WEST LAFAYETTE -- Indiana’s high absentee voter turnout may signal a large primary turnout on May 3. Indiana voters have submitted around 119,000 absentee requests so far -- that's about as many total absentee ballots were cast four years ago.
Indiana Election Division co-director Angie Nussmeyer says 2008 set the standard for Indiana turnout. She says around 185,000 Hoosiers voted absentee in the 2008 primary.
Nussmeyer says this election’s bounce-back may stem from heightened political interest and increasing absentee ballot awareness.
“It could signal that we have a high interest in the election and we’re going to see increased voter participation, just in general,” she says. “Or it could mean that more people understand, again, that they can vote early at the Clerk’s office.”
Some places, like Floyd County, have experienced as much as a 450-percent increase in absentee turnout over the same time in 2012.
Nussmeyer says nine days before this year’s election, absentee voting statewide has already increased 76-percent versus 2012.
“What tends to be true, though, this last week before the election – people are really paying attention,” she says. “They’re narrowing down their decision and they will go out, and they will vote before Election Day. Typically, we’ll see a pretty big uptick in numbers this week.”
All Indiana counties will have in-person early voting open starting Saturday, April 30 and ending at noon on Monday, May 2.
Absentee voting can be done in-person at a county clerk’s office or by mail.