Free parking in downtown Bloomington … for voters

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Election Central at 7th and Madison streets on Oct. 25, 2019. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

The parking lot at Election Central in downtown Bloomington, at the corner of 7th and Madison streets, is now reserved for voters to park. Banners on both sides of the entrance say, “Voter Parking Only.”

Early voting has been underway since Monday of this week. Saturday (Oct. 26) hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For a complete schedule of early voting, through noon on Nov. 4, see the Monroe County election board’s web page. Election Day is Nov. 5.

The early voting stats report generated by election supervisor Karen Wheeler showed that by noon on Friday, 85 people had voted early. The breakdown of votes by district was 39 in District 2 and 46 in District 3. No elections are being held in the other four city council districts because no races are contested there.

The total had climbed to 102 by around 4 p.m. but Wheeler did not have a breakdown by district.

In 2015, the last time municipal elections were held in Bloomington, 202 early votes were cast in the District 2 city council race, out of 551 total votes. In District 3, 440 early votes were cast for the District 3 city council race, out of 1,539 total votes.

That year, Dorothy Granger’s District 2 city council race was uncontested. In District 3, Allison Chopra won against Nelson Shaffer.

On Saturday, the polls will no longer compete for attention with the scheduled Pumpkin Launch at Monroe County’s fairgrounds. The city-sponsored event has been cancelled due to forecasted bad weather.

Not cancelled for Saturday is councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith’s monthly constituent meeting at city hall’s McCloskey Room, from 11 a.m. to noon. According to Piedmont-Smith’s press release, “The meeting will feature a discussion of issues coming before the City Council, including three Planned Unit Development (PUD) petitions and the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).”