Best to vote early: Is your mind made up? No need to wait in line

If you don’t cast your ballot before Election Day this year, expect to wait in line.

That’s why the county’s top election official’s goal is to have at least 15 percent of registered voters — or about 15,000 people — cast ballots during early voting.

Even better would be if 20,000 residents cast their ballots before Nov. 8, Clerk Susie Misiniec said.

In about a month, voters can begin casting ballots for this year’s general election, which includes races for president, governor, state lawmakers, county council and treasurer and local school boards.

The county has been preparing for the start of early voting for months, including setting where and when you will be able to cast a ballot before Election Day.

Starting Oct. 12, voting will begin at the county courthouse, and four other locations will be open around the county in the weeks leading up to Election Day. The county will also offer early voting at three retirement communities on one day in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

The early voting locations are the same as they have been in past years. But in past years, the busiest days have been the two Saturdays before Election Day, when a total of six centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for voters to cast their ballots early. In the primary election, four centers were open those two Saturdays.

The county also added more vote centers that will be open on Election Day.

This year, a total of 24 centers will be open Nov. 8, which is three more than during the primary election.

Election officials have been talking about how many machines and workers will be stationed at each site, with the goal of reducing how long voters have to wait in line.

But officials know lines are unavoidable and will be an issue across the county, state and nation on Election Day, as they typically are during a presidential election.

Election workers will try to shorten those lines as much as possible, but since the county only has access to a certain number of voting machines, no amount of planning can eliminate all waits, Misiniec has said.

That’s why Misiniec hopes to see more voters out casting their ballots early. In the primary election, Misiniec’s goal was for at least 10,000 voters to cast ballots early, which the county met. But she wants even more, potentially twice as many, this time, she said.

In past elections, Johnson County’s number of early voters has been low, when compared to other counties, she said.

She hopes to see that change for this year’s election, Misiniec said.

At a glance

Here is a look at where you can vote early before the fall election:

1. Johnson County Courthouse, 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin. Open for early voting:

  • 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Oct. 12
  • 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 29 and Nov. 5
  • 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Nov. 7

Vote centers, open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 to Nov. 4

2. Mount Pleasant Christian Church, 381 N. Bluff Road, Greenwood

3. Trafalgar branch of the Johnson County Public Library, 424 S. Tower St.

4. Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood

5. Franklin Community Center, 396 Branigan Blvd., Franklin

Vote center open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5

6. Edinburgh Public Library, 119 W. Main Cross St., Edinburgh

At a glance

The county will also offer early voting at certain retirement communities:

Greenwood Village South, 295 Village Lane, Greenwood

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31

Franklin United Methodist Community, 1070 W. Jefferson St., Franklin

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 1

Compass Park, 690 S. State St., Franklin

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2

At a glance

Here is the list of vote centers that will be open on Election Day:

Mount Pleasant Christian Church, 381 N. Bluff Road, Greenwood

White River Public Library, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood

Rocklane Christian Church, 4430 Rocklane Road, Greenwood

Mount Auburn Methodist Church, 3100 W. Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood

Greenwood Moose Lodge, 813 W. Smith Valley Road, Greenwood

Greenwood Christian Church, 2045 Averitt Road, Greenwood

Vineyard Community Church, 512 S. Madison Ave, Greenwood

Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood

Clark-Pleasant Public Library, 530 Tracy Road, New Whiteland

Grace Assembly of God, 6822 N. U.S. 31, New Whiteland

GracePoint Church, 330 Whiteland Road, New Whiteland

Bargersville Town Hall, 24 N. Main St., Bargersville

Turning Point (formerly Franklin Church of Christ), 3600 N. Morton St., Franklin

Franklin Community Center, 396 Branigan Blvd., Franklin

Grace United Methodist Church, 1300 E. Adams Drive, Franklin

Johnson Memorial Hospital, Building 1159, 1159 W. Jefferson St., Franklin

Fair Haven Christian Church, 1476 W. County Road 300 S., Trafalgar

Trafalgar Public Library, 424 S. Tower St., Trafalgar

Prince’s Lakes Town Hall, 14 E. Lakeview Drive, Nineveh

Edinburgh Public Library, 119 W. Main Cross St., Edinburgh

Edinburgh Methodist Church, 107 W. Campbell St., Edinburgh

Amity Volunteer Fire Department, 3247 S. County Road 550E, Franklin

White River Township Trustee’s Office, 2929 S. Morgantown Road, Greenwood

Community Church of Greenwood (Main Entrance Foyer), 1477 W. Main St, Greenwood

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