Expect lines to vote

If you wait until Election Day to vote this fall, you should expect to wait in line to cast your ballot.

Election officials are expecting a big turnout this fall, when voters will be choosing the next president and governor, along with other state and local races, including school boards. The county is already preparing for this fall’s election.

One of the key focus areas is going to be on early voting, which officials want to promote even more than they did in the spring.

No matter what, voters can expect lines at vote centers on Election Day, which will be an issue across the state and nation, clerk Susie Misiniec said.

But if more people vote early, those lines could be a little bit shorter, Misiniec said.

During the primary election this spring, Misiniec had hoped to have at least 10,000 voters cast their ballots early at the courthouse or other centers that opened in the weeks before Election Day.

This fall, she hopes to do better, she said.

Misiniec is expecting a large turnout for this year’s general election. Voters who haven’t cast a ballot in years — maybe eight years or more — will likely turn out to vote, she said.

Eight years ago, when voters were selecting a new president, turnout was 64 percent. But the number of registered voters has grown since then, with more than 104,000 registered to vote in the primary election, and more expected to register by this fall.

This spring, more than 11,000 voters cast their ballot early, and Misiniec hopes for more this fall.

One of the key issues election officials will be deciding in the coming months is how many sites should be open for early voting and when those should open, Misiniec said.

Since the county switched to using vote centers, which allow voters to cast a ballot at any of the sites open across the county, officials have put more emphasis on early voting and opened more sites where residents can cast ballots before Election Day. But having those sites open can also be costly, since the county has to pay staff to be there, Misiniec said.

That will be a key consideration when deciding how many centers will be open for early voting and for how long, she said.

At a glance

The deadline to register to vote in time for the general election this fall is Oct. 11.

Here is a look at how to register:

Residents can sign up to vote at any Bureau of Motor Vehicles location.

Call the Johnson County Voter Registration Office at 317-346-4466 to request a form to be mailed to them.

Visit IndianaVoters.com to register online.

Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.