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Sep 08

Early Voting Hints at High Election-Day Turnout

Posted on September 8, 2016 at 12:18 PM by Joel Schmidt

More than 5,200 Hamilton County residents already have cast ballots in the May 3 primary election, nearly twice as many as voted early during the last contested presidential primary in 2008.

Indiana’s primary usually is held too late to be a factor in the presidential nominating process, but it is a battleground state this year—as it was eight years ago when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were vying for the Democratic nod.

Republican races are the draw in GOP-heavy Hamilton County. As of April 25, almost three-quarters of voters have chosen a Republican ballot.

In addition to the presidential race, Indiana voters will choose candidates for an array of state and local offices. School referenda also are on the ballot in the Hamilton Southeastern and Noblesville school districts.

As of April 25, the county elections office had collected 5,269 ballots. With a week to go before the 2008 primary, that number was 2,718. At the same point in 2012, just 2,058 residents had voted.

Hamilton County Elections Administrator Kathy Richardson said she expects voter turnout to be high for the primary, given the increased interest in early voting. In 2008, almost 46 percent of the 155,944 registered voters cast ballots in May; four years ago, turnout was about 25 percent.

And there’s still time to avoid lines on at the polls. Early voting is available at the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center in downtown Noblesville from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 28-29; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30; and 8 a.m.-noon on Monday, May 2.

The county also is looking for poll workers from both parties to fill positions on Election Day. Workers must be registered voters. For more information, check out the county’s Facebook page.