Early voting off to record pace

People are voting in Bartholomew County like there’s no tomorrow.

Or maybe it’s just that they are snowbirds who are leaving tomorrow for a warmer climate.

“We have seen just an amazing amount of interest so far,” said Jay Phelps, the Bartholomew County clerk whose office oversees voting.

The early numbers back that up.

Wednesday’s first day of voting saw a record 264 people cast ballots, compared to the previous record of 125 in the 2008 presidential election.

And it picked up from there.

Thursday’s second day brought 320 registered voters to Bartholomew County Courthouse to participate in early voting.

That’s more than three times the previous second-day record of 93 voters, also in the 2008 presidential election.

With the surge in early votes, Phelps said he thought mail-in voting would taper off, but it has not.

Registered voters can pick up absentee ballots, available from county election offices, and return them by mail before the Oct. 31 deadline.

“They just don’t want to miss this election,” Phelps said. “You can tell.”

While there are no early voting opportunities this weekend, registered voters’ next opportunity is Monday at the Courthouse.

As early voting was about to begin, Phelps said he expected a record turnout.

By the time all votes are cast for the Nov. 8 election, Phelps estimated a 75 percent turnout of registered voters in Bartholomew County, with as many as 40,000 people casting ballots.

In comparison, 29,755 Bartholomew County voters cast ballots (57.4 percent turnout) in the November 2012 general election. That was down from 31,570 votes cast (58.8 percent turnout) in the 2008 general election.

Voting options in Bartholomew County

Casting ballots at Courthouse: Registered voters can cast ballots at the Bartholomew County Courthouse, 234 Washington St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays 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.

Week before election day: 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.

Voting on election day: 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.

Races on this year's ballot

There are 67 different ballots that will be used in Bartholomew County for the November general election, based on where registered voters live.

Everyone will vote for president of the United States, governor of Indiana and the second U.S. Senate representative for Indiana, as well as countywide races — commissioner, council and coroner, for example.

Geography will determine which races you vote for in the Indiana House of Representatives, Indiana Senate, local public school board or municipal races, however.

Voters can find general ballot information at the county website, bartholomewin.gov, or their individual specific geography-based ballot at indianavoters.com by entering your county, your name and date of birth.