About a dozen or so Bartholomew County voters were ready and waiting when early voting began at 8 a.m. this morning at the courthouse.
Bartholomew County Clerk Jay Phelps said the staff had worked until about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night completing more than 1,200 last minute voter registrations filed the day before early voting began.
A steady stream of voters, two or three at a time, continued to come into the courthouse to vote as the morning progressed. Phelps is predicting a record voter turnout this year, perhaps approaching 40,000 voters in Bartholomew County for the November election.
Mabel Baker, Columbus, said she happened to be out for an early appointment and decided to stop in at the courthouse and vote for the convenience and “to get it over with.”
Cindy McMillin, Columbus, said she had a whole lot of reasons to be voting early, but the main one was that she would be traveling and not able to vote on Nov. 8.
“I wanted to make sure that my voice was heard,” she said of voting early.
Early voting hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays at the courthouse through Nov. 7, as well as on the two Saturdays leading up to election day — 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5.
Registered voters can also mail in absentee ballots, available from county election offices, that must be returned by Oct. 31.
Early votes can be cast at three Bartholomew County vote centers the week prior to election day. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, plus 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. Early voting can be done at Donner Center, 739 22nd St., using the back entrance at 19th and Sycamore streets; MainSource Bank, 2310 W. Jonathan Moore Pike; and Flintwood Wesleyan Church, 5300 25th St.
Registered voters in Bartholomew County can cast their votes 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 Election Day at 18 countywide vote centers throughout Bartholomew County. For a list of those sites, visit bartholomew.in.gov.
For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.