2023 primary election notebook: Final prep done for Bloomington, Ellettsville voting on May 2

Final preparations for tomorrow’s May 2 primary elections in Bloomington and Ellettsville are now pretty much complete.

Monroe County’s election board met on Monday evening at Election Central at Madison and 7th streets to field telephoned questions from the workers at the 18 polling locations, who were setting up for 12 hours of voting on Tuesday.

Making calls to inspectors at the 18 locations to confirm that all the equipment was set up were Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne, and deputy clerk Tressia Martin.

Browne is a member of the election board. Also on hand Monday evening were Democratic Party election board appointee David Henry and Republic Party appointee Donovan Garletts. Henry is also Monroe County Democratic Party chair.

Bloomington voters are electing party nominees for mayor, clerk, and nine city council seats. Ellettsville voters are electing party nominees for clerk/treasurer and town council. Preliminary results from Bloomington and Ellettsville precincts will be published as updates to this article as they are available.

Each polling location is supposed to have a packet of official forms that cover various scenarios that can unfold. One of the forms is called the “Voter’s Affidavit Requesting To Vote In Person At The Polls After Failing To Receive Mailed Absentee Ballot.”

Fairview Elementary School, which is a voting location just a couple blocks from Election Central, was missing that packet of forms. On Monday evening, Henry walked the forms over to the school and handed them over to Fairview’s election inspector, Justin Aronson.

At Fairview, workers were setting up the signs designating the 50-foot boundary, past which campaigning is prohibited.

The inspector at the Highland Park Elementary School polling location reported in to say that preparations couldn’t be completed Monday evening—they lacked the necessary pair of one Democrat and one Republican election worker to handle the election materials. The Republican worker wasn’t able to stay until the county’s technical services contractor arrived.

Browne told The B Square the Highland Park location will get its final prep starting at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning. That’s an hour before the polls open. Voting goes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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.

The final two day’s worth of walk-in early voting numbers for Saturday and Monday outpaced estimates—by a lot.

On Saturday, 343 ballots were cast. Even on the half day Monday, 301 people voted. Added to the 2,558 walk-in ballots that were voted through Friday, and to potentially 411 mailed-in absentee ballots, that makes a total of around 3,600 early votes. (2,558 + 343 + 301 + 411)

In 2019, the early voting total accounted for about 40 percent of the turnout. If 3,600 proves to be 40 percent of this year’s turnout, that points to around 9,000 total voters in the 2023 primary, compared to the roughly 5,000 who voted in 2019.

Campaign signs placed at the iconic “Aristicat” designed by Fairview Elementary school students and built by local artist Joe LaMantia. (9:13 p.m. May 1, 2023)

2 thoughts on “2023 primary election notebook: Final prep done for Bloomington, Ellettsville voting on May 2

  1. I hope JCMS, Sherwood Oaks, and Eastview Church are now set up. As of 6:30 when I was there to set up campaign signs, no election officials were there yet

  2. The inspector has considerable latitude to set the hours for election site preparation. The party recruiter tells poll workers to contact the inspector directly about what time to arrive for set up.

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