May 3, 2022: Polls now open in Monroe County

At 6 a.m. sharp on Tuesday, a Monroe County election worker opened the door from inside the blue building at the corner of 3rd and Walnut streets: “The polls are now open! Come on in!” [raw audio of polls opening announcement]

black and white photo of A-frame Vote Here sign in a parking lot in front of a building.
Monroe County election operations (6 a.m. Tuesday May 3, 2022).

No voters were standing in line at the time.

It’s the former NAPA building, which now serves as Monroe County’s voting operations facility.

Although during early voting, voters countywide could cast a ballot at the voting operations building, only voters from seven different precincts can vote there on Election Day: Bloomington 03, Bloomington 07, Bloomington 22, and Perry 06, Perry 08, Perry 15, and Perry  31.

Voters who are trying to sort out where to vote can start at the secretary of state’s voter portal. On that web page, the link for “Voting Location” is in the row of blue boxes.

Voting ends at 6 p.m.

The B Square will file any reports through the day from different polling sites as updates to this article.

6:05 a.m. Election Operations Building at 3rd and Walnut streets. No voters were in line to kick off the 12 hours of voting.

It was raining earlier, but nothing was falling out of the sky when the polls opened. The temperature was 57 F degrees with a 8-mph wind out of the southeast.

Democrat Dominic Thompson, who is running for county commissioner, and Democrat Allison Chopra, who is running for circuit court judge, are both here, ready to make a final pitch to any voters who arrive.

Tom Wrenbeck is holding a sign for his daughter, Karen Wrenbeck, who is also running for circuit court judge.

The Democratic Party primary race for county commissioner is a two-way contest between Thompson and incumbent Democrat Lee Jones. The winner will face Republican Perry Robinson in the fall.

The Democratic Party primary race for circuit court judge is a four-way race between Chopra, Wrenbeck, Emily Salzmann, and April Wilson. The winner will face Republican Carl Lamb in the fall.


7:41 a.m. Bloomington South High School.

Announcements related to the Advanced Placement exams taking place inside the high school are audible out here in the parking lot.

Paul George is here holding a sign in support of Emily Salzmann’s campaign for circuit court judge. His T-shirt identifies him as Salzmann’s “proud father.”

Karen Wrenbeck and her brother, Jeff Wrenbeck, are here in support of Karen’s campaign for judge.

Allison Chopra’s uncle, Paul Schultz, is here in support of Chopra’s campaign for judge.

Cara Wilson is here in support of her mom’s campaign for judge.

That means all four the Democratic Party campaigns for Monroe County circuit court judge are represented here at Bloomington South High School.

Natalia Galvan is here in support of two campaigns in the Democratic Party’s primary. She’s holding signs for Dominic Thompson’s county commissioner campaign, and for Ruben Marté’s campaign for sheriff.

Marté is part of a five-way primary contest for sheriff that also includes Troy Thomas, Angie Purdie, Joanie Stalcup, and Steve Hale. The winner will face Nathan Williamson in the general election.

Voting activity has been light.

Photos: Bloomington South High School

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8:45 a.m. Update from the Monroe County Clerk.

Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne has sent out the second emailed update from the morning. The first was to announce that all the polls had opened without incident. The second one has some numbers.

The top four polling locations for voters so far, according to Browne, are:

Ellettsville Christian Church: 64 voters
Sherwood Oaks Christian Church: 74 voters
St. John’s Church: 65 voters
University Elementary: 66 voters

No voters have cast a ballot yet at Southside Christian Church, Browne writes.


9:13 a.m. Sherwood Oaks Christian Church.

Every Democratic Party primary circuit judge campaign is represented here.

For Karen Wrenbeck’s campaign, her mom Dianne is here holding a sign. For Allison Chopra’s campaign, Susan Klein, is handing out literature. Carol Seaman is here for Emily Salzmann’s campaign for judge and is handing off the baton to Teresa Harper. Harper is a former judge. She’s one of two former judges who have endorsed Salzmann, Harper tells The B Square—the other is Elizabeth Cure. Aileen Wenzel is here holding a sign for April Wilson. Wenzel went to law school with Wilson.

Democrat Angie Purdie is here supporting her own campaign for county sheriff.

The other sheriff’s campaign represented here is Ruben Marté’s. It’s Nico Sigler who is handing out literature for Marté.

Sigler is also handing out literature for Dominic Thompson’s run for county commissioner.

The word from inside the polling station is that 86 people have voted so far.

Photos: Sherwood Oaks Christian Church

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10:11 a.m. Jackson Creek Middle School.

So far 117 people have cast a ballot here at Jackson Creek Middle School.

On the way here there were pretty heavy rain showers. Campaign volunteers are huddled under umbrellas as The B Square arrives. The rains stops, making conversation easier.

Here on behalf of Democrat Emily Salzmann’s campaign for circuit court judge is her mom, Nicci George. She’s wearing a T-shirt that reads “Proud Mom of Emily Salzmann.”

Cosima Hanlon, who’s treasurer for Democrat April Wilson’s campaign for judge, is here supporting Wilson.

Here supporting Republican Dave Hall’s campaign for District 62 state representative are Candace Sampson and her daughter, Caroline. Hall is facing Greg Knott in the Republican Party’s primary. The Democratic Party’s primary race for District 62 is between Brad Swain and Penny Githens.

Photos: Jackson Creek Middle School

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11:18 a.m. Binford Elementary School.

So far 69 people have voted here. It’s spitting rain.

