Early voting in Monroe County wraps up with nearly 23K ballots marked, a few hundred snacks munched

At noon on Monday morning, the line of early in-person voters at Election Central in downtown Bloomington still wrapped three-quarters of the way around the block.

Standing near the line, on Rogers Street just north of 6th Street, next to a cooler with snacks and bottled water, was Lisa McCune.

She’s known as the “snack lady” to the regular crew of candidates and their supporters who’ve been standing holding their signs at the corner of 7th and Madison streets through the four weeks of early voting. Early voting ended at noon on Monday.

McCune said the inspiration for distributing snacks came when she cast her own ballot and she was waiting in line to vote near Rogers and 6th streets, about the same spot where she had her cooler set up on Monday: “I was standing right about here a couple weeks ago. And I said, I got a headache. I wish I’d brought a water. I wish I’d brought a snack. Everybody in this line is probably thinking the same thing.”

So off McCune went to Sam’s Club. And she returned on the following days to distribute her bits of cheer to voters.

McCune told The Square Beacon she’d lived in Bloomington “forever”—which means she arrived here from Mishawaka in 1972 and earned a degree in linguistics and Spanish at Indiana University.

On the final day of early in-person voting, 719 people cast their ballots. That was a low for a daily total over the four week period, but that was because voting ended at noon. That meant just four hours of voting on Monday. Measured by through-put, the 180 voters per hour on Monday was the maximum achieved on any day during early voting.

Monday’s tally brought the total of in-person early votes to 22,881. Added to the 13,843 absentee ballots that had been received by the start of the day on Monday, that makes 35,794 confirmed early votes, with another 1,100 mail-in ballots still outstanding.

That that’s about 6,000 more early votes than in 2016.

The total turnout in Monroe County for the most recent presidential election, in 2016, was just under 60,000.

Mail-in ballots have to be received by noon on Election Day in order to be counted.

Voters who are still unsure to which of the 28 polling locations they are assigned on Election Day can consult the interactive map that Monroe County’s surveyor’s office has created.

Another way to check for voting locations is to consult the state’s voter portal website.

Indiana’s secretary of state has set up an election results webpage.

Results might not be ready Tuesday night. According to Monroe County clerk, Nicole Browne, “I’ve cautioned against anticipating the receiving of any results once the polls close on November 3, 2020.”