By Zach Myers
Indianapolis, IN (October 4, 2014) – Marion County election officials are reporting mostly smooth sailing on this mid-term election day.
296 of the 297 polling locations in the county opened at 6:00am sharp. One location, at IPS School #94 opened an hour late because an inspector failed to arrive on time, and other volunteers at the site waited too long to call in the problem.
“We were hoping for 100-percent, but this one situation this morning, a lady went to the wrong place,” said Marion County Clerk Beth White.
Later in the day, a voting machine had to be replaced due to a malfunction of some kind.
By midday, the hotline at the Marion County Election Services Center had taken about 600 calls. That’s actually a pretty quiet election day, according to White. Most of those calls were from people asking about their polling location, or which door to enter, or how far do yard signs have to be from polling site entrances? Most of those questions or problems can be solved on the spot.
“Is the voting in the gym? Is the voting in the auditorium? Those kinds of things, and we get those questions all day long,” White said.
In some cases, voters reported their names had been left off the voter roll at their polling site. White said about 90-percent of those cases resulted from voters arriving at the wrong location. But in some cases, there was a legitmate problem with a voter’s information being left off the roll. In those cases, election workers work to resolve the issue so the person can still cast their vote, White said.
About 3,000 volunteers spent Tuesday working at the nearly 300 polling sites around the county. Marion County has about 650,000 registered voters.
Early indications were that turnout could be down about 35-percent from the mid-term election four years ago. Rainy weather typically doesn’t help voter turnout. But White said volunteers were reporting steady traffic at polling locations through the afternoon, which could indicate an unexpected uptick.