For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Angie Nussmeyer, c. 317-205-1550
Satellite Early Voting Not an Option in Marion County’s Primary Election
Marion County Election Board votes along party lines to reject sites, flexible voting options
INDIANAPOLIS – Expanded early voting locations are not an option for Marion County voters in this May's primary election as the Marion County Election Board today did not reach a unanimous decision in selecting satellite locations.
This morning, the two Democratic members of the Board voted in favor of a resolution to offer early voting at three satellite locations while the Republican member voted against it. Chairman Sullivan then amended the motion to open two sites and again amended to one site. All three votes came down party lines – 2 to 1. State law requires a unanimous vote of the bi-partisan Election Board to open satellite sites for early voting.
“Over the last few years it’s become clear that voters want flexible options to cast a ballot other than the traditional 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. offered on Election Day,” Marion County Clerk Beth White said. “I am extremely disappointed in today’s vote as I believe our voters are better served when the Board acts in their best interests instead of their political party’s.”
The three satellite sites recommended to the Board were the Pike Township Government Center (located at 56th and Lafayette Road); Devington Plaza (located on the Northeast side of Indianapolis at 46th and Arlington); and the Beech Grove Technology/Community Center (located on the campus of Beech Grove High School). The Board unanimously agreed to the Devington Plaza and Beech Grove locations in the 2009 Special Election.
Today’s vote does not impact early voting at the Clerk’s office, which is statutorily required to begin 29 days before a regularly-scheduled election. Voters do not need a reason to vote early, but do need to provide a valid photo ID issued by the state of Indiana or federal government.
“Despite this setback, I remain steadfastly committed to providing flexible early voting options for this election. I will extend our office hours the week of April 26 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in an effort to give voters more time to head downtown after work, school or other commitments,” Clerk White added.
Early voting begins Monday, April 5. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the two weekends before the election – April 24 and 25; May 1 and 2. For the week of April 26, the office will extend hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The last day for early voting is Monday, May 3 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Clerk’s office is located on the first floor of the west wing of the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis.
Marion County Early Voting Schedule
Marion County Clerk’s Office
200 E. Washington St., W122, Indianapolis, IN 46219
Monday, April 5 to Friday, April 9 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, April 12 to Friday, April 16 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, April 26 to Friday, April 30 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, May 3 8 a.m. to Noon
Early voting satellite locations were first used by the White administration during the 2008 presidential election, where more than 73,000 people voted early out of 93,000 total absentee ballots. Of the early voting number, 53% of early voters opted to vote at a satellite location. For Marion County’s special election held in November 2009, more than 5,000 people early voted with 65% of early voters opting for one of three satellite locations. In both elections, more people opted to vote early in-person than cast a vote-by-mail absentee ballot.
For more information about the May 4, 2010 Primary Election, visit www.indy.gov/election or call (317) 327-VOTE.
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