INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is making history with Tuesday’s primary election. For the first time, every voter had the option to vote by mail but many chose to cast their ballots in person.
In Marion County, we caught up with voters at the polling center located inside St. Thomas Aquinas School. The line was wrapped around the building but those we talked to said they didn’t regret not sending in their votes by mail.
“Absolutely not,” said Jessica Cutter. “I think that this is really encouraging to see so many people out here voting and waiting in line and wanting to make a difference.”
“Not at all,” added Tasha Rush. “It’s a beautiful day and I’m here for a cause, I’m here for a reason.”
Some people were even willing to stand in pain – on crutches — just to cast their ballot in person.
“I’m a little bit sore but I’m OK, yeah, it’s not so hard, it’s not so bad,” said Emily Schwank.
“I don’t think anybody was expecting this kind of turnout today,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana. “We always get excited when people are enthusiastic about expressing their right to vote.”
The non-partisan group spent the day helping voters to sites with shorter lines and documenting those who may have had issues like turning in their absentee ballots past the noon deadline.
“It’s really really frustrating when administrative barriers disenfranchise voters,” said Vaughn. “This noon deadline for mail-in ballots doesn’t make any sense, particularly when it’s in person voting you have until 6 p.m..”
The number of late absentee ballots along with any other election troubles will be written into a report.
“It will be helpful as we advocate for changes to be made for the November election, you know we have never seen an election like this in Indiana,” said Vaughn.
Though these voters said they would have waited even longer to cast their votes, they do think more people would benefit from additional polling sites in the fall.
“I think especially in areas where people can’t drive as easily I think that is going to be really important,” said Schwank.
“I think more polling stations would be useful and I think expanding the ability to mail-in I think that is a great way to help people,” said Cutter.
Common Cause Indiana said it would like the state to decide whether November will be a no fault absentee ballot election soon so counties will have maximum amount of time to prepare.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Secretary of State Connie Lawson said they plan to make that decision sometime after Indiana’s Primary Election.
Due to the high volume of mail-in votes, Indiana’s Primary Election results could take days to determine.