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Monday, May 27, 2024

Indiana primary election: What you need to know

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As election season approaches, voting information can be hard to find and clouded with misinformation. Here’s what you need to know before you vote on May 7: 

What is the “primary” election? 

The primaries in Indiana refer to the election in which both federal and state-level officials are elected. In the case of Indiana’s upcoming primaries, the following offices are on the ballot: U.S. presidential party nominees, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, Indiana Senate, Indiana House of Representatives, Indiana Supreme Court, Intermediate Appellate courts, school boards, municipal government, school board members and ballot measures. 

When is the election? 

Election day is Tuesday, May 7. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. If you are in line at your local polling place by 6 p.m., you are eligible to stay in line and cast your vote. 

Am I eligible to vote? 

In order to be eligible to vote in Indiana, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • You must be a United States citizen. 
  • You must be 18 years or older on or before Election Day. 
  • You have lived in the precinct where you will vote for at least 29 days before the general election.  
  • You are not currently in prison after being convicted of a crime. 
  • You have registered to vote at least 29 days before the election, and your application is approved. 

How do I register to vote? 

If you meet the above requirements, you can register to vote online, by mail or in person. To register online, visit www.indianavoters.com. To register in person, visit in.gov and print the voter registration form and return it to your county’s voter registration office or the Indiana Election Division. If you do not have access to online resources, you can pick up a mail-in form at any BMV branch or apply in person while obtaining a driver’s license, permit or ID. Mail-in forms are also available for pick up at any public assistance office.  

The deadline to register for the May 7 election is April 8, 2024

What if the voter registration deadline has passed? 

If you have missed the April 8 deadline, you are not eligible to vote in the upcoming primary election. However, you can still register for the 2024 presidential election.  

How do I find my polling place? 

To find your polling place, you can visit IN.gov and search through the “find my polling location” feature. You can search by either your voter registration information or by your county/precinct/split precinct. If you are still unsure, you can contact your county election administrators, all of which are listed under the “find my election administrators” function on IN.gov. 

What if I can’t make it on Election Day? 

If you cannot make it to the polls on Election Day, you can still vote in the upcoming primary election. To submit a mail-in absentee ballot, a voter must qualify by providing one of the reasons listed on the official IN.gov website. 

If you qualify based on one of the above reasons listed, you must complete an Absentee Mail-In application that must be received no later than 11:59 p.m., 12 days before the election. Voters can download and print the ABS-Mail form from the In.gov website, call the Indiana Election Division at (317) 232-3939 or visit their county election office and pick up an application in person. You must be able to provide a driver’s license number, photo ID number or the last four digits of your social security number to validate your absentee ballot.  

Can I vote early? 

Yes, you can vote up to 28 days early before the election May 7. All Indiana counties are required to make early absentee voting available the two Saturdays before the election. To find information about your county’s absentee-in-person voting times and locations, visit indianavoters.com. Early voting closes at noon two days before the election, but specific dates and times for your precinct may vary.  

How do I learn more about the candidates? 

To find more information about every individual running, the nonprofit Indiana Citizen breaks down each individual candidate and summarizes the important stories surrounding each of them. The Indiana Voter Portal website also provides an in-depth search function that lists each candidate and their respective party.   

What if I need help reading my ballot?  

If you feel need assistance reading your ballot properly, bringing a friend, family member or asking the poll worker for help are allowed provisions under the Indiana Voter’s Rights Act. If you choose to bring someone with you, the person cannot be your employer, an agent of your employer or an agent of your union.  

For language assistance, there are several hotlines pertaining specifically to lack of English fluency when voting:  

  • English speakers: call or text 866-687-8683. 
  • Spanish speakers: call 888-839-8682. 
  • Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog or Vietnamese speakers: call 888-274-8683. 
  • Arabic speakers: call 844-925-5287. 

In addition to providing support for reading and understanding your ballot, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also ensures that all polling places have an accessible area for voters to cast their ballots. 

For more information about the upcoming Indiana primary election, visit http://indianavoters.com/ or call the Indiana election division at (317) 232-3939. 

Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317.924.5143 Ext. 318 or follow her at @hanna.rauworth 

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