Differences between absentee and in-person voting

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Hamilton County Clerk Kathy Williams said the county already has more than 16,000 absentee applications as of Aug. 25. Last year, the county had 11,000 total applications. Voters have until Oct. 22 to register for absentee voting.

Current Publishing recently spoke with Williams to outline the differences between absentee voting and in-person voting, and the deadline requirements associated with each one.

Absentee voting:

To vote absentee is to mail-in or drop off your ballot to the Hamilton County Clerk’s Office. The deadline to register for absentee voting is Oct. 22, but Williams encourages voters to apply prior to that.

“If you wait until Oct. 22, it’s hard for (the U.S. Post Office) to guarantee mail both ways and be back here by Nov. 3. But if you do it now, there’s no issue,” Williams said.

Voters can apply now for absentee voting. Ballots will begin to mail out Sept. 14.

However, not everyone is eligible to vote absentee.

“There are 11 reasons, and you have to fall into one of those categories to vote absentee,” Williams said. “In the primary, the governor ordered us to ignore those choices (and allow anyone to vote absentee), but now we are back to regular Indiana statute and you have to fall into one of those categories.”

For a full list of categories or to learn how to apply for absentee voting, visit in.gov/sos/elections/2402.htm.

In-person voting:

Williams said many people prefer to vote in person because as soon as their vote is tallied on Election Day, it counts.

“Some people are concerned about getting their ballot mailed to them or getting a ballot back to us, and there’s a large percentage of people who prefer to vote early on a voting machine or vote on Election Day on a voting machine,” she said.

The county will offer early voting with two locations beginning 29 days prior to Nov. 3. The sites are the Hamilton County Judicial Center and the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. Eight satellite locations will open for early voting two weeks prior to Nov. 3, including two in Westfield, two in Noblesville, two in Carmel and two in Fishers.

There are 124 precincts, and voters are expected to vote in their regular precinct on Nov. 3.


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