The voter registration deadline in Indiana is October 5 and the upcoming election is only 29 days later, on November 3. For some Hoosiers, navigating the process of registering and voting can be daunting, especially during an election year made even more complicated by a global pandemic.
At Bloom, we believe it’s essential that those who are able to vote do so. To help make it as easy as possible, we have assembled this step-by-step guide.
CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION
For Hoosiers who have voted before, checking your registration status is the first step. Even if you think you are registered to vote, it’s a good idea to double check by visiting indianavoters.in.gov.
On the site’s home page, navigate to the section labeled “Check Voting Status” and click “Check Your Registration Record.”
You will be prompted to share your first name, last name, date of birth, and county of current registration. Enter the appropriate information and select “Submit.” The results of the search will be displayed on the screen.
If you are registered to vote, your registration information will appear. If it’s correct, click “Continue” to enter your Voter Portal.
The home page of your Voter Portal will display your full name, the address associated with your voter registration, your township, and your precinct.
This screen will also provide information on what materials you should bring with you to vote in person, and an option to update your voter information with a change or name or address.
Additionally, your Voter Portal will provide you with where you should go to vote in person and the hours of your polling location.
This information is also accessible by selecting “Find Your Polling Place” in the “Voting Location” section of the indianavoters.in.gov home page.
If you are not registered to vote, your search in the “Check Voting Status” section of the site will produce an error message that says, “We could not find voter registration from the information you entered.”
This screen will also provide you with the option to “Register to Vote.” This option is also accessible through the indianavoters.in.gov home page.
REGISTER TO VOTE
To register to vote in Indiana, you must:
- Have valid Indiana Driver’s License or Indiana State Identification Card.
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have lived in your precinct for at least 30 days before the election.
- Not be imprisoned.
To register, go to indianavoters.in.gov and select the option “Apply Now” under the “Register to Vote” box on the website’s home page. The voter registration screen will prompt you to enter your first name, last name, and driver’s license or ID card number. Follow the prompts on screen to complete your registration.
REGISTER FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
For voters interested in avoiding crowds at polling locations due to COVID-19, voting by mail might be a good option.
You may be eligible for an absentee ballot if:
- You have a specific, reasonable expectation that you will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open (6 a.m.– 6 p.m.).
- You have a disability for which your polling place is not accessible.
- You are at least 65 years of age.
- You will have official election duties outside of your voting precinct.
- You are scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- You will be confined due to illness or injury or you will be caring for an individual confined due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- You are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- You are a participant in the state’s address confidentiality program.
- You are a member of the military or a public safety officer.
- You are a “serious sex offender” as defined in Indiana Code 35-42-4-14(a).
- You are prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls.
To register for an absentee ballot, select “Apply Online/Get Forms” in the “Vote By Mail or Traveling Board” box on the indianavoters.in.gov website.
From this section of the site, you will be able to download various paper forms for voter registration and absentee voting. You will also be given step-by-step instructions for accessing your Voter Portal, where you can apply for an absentee ballot online.
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is October 22, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. local time. Your application must be received by this date, not mailed.
Send your application to this address:
Monroe Co. Voter Registration
401 W. 7th Street, Suite 100
Bloomington, Indiana 47404
If you choose to apply for an absentee ballot online rather than mail in your application, navigate to your Voter Portal and select “Vote by Mail” at the bottom right hand corner of the “Welcome!” box. Follow the prompts to submit your application.
Please be advised that you must complete a new absentee ballot application for each election. If you have voted via absentee ballot previously, you must still complete a new application.
VOTE EARLY IN PERSON
All Hoosiers may vote early in person from October 6, 2020, through November 2, 2020. Monroe County voters can vote at 401 W. 7th Street, Suite 100, at the following times:
October 6–October 9 from 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
October 12–October 16 from 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
October 19–October 23 from 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
October 24 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
October 26–October 30 from 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
October 31 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
November 2 from 8 a.m.–noon
All voters must bring a valid form of photo identification in order to vote and must be registered to vote in Monroe County. Acceptable forms of photo ID include driver’s licenses, state-issued identification cards, temporary/interim driver’s licenses, some student/university identification cards, military identification cards, and passports. Click here for a complete guide to appropriate photo ID options.
VOTE BY TRAVELING BOARD
Some voters can cast their vote by traveling board. The traveling board consists of two poll workers, one from each major party, who bring a ballot to the voter’s house, assist with its completion if necessary, and return the ballot to election officials.
Voters may be eligible to vote by traveling board if:
- They are experiencing illness or injury.
- They are caring for a person who will be confined at home on Election Day.
- They have a disability for which their polling place is not accessible.
To apply to vote by traveling board, navigate to the “Vote By Mail or Traveling Board” section on the indianavoters.in.gov home page and select “Apply Online/Get Forms.” Here, you can download the application for a traveling board absentee ballot, which must be received by the election office by November 2, 2020, at noon.
If you would like to apply to vote by traveling board online, navigate to your Voter Portal on indianavoters.in.gov, and select the “Traveling Board” button in the bottom right hand corner of the “Welcome!” box that display your voter information. Fill out the application by following the prompts and submit.
VOTE ON ELECTION DAY
If you are comfortable voting in person on Election Day, you should do so at your polling place from 6 a.m.–6 p.m. You can find the location of your polling place on your Voter Portal at indianavoters.in.gov.
Make sure to bring an appropriate form of photo identification with you when you cast your vote. See appropriate forms of photo ID here.
Remember that everyone in line to vote when the polls close at 6 p.m. is still entitled to cast their ballot. You do not need to leave the polling location as long as you are in line by 6 p.m.
Regardless of how you choose to submit your ballot this year, Bloom urges you to cast your vote. The upcoming presidential election is a vital one, but the candidates on state and local levels are equally as important for the future of Bloomington and Monroe County.
Look for more information about the importance of your vote in the October/November 2020 issue of Bloom, which will hit newsstands on October 6.