2023 primary election notebook: Early voting winds down well ahead of 2019 numbers

Based on current early voting numbers, as many as 8,000 voters could participate in Bloomington’s 2023 primary elections.

Monroe County election operations at 3rd and Walnut streets in downtown Bloomington (April 29, 2023)

That would be a 60-percent increase over turnout for the 2019 primaries, when around 5,000 voters cast a ballot for Bloomington mayor in the Democratic Party’s primary.

What’s the arithmetic on the projection of 8,000 voters in this year’s primary?

Based on numbers from Monroe County election division staff through the end of the day on Friday, the count of walk-in early voters was 2,558. By midday on Saturday (April 29), another 118 people had voted, which election staff estimated would reach around 200 by day’s end.

If every voter who was mailed an absentee ballot returns it, that will make for 412 more early-voted ballots. Through Friday, the tally of returned mailed ballots was 309.

There’s another half day of early voting on Monday, which could mean another 100 early votes.

That all adds up to around 3,270 early votes. (2,558+200+412+100)

In 2019, the roughly 2,000 early voters accounted for about 40 percent of the roughly 5,000 total votes. If there are 3,270 early votes and they reflect 40 percent of the total, the total will be 8,175—call it 8,000 in round numbers.

Rounding down makes sense because this year the race for the Republican nomination for the city of Ellettsville clerk/treasurer is contested—between Noelle Conyer, Dan Swafford, and Paul Turner. So some number of early voters will be Ellettsville residents looking to choose their clerk/treasurer.

Bloomington voters are choosing the Democratic Party’s nominees for mayor, clerk and nine city council seats. Just one Republican candidate has declared their candidacy for a Bloomington city race, in District 3.

Early voting hours on Monday (May 1) go just from 8 a.m. to noon. After that you’ll need to vote at your assigned polling place.

Indiana’s secretary of state has set up a voter portal  where you can check your polling site for primary Election Day, which is May 2. Election Day voting hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.