Deadline for voter registration nears, early voting starts April 9

Monday, April 8 is the last day to register to vote in Bloomington’s May 7 primary election. The following day – Tuesday, April 9 – early voting begins at Monroe County’s Election Central, 401 W. 7th St., Suite 100, in downtown Bloomington.

Election Central
Election Central at the corner of 7th and Madison.

To register to vote or check your registration status, go to the Indiana Voter Portal.

In addition to voting early, residents who qualify can vote by mail-in absentee ballot or by traveling board, which means election officials visit you at home.

Read on for details on these topics and other election-related information. And check out The B Square Beacon’s nonpartisan voter guide with profiles of primary candidates, links to candidate websites and social media, campaign finance reports, and news articles from a variety of local sources.

Voter Registration

The deadline to register to vote in the May 7 primary election is Monday, April 8. You can register online at the Indiana Voter Portal. You can register in person at Monroe County Election Central, 401 W. 7th St., Suite 100, Bloomington IN 47404, or mail the form to that address.

To register, you must:

  • Have a valid Indiana driver’s license or Indiana state ID card.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before the next general, municipal or special election. (17-year-olds can register and vote in the primary election if they turn 18 on or before the next general or municipal election.)
  • Have lived in your precinct for at least 30 days prior to the next general, municipal, or special election.
  • Not be currently imprisoned after being convicted of a crime.

Click here for the voter registration form. The form is also available in Spanish.

Early Voting

In Indiana, early voting – also known as in-person absentee voting – is authorized by Indiana Code 3-11-4-1. You do not need a reason to vote early.

In Monroe County, early voting happens at Election Central, located at the corner of 7th and Madison in downtown Bloomington.

Here’s a list of early voting dates and times:

  • Weekdays starting Tuesday, April 9 through Friday, May 3: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 27: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 4: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Monday, May 6: 8 a.m.–noon

Interested in how other states handle early voting? The National Conference of State Legislature provides a guide.

Absentee Voting By Mail

The deadline to apply to vote absentee by mail is Monday, April 29 by 11:59 p.m. The Election Central office closes at 6 p.m., but you can send the application via email to election@co.monroe.in.us as long as the time stamp indicates it was received before midnight.

You can apply for an absentee ballot in person at Election Central (401 W. 7th St., Suite 100, Bloomington) and return your completed absentee ballot there as well. Or you can contact Election Central at 812-349-2612 or election@co.monroe.in.us to request an application form.

You can turn in your absentee ballot up until polls close at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7.

Unlike early voting at Election Central, absentee voting by mail is available only under certain conditions:

  • A specific, reasonable expectation of being absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  • Confined to your residence, a health care facility, or a hospital due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  • Caring for an individual confined to a private residence due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  • Voter with disabilities. (Note: If you are unable to mark the ballot or sign the ballot security envelope, you must contact the county election board to process your application.)
  • Voter at least 65 years old.
  • Having official election duties outside of your voting precinct on Election Day.
  • Scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  • Unable to vote at the polls in person due to observance of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours the polls are open.
  • Eligible to vote under the “fail-safe” procedures in IC 3-10-11 or 3-10-12.
  • Member of the military or a public safety officer.
  • Serious sex offender (as defined in IC 35-42-4-14(a)).
  • Prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls.

No photo ID is required to vote absentee by mail.

Click here for a by-mail absentee ballot application.

Absentee Voting By Traveling Board

If you qualify, you can request that a ballot be brought to your home, where your can vote on the spot. A bi-partisan traveling board will deliver the ballot and help you cast your ballot.

The deadline to apply is noon on Monday, May 6.

To do this, voters must have one of the following reasons:

  • Illness or injury
  • Caring for a confined person at a private residence on Election Day
  • Disabilities that make the polling place inaccessible

No photo ID is required to vote by traveling board.

Click here for an application to vote absentee by traveling board. Or contact Election Central at 812-349-2612 or election@co.monroe.in.us to request an application form.

Election Day Photo ID

On Primary Election Day – Tuesday, May 7 – polls are open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Sample ballot
Partial view of a sample ballot for Bloomington District 1, Precinct 2

Find your polling location at the Indiana Voter Portal or by contacting Monroe County Election Central at 812-349-2612 or election@co.monroe.in.us.

Election Central provides sample ballots for all precincts.

Indiana Code 3-5-2-40.5 – enacted in 2005 – requires that voters present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot at the polls. If you don’t have a photo ID at the polls, you can still cast a provisional ballot.

The law does not list specific types of acceptable ID, but instead defines the characteristics of an ID valid for voting. The ID must:

  1. Display your photo.
  2. Display your name – and the name must “conform” with the name on the voter registration record. (Note: “Conform” does not mean it must match identically.)
  3. Contain an expiration date and either be current or have expired after the date of the last General Election (Nov. 6, 2018).
  4. Be issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government.

In most cases, an Indiana driver’s license, Indiana state ID card, student ID from a public university in Indiana, U.S. passport, or Military ID will be sufficient.

College students can get more information about photo ID requirements here.

If you can’t or won’t present an ID with these requirements, you can cast a provisional ballot. After that, you have until noon 10 days after the election – that is, until Friday, May 17 – to either provide the necessary documentation to the county election board or affirm that one of the law’s exemptions applies to you.

For more details, check out the Indiana Secretary of State website on voter photo ID.

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