elections / Politics / Government & Economic Development / Government

Deadline to register to vote is Monday; early voting starts Tuesday

April 1, 2016

Attention Hoosiers: The last day to register to vote is Monday.

This is not a joke. 

If you want to cast a ballot for The Donald or Feel the Bern or vote for any of the other remaining candidates (see your choices below), you need to be registered by the end of the day Monday.

In Indiana, you can submit a new registration or update your existing registration online, by mail or in-person at the voter registration or county clerk’s office, any BMV license branch or public assistance office. The Indiana Secretary of State’s website has all the details for you.

Early voting starts Tuesday. So for those of you so eager to do your civic duty, that’s your first opportunity. If you’re voting in-person, visit your county election board office. If you’re voting absentee by mail, the deadline for the ballot to be received by the county office is April 25.

The hours for in-person early voting vary by county, so check before you go.

In Marion County, early voting is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the clerk’s office in the City-County Building, 202 E. Washington St. The office will also be open for early voting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 23-24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 30-May 1.

The last day for early voting is May 2. Primary Election Day is May 3.

So who’s on the ballot? In case you haven’t been keeping track of how the Republican presidential candidate field has dwindled, it’s down to Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and John Kasich.

But Indiana voters will actually see nine candidates for president on the Republican ballot because at the time of the state’s filing deadline, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio were all in the running.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are still fighting for the nomination.

This could change before May 3, but some political experts have suggested that the Indiana primary may play a role at least in the Republican presidential nominee race.

Here are some other contested primary races you could see on your ballot, depending on where you live and which ticket you pull. Indiana voters have to choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot.

On the Republican side…

• U.S. Reps. Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman are running for the open U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the retirement of longtime Sen. Dan Coats.

• U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks is seeking re-election in the 5th Congressional District, which includes the northern portion of Marion County, the northern suburbs of Indianapolis and stretches up to Marion. Mike Campbell and Stephen MacKenzie are challenging the two-time incumbent.

• Three former candidates—Wayne “Gunny” Harmon, J.D. Miniear and Catherine Ping—return to battle in the Republican race for the 7th Congressional District.

• Longtime State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, is facing newcomer Scott Willis for his seat. IBJ recently profiled both candidates: Read about Kenley here and read about Willis here.

• In Senate District 32, Indianapolis City-County Council member Aaron Freeman and electrician Zachary Taljonick are running for the open seat vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Miller.

• Former Indianapolis City-County Council members Jack Sandlin and Jefferson Shreve are fighting for the open seat in the 36th Senate District. Sen. Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood, who has held the position for 12 years, is running in the 9th District congressional race.

• In her first reelection race, state Rep. Donna Schaibley, R-Carmel, is facing tea party activist Greg Fettig for the 24th district, which covers Hamilton and Boone counties.

• In the 39th House District, Mary Castle Elementary School Assistant Principal Tom Linkmeyer is challenging Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, who has been serving since 1996.

• State Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, is running for re-election against former Marion County Deputy Sheriff Jim Grimes in the 91st House District.

On the Democratic side….

• Indiana Department of Transportation engineer Allen Davidson and Indianapolis veterinarian and U.S. Army Reserves Maj. Angela Demaree are both running for the 5th Congressional District.

• U.S. Rep. Andre Carson is running for a fifth term against familiar opponents: community activist Curtis Godfrey and veteran Pierre Quincy Pullins. Both challengers ran against Carson in 2014. Pullins also unsuccessfully ran for the seat in 2006 and 2008.

• Attorney and Ivy Tech Community College faculty member Al Atkins is opposing state Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, in District 33, which includes the northwest side of Indianapolis.

• For the Democrats in state Senate District 36, real estate firm Avison Young principal Bill Ehret, former Indiana State Board of Nursing Director Sean Gorman and Hoosier Environmental Council Executive Director Jesse Kharbanda are running for the seat.

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