Allison Chopra’s husband and son, Chris and Dev, are here supporting Allison’s campaign for circuit court judge.

Molly Dykstra, who’s Emily Salzmann’s sister-in-law, is here supporting Emily’s campaign for circuit court judge.

Here because she gave her daughter a ride to the polls is Bloomington’s city clerk Nicole Bolden.

The little spits of rain have stopped.

Arriving just as The B Square was leaving is Peter Iversen, incumbent Democrat county councilor. He’s unopposed in the Democratic Party primary, but is there to thank people for voting, he says. Iversen will face Republican James Allen in the general election.

Turnout continues to be light.

There’s a temporary metal ramp installed and signage to make the nearest parking space to the poll entrance an accessible space.

Photos: Binford Elementary School

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1:52 p.m. Fairview Elementary School.

No candidates are here for contested county races. But a candidate for one of the contested races for precinct chair for the Democrats is here handing out literature—Charlotte Zietlow.

Both Zietlow and Barbara McKinney appear on the ballot to be precinct chair for Bloomington 20. Zietlow tells The B Square that McKinney had called her to say she did not realize Zietlow had already declared for that chairship, and was not planning to campaign. Zietlow tells The B Square she was not campaigning much herself.

Sitting with Zietlow is incumbent Democrat county councilor Peter Iversen. Iversen says that he’d asked poll workers about a half hour earlier what the count of voters was: 69. Since then there had been some additional trickles of voters.

A woman who is ambling down the sidewalk asks if someone can help her find out where to vote. Iverson consults his smartphone, does a lookup with the woman’s information, after asking for permission, and an inquiry is made inside the Fairview Elementary polling station. The result is that a woman emerges from the polling station to drive the voter to Summit Elementary.

Photo: Fairview Elementary School

From left: Peter Iversen and Charlotte Zietlow.


2:00 p.m. Update from the Monroe County Clerk.

Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne has sent an update. Here it is:

With four hours left until the polls close, 8,957 voters have cast a ballot in this Primary election.  This represents 9% of all registered Monroe County Voters.

We’ve had 19 voters at the Indiana Memorial Union.  I’m happy to tell you that I just spoke with voter # 20.  She’s on her way to vote there right now.

The clouds seem to be rolling by quickly from my little corner of the world.  I hope voters will turn out before another rain storm comes through.

Based on  the amount of activity counted at poll locations by The B Square, Browne’s total likely includes early voters as well as Election Day voters. The B Square will confirm or clarify as time allows.

<strong>2:54 p.m. Bloomington North High School</strong>

Rain clouds have mostly given way to white fluffy clouds. But it’s windy. The wind is out of the west at 16 mph with gusts up to  33 mph. The temperature has reached 77 F degrees. 

Incumbent Democrat county councilor Peter Iversen is here at Bloomington North. (This is a coincidence.) 

The only contested campaign represented with a live person at this polling location is Ruben Marté’s campaign for sheriff. Holding a sign for Marté is Bloomington resident CJ Miller. He says he met Marté through a connection to William Hosea, who is managing the Marté campaign. 

With three hours to go, 185 have voted so far at this location.  

Photo: Bloomington North High School.

CJ Miller


3:58 p.m. Indiana Memorial Union.

The county clerk’s 2 p.m. update pegged the number of ballots cast at the IMU at 19—going on 20. In the following couple of hours, it looks like the IMU has picked up another 10 voters. The tally when The B Square checks in is 30, with one provisional ballot.

No candidates are represented in person outside the IMU polling location. But the usual cluster of signs speckles the landscaping. They’re bending hard in the wind.

4:00 p.m. Update from the Monroe County Clerk.

Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne has updated the voting tally for today. More than 10,000 people have voted in  this year’s primary election, she writes. That figure includes early voters. Browne’s email says that more than 7,200 voters have voted today. 

The top three polling sites, which all have seen more than  400 voters today, are:  Eastview Church of the Nazarene, Southside Christian Church and St. John’s Catholic Church, according to Browne’s email.

By way of comparison, 17,818 voters participated in Monroe County’s 2018 primary election.

5:45 p.m. Election Operations Building at 3rd and Walnut streets

Represented here are Emily Salzmann’s campaign for judge and Dominic Thompson’s campaign for county commissioner. Also represented two campaigns for 9th District congressional representative: Isak Asare’s and Matt Fyfe’s.

Matt Fyfe and Dominic Thompson are here in person.

6 p.m. Alea iacta est

An election worker just opened the door at the election operations building at 3rd and Walnut stress to announce: “The polls are now closed!”

The Latin means something like “the die is cast.” Julius Caesar is supposed to have said it when he led his army across the Rubicon river in Northern Italy. The idea is that the things that just happened that can’t be undone. It was a tradition of local Ann Arbor attorney David Cahill to post the phrase to local online outlets exactly when polls closed in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a good tradition, one which The B Square transplants to Bloomington without apology.

The 6 p.m. update from Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne includes some raw voting numbers: 12,493 total votes were cast. The breakdown is 9,060 Election Day voters and 3,433 early voters. By way of comparison, 17,818 voters participated in Monroe County’s 2018 primary election.

That wraps up the visits to the polling sites for The B Square. Now comes the wait for results. It will likely be at least an hour or two before anything is available out of Monroe County.

3 thoughts on “May 3, 2022: Polls now open in Monroe County

  1. Thanks for rolling out early and covering the election.

  2. I think I remember you either writing up or linking to an analysis of current candidates’ stances on issues, from an unbiased perspective (self-submitted maybe?). Can you share the link if you don’t mind?

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