Midterm election drawing large crowds at Marion County early voting centers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s the last weekend of early voting before Election Day and the midterm elections are drawing records numbers to voting centers in Marion County.

As of Saturday, nearly 56,000 people had cast their votes early in-person in Marion County according to the Marion County Election Board. It’s way ahead of the numbers for the 2016 presidential election. By this time, less than 29,000 cast their votes in that race.

Nearly 7,000 people voted in Marion County on Saturday. Some waited for more than an hour in line.

“I feel I have the need to speak up and have a voice,” said Valerie Lewis Rodgers, a voter.

A site manager at the voting center in Lawrence said the line did not stop at all after they opened on Saturday morning. She noticed a large number of first-time voters.

“I thought my vote would count even more this year than maybe in years previous,” said Brandon Knop, a 23-year-old first-time voter.

Several Hoosiers said the heated and tight U.S. Senate race drew them to the polls.

“I am concerned to make sure we keep a majority in the Senate, a Republican majority, to allow the president to appoint judges that are really good,” said Leslie Hiner, a voter. “He’s done a great job of that.”

She disapproved of Senator Joe Donnelly voting ‘no’ on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Hiner decided to vote for Mike Braun.  Others applauded Braun’s conservative values.

“He supports a strong national defense,” said Charles Braun, a voter not related to Mike Braun. “That is very important to me.”

Opponents of Mike Braun said President Trump’s temperament encouraged them to vote for Senator Donnelly.

“It is the negative rhetoric that is out there and the divisiveness that is out there,” said Rodgers.

The Marion County Clerk’s Office said 1,000 people voted within the first hour of opening Saturday. Centers will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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