Monroe County continues prep for primary elections on May 3, early voting on April 5

Several agenda items related to the upcoming primary elections on May 3 were dispatched by county commissioners at their regular Wednesday morning meeting.

Commissioners approved a revision to the set of polling locations—there will be 28 instead of 29 polling sites.

So that voters know which of the polling sites they’re supposed to use, commissioners approved a $18,710 agreement with Midwest Presort to send a postcard notifying each household in the county of their assigned voting location for this election.

To raise awareness of the May 3 primary election, commissioners approved a $1,485 agreement with WBWB FM 97 for 30-second radio spots to air between April 4 and April 22.

Finally, commissioners approved a $5,500 contract with Steve’s Roofing & Sheet Metal to install new metal box gutters and downspouts, with caps and flashing, at the election operations building at 3rd and Walnut streets. The work is supposed to address roof leaks at the building.

The blue building, which was the former NAPA store, is being converted to a facility that county officials are now calling “election operations.” Eventually, the color of the building will be changed from the trademark blue to something in the earth tone palette, when it gets a new coat of paint from Premier Painting. Approval by county commissioners of that $9,850 painting contract came on March 2.

Last Sunday, the outside block walls of the building were getting power-washed. At Wednesday’s meeting, fleet and facilities manager Greg Crohn told The B Square that the painting work will not be completed before the start of early elections next Tuesday (April 5).

The interior of the building, which is being remodeled by Strauser Construction under a $49,580 contract, is showing signs of progress that put it on course to be done in time for the start of early voting on April 5. The framing of the additional bathroom and secure ballot room is complete, Crohn told The B Square. Next up will be plumbing fixtures.

The creation of the computer networking system at the election operations building is being overseen by the county’s chief technology officer, Eric Evans. On Wednesday, he gave commissioners an update on the completion of that work. He told them the county’s wide area network at the building is “ready to go.” Evans said that means county staff who spend time working at election operations will be able access all their files, as if they were sitting in their office where they normally work.

Evan said the network that is now installed will allow the voters who are waiting in line to access the guest WiFi. “They can surf the web and spend their time in line researching the candidates,” Evans said.

The election operations building at 3rd and Walnut will also be used as a polling site on Election Day this year. Deputy clerk Tressia Martin listed out for commissioners the precincts that will vote at that location: Bloomington 03, Bloomington 07, Bloomington 22, Perry 08, Perry 15 and Perry 31.

Another new polling site this year will be Bloomington North High School.

Polling sites that have been used in the past that are not being used this year include: Universal Unitarian Church, Free Methodist Church, and Meadowood.

The day to register to vote before the May 3 primary is April 4.

That’s also the date for the first of two candidate forums for Democratic Party primary candidates. On April 4 and April 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. candidate forums will be hosted in Bloomington city council chambers by the Monroe County Democratic Black Caucus and the 9th District Indiana Latino Democratic Caucus.

map showing Monroe County with 28 polling locations labeled with names of locations