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. Continue reading “2023 primary election notebook: Early voting winds down well ahead of 2019 numbers”

Column: Extra! Extra! Early voting, Little 500!

Today (Saturday April 22), walk-in early voters for this year’s May 2 municipal elections can cast a ballot at the election operations center at 3rd and Walnut streets. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bloomington voters will be electing party nominees for mayor, clerk, and nine city council seats. Ellettsville voters will elect party nominees for clerk/treasurer and town council.

Also today at 2 p.m., riders in this year’s edition of the Little 500 bicycle race will roll off the start line at Bill Armstrong Stadium on the Indiana University campus. You can also watch the drama unfold on the university’s live stream. Continue reading “Column: Extra! Extra! Early voting, Little 500!”

2023 election notebook: Early voting for May 2 Bloomington primary light so far

At Thursday’s meeting of the Monroe County election board, county clerk Nicole Browne delivered an update on early in-person voting for the May 2 primary election, which started on Tuesday.

Election operations center with banner that says "Vote here today!"
Early voting at Monroe County election operations at 4th and Walnut Streets. (April 4, 2023)

As of 11:45 a.m. on Thursday (April 6), 134 voters had cast a ballot in person at the election operations center at 3rd and Walnut streets across, Browne said.

Browne also reported that 197 absentee ballots had been requested by mail and sent to voters. Of those 197 ballots, 25 had been returned, Browne said.

Bloomington voters will be electing party nominees for mayor, clerk, and nine city council seats. Ellettsville voters will elect party nominees for clerk/treasurer and town council.

In 2019, about 5,400 people showed up to the polls to cast a ballot in Bloomington’s Democratic Party city primary. Of those, about 2,000 cast their ballot early in person or absentee by mail.

The total number participating in the 2019 Bloomington primaries amounted to just 10 percent of registered voters. Continue reading “2023 election notebook: Early voting for May 2 Bloomington primary light so far”

Early voting for May 2, 2023 municipal primary starts, traditions observed

On Tuesday morning at 8 o’clock sharp, Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne opened the door to the election operations center at 4th and Walnut streets and called out: “Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now open!”

That’s how in-person early voting kicked off this year for the May 2 primary elections in Monroe County.

Bloomington voters will be electing party nominees for mayor, clerk, and nine city council seats. Ellettsville voters will elect party nominees for clerk/treasurer and town council. Continue reading “Early voting for May 2, 2023 municipal primary starts, traditions observed”

Early voting wraps up in Monroe County, polls open on Election Day at 6 a.m.

Early voting in Monroe County for the Nov. 8 election is now over.

Closing at noon on Monday were the polls at the election operations building at 3rd and Walnut streets in downtown Bloomington.

Voting hours for Election Day, at assigned polling locations throughout the county, extend from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The pace of early in-person voting in Monroe County has increased by a lot in the final week before the Tuesday Nov. 8 election.

The increased early-voting numbers were evident on Monday. For much of the morning, a line of voters wrapped around the north end of the election operations building.

At around 11:45, which was 15 minutes before the polls closed, The B Square counted around 40 people standing in line outside. Sunny skies and a temperature in the low 60s meant the wait was not as unpleasant as it might have been.

The line moved pretty fast. In the four hours of early voting on Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to noon, 977 people were able to cast a ballot. That works out to 244 voters an hour, the highest voter throughput for any day during this year’s early voting period, or for the presidential election in 2020. Continue reading “Early voting wraps up in Monroe County, polls open on Election Day at 6 a.m.”

Early voting in Monroe County continues to trail 2018 turnout, election day workers still needed

At Thursday afternoon’s meeting of the Monroe County election board, county clerk Nicole Browne reported to her colleagues that she was “a little disheartened” about the early voting turnout so far for the Nov. 8 election.

Election supervisor Karen Wheeler confirmed that the early voting numbers this year are still lagging well behind the numbers for the last midterm year in 2018.

In 2018, about 24,500 people voted early—the combined total for absentee mailed-in ballots and in-person votes. That’s based on the early vote totals in the race for US Senate.

Wheeler also said at Thursday’s election board meeting that she still needs election day poll workers from both parties. Continue reading “Early voting in Monroe County continues to trail 2018 turnout, election day workers still needed”

Election 2022 notebook: Early voting pace in Monroe County looks slower than for 2018

Turnout for this year’s midterm elections would be expected to be lower than in 2020, a presidential election year.

But this year’s early voting numbers for Monroe County look like they could be also lagging behind the midterm numbers from last time around in 2018.

In 2018, about 24,500 people voted early—the combined total for absentee mailed-in ballots and in-person votes. That was nearly half of the 52,000 people who participated in the 2018 elections.

A back-of-the napkin estimate for this year’s early voting numbers—based on in-person totals so far, and the absentee mail-in ballots returned so far—would be around 16,000. Continue reading “Election 2022 notebook: Early voting pace in Monroe County looks slower than for 2018”

Election notebook: Monroe County early voting picks up pace, still way slower than presidential year

The historical pattern across the county is for midterm elections to generate less voter turnout than elections that are held in presidential years.

In Monroe County, Indiana, that’s the pattern for early in-person voting so far, after almost two week’s worth of early voting.

In 2020, for most days of the in-person early voting period, over 1,000 people stood in line to vote at the old Johnson’s Hardware building (aka Election Central) at 7th and Madison streets.

This year, though the first nine days of voting, the daily total has nudged past 500 just once—this week on Monday. Continue reading “Election notebook: Monroe County early voting picks up pace, still way slower than presidential year”

Early election notebook: Three days of in-person early voting

Through about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, 863 people had cast an early in-person ballot in Monroe County for the Nov. 8 elections.

Early in-person voting started on Wednesday morning at Monroe County’s election operations center at 3rd and Walnut streets.

For the first week of early voting, from Monroe County election supervisor Karen Wheeler, here are the daily tallies: 319 (Oct. 12); 348 (Oct. 13); 196 (Oct. 14 with 4.5 hours to go). The total for the first three days was probably around 1,000.

With 18 days left during the early-voting period, the current pace would project out to about 7,000 voters. But that pace is expected to increase.

In 2018, when the most recent midterm election was held, a total of 24,589 early in-person and absentee votes were recorded in Monroe County. Continue reading “Early election notebook: Three days of in-person early voting”

Hear ye, hear ye: Early voting starts in Monroe County, Indiana

3rd and Walnut in downtown Bloomington (Oct. 12, 2022)

At 8 a.m. sharp on Wednesday, Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne opened the door at the new election operations center at 3rd and Walnut streets in downtown Bloomington and proclaimed: “Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now open!”

That’s how in-person early voting started in Monroe County, Indiana.

About a half dozen people were standing in line waiting for the polls to open. Signs for several of the local candidates for office had been placed to be visible to motorists on Walnut and 3rd streets.

The building’s newly installed canopy sheltered people standing in line from a light mist. The temperature was around 60 F degrees.

An orange painted line arced across the parking lot, to mark the 50-foot boundary from the entrance. No campaigning can take place within 50 feet of a polling place. Continue reading “Hear ye, hear ye: Early voting starts in Monroe County, Indiana”