INDIANAPOLIS — Tuesday, November 8 is the general election day in Indiana. Here are a few things you will need to know before you cast your ballot.
When can you cast your vote?
While November 8 is Election Day, it isn’t the only time you can cast your vote. People can vote early across the state.
“We’ve got our machines set up, our poll pads ready to go,” said Beth Sheller, Hamilton County’s election administrator.
Sheller said she is expecting a higher percentage of voters to cast their ballots in person this year compared to the 2020 general election. She has already seen fewer mail-in ballot requests, she said.
“I’m expecting a high turnout for early voting and Election Day since, like I said, we’ve only sent out 7,000 ballots so far,” Sheller said.
Early voting hours may vary depending on the early voting location. In Marion County, the satellite voting locations are open from 11 am to 6 p.m. while the City-County building is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for voting. The last day for early voting is November 6.
On Election Day, voting is open until 6 p.m. As long as you are in line by 6 p.m., you should be allowed to vote.
How can you tell who is on your ballot?
After redistricting, many Hoosiers could see different names and races at their voting center. For example, several new districts were created for the state legislature. This means there is no incumbent in these races.
Julia Vaughn with Common Cause Indiana says it’s important for voters to check what’s on their ballot before heading to the polls.
“It’s really important for voters to do their homework,” Vaughn said. “Many of those in and around central Indiana, there’s a new Senate district… in Marion County. A new House district was created out in Hendricks County.”
To find out who is on your ballot, you can either log in to the Indiana Voters portal or visit the Voting Information Tool.
How can you tell if you are eligible to vote?
In order to vote, you must be at least 18 years old and registered to vote. If you are unsure whether you are registered or not, you can check your voting status through indianavoters.com.
Where can you vote?
Some Indiana counties allow Hoosiers to vote at any voting center. Marion County, for example, has 181 voting centers. Other counties require you to cast your ballot at the polling place in the precinct in which you live.
You can find out where you can vote here.
What do you need to bring with you?
Before you sign the poll list and cast a ballot, you will need to present a government-issued photo ID to verify your identity. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a driver’s license, but it must have the following:
- voter’s name, which must confirm, but not necessarily be identical, to the name on the voter registration record.
- photo of the voter
- expiration date showing the ID is current or expired after November 3
- Certain military and veterans documents are exempt from this
- be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government
What if you don’t have a photo ID with you?
People who are unable or decline to present a photo ID, or if a member of the election board determines their ID does not qualify, will be challenged and must be offered a provisional ballot.
The challenger and challenged voter must complete a challenged voter’s affidavit before they can get this ballot. After completing the ballot, it will be sealed.
After casting a provisional ballot, the voter must present a valid photo ID to the county election board no later than noon, 10 days after the election to have their ballot counted. However, voters with a religious exemption or who are indigent can complete an affidavit at the county election board by that deadline.
Click here to access the Indiana Voter’s Bill of Rights.
What happens if something goes wrong at the polls?
If you show up at the voting center and your name doesn’t appear on the poll list, you will still be able to vote if one of the following applies to you:
- Certificate of Error – If your name does not appear on the poll list because of an error by the county, then the county must issue a Certificate of Error before you are allowed to cast a regular ballot.
- Written Affirmation – If, at one time, you were registered to vote in this precinct, but your name no longer appears on the poll list where you are attempting to cast your ballot, and you are willing to sign a written statement (or make an oral affirmation in the presence of the inspector or one of the judges) that you still live at the same address, then you may cast a regular ballot.
- Receipt from Voter Registration – If your name does not appear on the poll list, but you have a receipt from a voter registration agency indicating that you applied to register while the registration period was still open (before the last 29 days before the election), and the county voter registration office does not have any record of receiving the application, then you may vote a regular ballot after the information on your receipt is recorded on the poll list and you fill out a voter registration application.
On the other hand, if your name appears on the list but the name or address doesn’t match your current name or address, you may still be able to vote on a regular ballot. To do so, one of the following fail-safe procedures must apply to you:
- Name Changed – If your name is on the poll list but it has changed (example: due to marriage, divorce or adoption), you may vote a regular ballot if you sign the poll book with the new name or if an electronic poll book is used, signing an affidavit provided by election officials.
- Moved within the precinct – If your name is on the poll list but you have moved within the same precinct, you may vote a regular ballot if you sign the poll book with the new address or if an electronic poll book is used, signing an affidavit provided by election officials.
- Moved but still live in the same county and congressional district – If you moved to another precinct that is still in the same county and congressional district regardless of when you moved, you may vote a regular ballot at your old precinct one last time. You must sign an affidavit provided by local election officials or make an oral affirmation of these facts in the presence of the precinct election board before proceeding to vote.
- Moved within the State of Indiana less than 30 days before the election – If you moved to another precinct in Indiana less than 30 days before the election, you may vote a regular ballot in your old precinct, one last time, by signing an affidavit provided by local election officials.
- Moved outside the State of Indiana less than 30 days before a presidential election – If you moved from an Indiana precinct to a new residence outside of Indiana less than 30 days before Election Day, you may vote at your old precinct one last time by signing an affidavit provided by local election officials. However, you will only be given a ballot to vote for president and vice president. This fail-safe does not apply in any 2018 election.
If these fail-safes don’t apply to you, you can still vote by a provisional ballot. After filling out the affidavit, you will be given instructions to provide testimony at the Election Board hearing to determine in your provisional ballot will be counted.
What happens after you vote?
Winners may have been called, and concessions may — or may not — have been made, but voting itself is over when polls close on Election Day.
Even after election night, there will still be more work to do, as local election officials count and verify results through the canvass and certification process. Until it goes through that process, the results will be called provisional.
The Associated Press contributed to this report