Early voting begins for municipal races, low turnout expected

Residents of Bargersville, Edinburgh, Whiteland and Greenwood can start voting for their choices for town and city council members Saturday.

The county’s top election official is expecting only a fraction of the 47,000 registered voters who are eligible to vote in next month’s election to head to the polls.

A 10 percent turnout of voters in the municipal election is typical, Johnson County Clerk Sue Anne Misiniec said. But she said she does not anticipate a rush of early voting during the next two weeks.

“I honestly do not anticipate a huge flow of people through here,” Misiniec said. “It’s just hard to judge because we were quite surprised during last year’s general election.”

The county set a record low in 2014 when 9 percent of voters went to polls in the countywide election.

Only residents in Bargersville, Edinburgh, Whiteland and Greenwood are able to vote in the municipal election this fall. Residents living in Trafalgar, Prince’s Lakes, New Whiteland and Franklin will not be able to vote because there are no contested races, Misiniec said.

Since the number of contested races is so much smaller than typical municipal or general elections, the early voting is starting two weeks before the election, Misiniec said. In larger races, such as next year’s presidential election, early voting will start at least one month ahead of time, she said.

The number of early voting locations also was cut.

“It’s a real shame that we don’t have more interest, both in candidates and in voters,” Misiniec said. “I think that will be change next year, and that’s honestly due to the nationwide media coverage.”

In the spring, turnout for the primary election was a record low for the county with 7.9 percent of registered eligible voters showing up to the polls. Based on the low percentage, Misiniec said, she expects to see a relatively low turnout again for the contested races.

Residents can start voting as early as Saturday at stations set up at the Johnson County Courthouse and Greenwood City Center. Residents who want to mail in an absentee ballot can still apply for one through Monday, Misiniec said. So far, 73 residents have requested a mail-in ballot.

Residents eligible to vote can stop by any of the vote centers for early voting and on Election Day.

If you go

Residents in three towns and one city in Johnson County can begin voting early, starting Saturday. Here is where to head to the polls if you don’t want to wait until Nov. 3:


Where: Greenwood City Center, 300 S. Madison Ave.

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 31

Where: Greenwood Village Retirement Community, 295 Village Lane

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday

Johnson County

Where: Johnson County Courthouse, 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 31, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Oct. 30, and 8:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 2

In the mail

Residents can fill out an absentee ballot application through the county’s website, co.johnson.in.us/community/voter-registration. The county will mail an absentee ballot to residents through the mail, and they must be received by noon on Election Day.