SEVEN THINGS HOOSIERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE UPCOMING NOV. 2 ELECTION
Between now and Tuesday, November 2, Indiana voters will make decisions on a wide variety of offices and issues – from electing a new U.S. senator to represent Hoosiers in Washington, D.C., to deciding the balance of power in the Indiana Statehouse and in local courthouses. Voters will also decide if an amendment guaranteeing property tax caps will be added to Indiana’s Constitution.
Here are seven items for voters to consider as we look toward the General Election:
1. Plan ahead. Voters may find their polling places and driving directions online at www.IndianaVoters.com by entering a name and date of birth. Voters may also get an advance look at their respective local ballots at www.IndianaVoters.com so they will know exactly which candidates and issues they’ll be considering. Remember, polls in Indiana are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day and sometimes involve waits in line, so please schedule accordingly.
2. Bring photo identification. When going to the polls, be sure to bring your Indiana or federal government-issued identification card, like a driver’s license, U.S. passport or military ID. Voters who don’t have photo identification cards can easily obtain one free-of-charge at any Indiana license branch. Branch hours are available online at www.in.gov/bmv, are posted at each location, and are generally publicized prior to each election. When seeking a photo ID, voters should bring a birth certificate, pay stub, utility bill or bank statement, and Social Security card or document that includes their Social Security number.
3. Consider voting early. Those who qualify may vote absentee by mail or by traveling board. All that’s needed is completion of a simple form. You may vote by absentee ballot if you have a reasonable expectation that you will be absent from the county during the entire 12-hour period polls are open; have a disability; are at least 65 years old; have official election duties outside your voting precinct; are scheduled to work during the entire 12 hours the polls are open; are confined due to illness or are caring for someone confined due to illness; are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or holiday that takes place during the time the polls are open; or are a participant in the state’s address confidentiality program. Voters may ask about early voting and absentee procedures by calling their county’s voter registration office. Here are local numbers:
Allen County Election Board: 260-449-7329
Allen County Voter Registration Office: 260-449-7154
4. Pay Attention. Consult area newspapers, radio and television stations for coverage on candidate views concerning topics important to you. This will help in preparing for your Election Day choices. After arriving at your polling site, look for signs posted with directions on how to use the voting machines, a list of voting rights, information on provisional ballots and instructions for filing a complaint if you believe your rights are violated.
5. Know the law. All polling places must have facilities and machines accessible to elderly voters and those with disabilities. A complete overview of election law is available at www.in.gov/sos/elections. Voters with questions can find contact information for their respective county election boards as well as information about campaign finance and other election issues on the website.
6. Offer to help. Contact your county clerk or election board to see if workers are needed at your neighborhood polling site. Phone numbers are available at www.IndianaVoters.com.
Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne.
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