With the Nov. 3 election date approaching quickly, Marion County officials have been working hard to ensure public safety and accessibility to polling places for the general election.
In June there were only 22 locations available for residents for the primary. Some voters stood outside in the heat for hours, lined up to cast their votes. In November, there will be 188 locations available, including Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse. County officials are hoping to utilize the size of those venues to better accommodate in-person voters.
“Those two locations, Bankers Life and Lucas Oil provide an advantage to us because if there is a large line on election day we will be able to have people inside and get them out of inclement weather or heat, all while being able to keep people spaced out and keeping that six-foot difference in between them,” said Russell Hollis, the deputy director at the Marion County Clerk’s Office.
On Aug. 26, Bankers Life Fieldhouse released a statement saying, “Making this community asset available on election day reflects our commitment to encouraging all Hoosiers to play their part in that process.” The size of these venues seems to be the deciding factor to utilize them to comfortably distance a large volume of people.
The county has received a greater volume of absentee ballot requests by mail during the pandemic than in years past. The county expects to see more than 100,000 requests. The virus will surely have an impact on what in-person voting looks like as well, according to Hollis. “You can expect to see election workers in masks, and some behind plexiglass, painters tape on the ground to direct people where to stand, and little finger guards that will allow people to use our tablets safely,” he added.
Hollis believes that the extra polling places will have a positive effect. “It is difficult to predict anything about 2020, but if I had to go out on a limb I would say that opening those particular locations will encourage people to vote because they will be able to vote safely and comfortably,” he said.
Please visit vote.indy.gov for more information about the election and how to register to vote. Please keep these dates in mind when registering to vote.
-The deadline to register online to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.
- The deadline to register by mail to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.
- The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Thursday, October 22, 2020.
- The period for early voting is Tuesday, October 6, 2020 – Monday, November 2, 2020