This year’s presidential election is eerily similar for one voter going to the polls early at the Johnson County Courthouse on Wednesday morning.
The last time Michael Simmons voted was when President Bill Clinton was running for office. This time the 42nd president’s wife, Hillary Clinton, is the nominee of the Democratic Party.
With just over one week of early voting completed, about 3,000 Johnson County residents have cast a ballot in the 2016 election.
At the start of early voting, county officials said their goal was to see 15,000 area residents come to the polls before Nov. 8. For the spring primaries, 11,000 came out to vote before Election Day.
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Voter interest has been much higher than in prior elections, Johnson County Clerk Susie Misiniec said.
“This is an unusual election,” she said.
The longest wait for voters has only been about 20 minutes, Misiniec said. Peak times are around the lunch hour, but voters trickle in throughout the day, with the quietest time around 2 p.m.
The week prior to Nov. 8 is still expected to be the busiest for early voting, Misiniec said.
Four poll workers were on site keeping the only voting location in Johnson County running. Staffing levels will be dropped once turnout slows.
Voters heading to the polls early this week said the need to prompt change in Washington, D.C. was fueling their drive to vote.
Simmons, who was supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, said the business mogul will be able to shake up the government.
The Republican candidate’s support for the Second Amendment also was a deciding factor, said Simmons, who lives in the Center Grove area.
A debate and several weeks of campaigning will take place after Simmons casts his vote, but he said he isn’t concerned anything will happen that will make him regret his choice.
Kent Sharp of Greenwood said he likes that Trump is not a mainstream politician.
Sharp travels for business and isn’t always able to vote on Election Day so he took the time to vote early.
Voters also know that Election Day will be busy, and they don’t want to stand in line, Misiniec said.
That was the case for one Franklin voter, Mike White.
White had the day off and wanted to get his vote in without having to wait in hectic lines, he said.
He described Trump as the lesser of two evils, saying the Republican candidate’s vision for the country is closer to where the nation should be going.
Here is a look at where and when you can vote early:
Weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Johnson County Courthouse, 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin
Oct. 31 through Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood
Franklin Community Center, 396 Branigan Blvd., Franklin
Mount Pleasant Christian Church, 381 N. Bluff Road, Greenwood
Trafalgar Public Library, 424 S. Tower St., Trafalgar
Saturday Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mount Pleasant Christian Church
Trafalgar Public Library
Jonathon Byrd’s Cafeteria
Johnson County Courthouse
Edinburgh Public Library, 119 W. Main Cross St, Edinburgh
Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Greenwood Village South Retirement Community, 295 Village Lane, Greenwood
Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Franklin United Methodist Community, 1070 W. Jefferson St., Franklin
Nov. 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Compass Park, formerly Indiana Masonic Home, 690 State St., Franklin
Nov. 7, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Johnson County Courthouse