Election officials share thoughts on early voting, ballot confusion

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I’m estimating that we’re gonna have between 12,000 and 14,000 votes.”

Brad Newman, Vigo County Clerk

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Early voting is now underway in Vigo County, and with just one day’s worth of data available, 254 votes have already been cast, with several absentee ballots in as well.

“We already have more than half received back than what we got in total in the spring,” said Ladonna Ingram.

This election carries some extra weight, with two county-wide referendums (one regarding a possible casino coming to Terre Haute, and one regarding the Vigo County School Corporation and property tax increases) as well as municipal elections.

People are more inclined to vote and participate when they know it’s not going to be a frustration to them.

Brad Newman, Vigo County Clerk

Election board members want to make it clear to voters, both county and city, what they can expect on their ballots.

“If you’re within the city of Terre Haute, and within the city limits, you can vote on the referendum and the municipal elections,” said Vigo County Clerk Brad Newman.

“When the county residents are getting their ballots, they’re saying ‘there’s no names to vote for on my ballot’ and that’s because as a county resident, you can only vote for the referendums,” said Ingram.

Also in the interest of voter convenience, the Vigo County Clerk’s Office is working with the Vigo County Public Library to tally wait times at voting centers and make that data available in real time on election night.

“If they’re out in the masses and they’re moving that day, ‘oh I can’t go to the church on Poplar, it’s got an hour wait time, oh but wait a second, we can go right down here, it’s fifteen minutes’. People are more inclined to vote and participate when they know it’s not going to be a frustration to them,” said Newman.

Newman adds that those involved are in the infancy stage of planning for these tallies, but that people should see workers timing them as they enter and leave voting centers on election day.

Officials say they anticipate efficiency and clarity, along with the importance of this particular election, to result in high levels of participation come November 5.

“For any election, we look at our numbers and usually we say the number for the general election will double what it was in the spring, but it’s definitely going to be more than that,” said Ingram.

Ingram reminds absentee voters that applications for absentee ballots must arrive at the Clerk’s Office by October 24.

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