Column | On voting: Wear a mask for civic task

In-person early voting in Monroe County starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Election Central in downtown Bloomington.

cropped 2020-05-25 vote mask IMG_0695
“When you do a civic task, like vote in person, wear a mask.”

The week of early in-person voting, leading up to election day on June 2, will take place in the middle of a declared health emergency. It was enacted to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Here’s a word of encouragement to those who want to perform their civic duty of voting in person: Please wear a face covering.

Put on a mask.

As of Sunday, Monroe County has seen 160 confirmed cases and 10 deaths due to COVID-19. Statewide, about 32,000 cases are confirmed and 1,800 people have died from the disease. Continue reading “Column | On voting: Wear a mask for civic task”

Now posted: The Beacon’s voter’s guide for 2019 Bloomington general elections

This November will mark the first election, dating back at least to 1967, that not all registered voters in Bloomington will able to cast a ballot for city offices—mayor, city clerk, and the nine-member common council.

Labeled R Map 2019 Bloomington City ElectionsDistrictRepsxxxx
Shown are the two districts where Bloomington city elections will be held on Nov. 5 this year, with the names of candidates who will appear on the ballot. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

That’s because elections are contested in just two city council districts: District 2 and District 3. Voters in District 2 will choose between Andrew Guenther (R) and Sue Sgambelluri (D). In District 3, the choice is between Nick Kappas (I), Ron Smith (D) and Marty Spechler (I).

The Beacon’s voters guide includes short profiles of the five candidates in contested elections and links to other useful information. The guide also includes candidates in non-contested elections.

In areas other than District 2 and District 3, no elections will be held, because there are no contested races. Ballots in those districts will show just the contested races. That’s not automatic, but in areas where no races are contested, state law gives county election boards the authority to cancel them. And that’s what Monroe County’s election board did in August. Continue reading “Now posted: The Beacon’s voter’s guide for 2019 Bloomington general elections”

Analysis of Indiana legislative voting patterns: Who’s outside the corral?

Analysis of information available on LegiScan—a website that provides robust tools for monitoring and tracking legislation in all 50 states—shows that legislators in the Indiana House and the Senate tend to vote along party lines.

Lawmakers voting along party lines is not exactly a revelation. But plotting out the voting patterns of individual legislators, to see how they cluster, might reveal some insights beyond the two clearly discernible herds. Which legislators are mavericks—clearly a bit outside their own party’s corral? Continue reading “Analysis of Indiana legislative voting patterns: Who’s outside the corral?”