A look back at 2016 Monroe County results, 2020 early voting continues at 100 voters-per-hour pace

Saturday’s early in-person voting total in Monroe County was 825.

That daily total was the smallest number so far in the first three weeks of early voting. But that’s because it was the first day of Saturday voting, which offers just seven hours of voting time.

Saturday’s pace of around 118 voters per hour was the highest throughput of any day so far.

Early voting takes place at just one location, Election Central, at 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington.

Based on the roughly 15,000 early in-person voters so far, and the remaining hours of in-person early voting that are available, around 21,000 people might be expected to have voted in person before Election Day on Nov. 3.

Last week’s number of mail-in absentee ballots requested was put at around 14,000 at last Tuesday’s meeting of the election board.

If voter turnout this year matches the numbers from 2016, which was the most recent presidential year election, that would mean just shy of 60,000 voters.

Peeling off this year’s early in-person and mail-in numbers from 60,000 would still leave at least 25,000 people voting on Election Day. They would be casting their ballots at one of the 28 polling locations around the county where they are assigned to vote.

On average that would mean every polling site on Election Day would be handling around 890 voters over the 12-hour voting period. That works out to about 74 voters per hour.

But that’s if the same number of voters turn out this year as last year. It could be a lot more. For every 1,000 additional Monroe County voters who cast a ballot this year, the 28 polling sites will need to handle another three voters per hour. Continue reading “A look back at 2016 Monroe County results, 2020 early voting continues at 100 voters-per-hour pace”

Early in-person voting continues Saturday in Monroe County, pace so far around 100 voters per hour

Friday set another daily high for early in-person voters in Monroe County: 1,114. That eclipsed by a half dozen voters the previous high of 1,108, which was set on Thursday.

Through the first 14 days of early voting, the total of early voters stands at 14,142.

Remaining days to vote in person include this Saturday (Oct. 24), weekdays the following week, next Saturday (Oct. 31) and the final Monday before Election Day.

Election Central, where early in-person voting takes place, is at 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington—the old Johnson Hardware building.

The voting totals on Saturday are almost certain to be lower than the average of about 1,000 per day that have been tallied through the first 14 days. That’s because Saturday voting hours are shorter—seven hours compared to 10 on weekdays. (For voting times and days, check Monroe County’s Election Central website.)

If the same pace of voting is maintained on Saturday, about 700 people will make their way through the line by the end of the day, which has generally wrapped at least halfway around the block.

At Friday afternoon’s weekly press conference on COVID-19 pandemic response, president of the county commissioners, Julie Thomas, said, “I personally waited an hour and 45 minutes to vote and it was worth every moment.” She added, “Everyone in line was wearing a mask, we were standing six feet apart. So it was really heartening to see that and we really appreciate the voters for doing that.”

The only early voting location in Monroe County is at 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington. Continue reading “Early in-person voting continues Saturday in Monroe County, pace so far around 100 voters per hour”

9K Monroe County residents vote early in person in first 9 days

The tally of early voters in Monroe County on Friday was 1,199. That was the fourth day in a row that set a new daily high.

Early voting started last week on Tuesday (Oct. 6). Over the first nine days, 8,954 ballots have been cast. That’s an average of just a smidgen under 1,000 a day, or 100 an hour.

At that same pace, the 208 hours of early voting that are scheduled before the Nov. 3 election would yield a bit under 21,000 early-voted ballots.

Added to the roughly 13,000 mail-in absentee ballots that have been requested would make around 34,000 total early votes this year, which is a few thousand more than the 31,000 in 2016 who voted early in person or absentee by mail.

Election Central, in the old Johnson Hardware Building at 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington, is the only early voting location in the county. Lines have extended down Madison to 6th Street, out 6th Street to Rogers Street and halfway back to Madison.

The advice from those at the head of the line, to those who were arriving to head to the end of the queue, was to head west on 7th, not south down Madison, because that would make for a shorter walk.

Reports of waiting times ranged from around an hour to as long as an hour and a half.

Those times are not as long as some reported in other parts of the country, but that has not made some Monroe County voters feel any better about waiting an hour in line. Some people have given up and made plans to try again on a different day.

Some observers have reported that less busy times are from 1:30 to 2 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

Voters in line at 6 p.m. are still allowed to vote. Continue reading “9K Monroe County residents vote early in person in first 9 days”

Long lines but sunny start to early voting in Monroe County

Tuesday morning, Oct. 6, saw a long line of voters in downtown Bloomington.

It stretched south down the block from Election Central, at the corner of 7th and Madison, around the corner where the former La Vie en Rose Cafe stands, west along 6th Street, nearly to Rogers Street.

Tuesday was the first day of early voting in Monroe County for the Nov. 3 general election.

Around 8 a.m., when voters could first start casting their ballots, the temperature was hovering a smidgen over 40 F degrees. But by early afternoon, clear, sunny skies helped the mercury break 70 F.

At 8:45 a.m. The Square Beacon counted 105 people in line to vote. Among the prospective voters, The Square Beacon did not spot any without a face covering, as a precaution against spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus. Voters emerging from Election Central mid-morning said they had stood in line around an hour.

An hour is about how long it took the The Square Beacon to cast a ballot, after joining the line on 6th Street just before noon. The Square Beacon’s time inside the polls was clocked at 16 minutes and 44 seconds. Continue reading “Long lines but sunny start to early voting in Monroe County”

Quick update: Masks available for June 2 voters, blood drive details dialed in for June 23

Monroe County in-person voting sites on June 2 will have masks available for voters who want to wear one. And the details for a June 23 blood drive at the Monroe County convention are now set. Appointments can be made for times between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Monroe County convention center.

cropped mask Moore Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 1.34.32 PM
Screen shot of May 29, 2020 press conference with local leaders, conducted on Zoom. Highlighted on the screen is Monroe County’s emergency management director, Allison Moore.

Those two items were among the news nuggets passed along by Monroe County’s director of emergency management, Allison Moore, at Friday’s weekly press conference on COVID-19 response issues.

On Friday, Moore reported that the county is expecting next week another drop of personal protection equipment (PPE)—like masks, gloves and sanitizer—from the state’s department of homeland security.

She also said that 1,000 surgical masks had been delivered to Monroe County’s Election Central, to be distributed to voters who want to vote in person. The state’s election division had earlier provided every county with some PPE to equip election staff, but not voters. Continue reading “Quick update: Masks available for June 2 voters, blood drive details dialed in for June 23”

June 2 with no-excuse absentee voting OK’d for primary by Indiana’s state election commission

Indiana’s four-member election commission met Wednesday morning to consider an order related to the state’s primary election, originally scheduled for May 5, but postponed to June 2 by governor Eric Holcomb’s order last week.

The postponement was made because of the COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading across the world, including the state of Indiana. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indiana has nearly doubled (increases by 1.8 times) in two days, from 259 on March 23 to 477 on March 25. Barchart COVID-19 cases Indiana March 25 The number of tests during that same period has increased by a similar amount, from from 1,960 on March 23 to 3,356 on March 25. COVID-19 has killed at least 14 people in the state, according to the state’s health department.

A highlight of the election commission’s order is the following: “All registered and qualified Indiana voters are afforded the opportunity to vote no-excuse absentee by mail.” Continue reading “June 2 with no-excuse absentee voting OK’d for primary by Indiana’s state election commission”