If you haven’t voted in a while, have moved or never voted before, you have less than two weeks to make sure you are registered before this year’s primary election.

This spring, voters will be casting ballots in multiple contested races, including sheriff, county council and commissioner, town council seats and U.S. and state lawmaker races. But in order to cast your ballot, you must be registered to vote.

Over the last year, about 6,000 people were removed from the county’s voting rolls, dropping the number of registered voters from 107,546 in late 2016 to 101,356 as of this week. The cleanup, which is required by the state every two years, removes voters who have not voted in two federal elections and whose address could not be verified.

But voters can still update their registration, and the county is working on entering the hundreds that have already been turned in. The deadline to register to vote for this year’s primary election in April 9, which is the day before early voting begins at the county courthouse.

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Residents who want to vote in the primary election are encouraged to check and see if their registration is still active and all the information is up to date, Johnson County election officials said.

State law requires election workers to clean up voter rolls in odd numbered years, Johnson County Deputy Clerk Reagan Higdon said.

Last year, the state sent post cards to all registered voters asking them to verify their address. A second postcard was sent if the original was marked undeliverable. Voters were marked inactive if the second card was undeliverable.  Inactive voters who did not vote in two federal elections were then removed from the voter rolls. Voters have about six years of inactivity before they are actually purged from the voter rolls, Higdon said.

But even if a voter was removed from the active list, they can still register again by the April 9 deadline and be able to vote in the primary election. If someone registers right before the deadline, they should call the clerk’s office to make sure their registration was verified before trying to vote early on April 10, Johnson County Clerk Susie Misiniec said.

Voters have multiple options of how to register or update their registration, including visiting their county voter registration office, a license branch or going online. To register online, a voter must have a valid driver’s license or state identification card, according to a news release from the secretary of state’s office.

County officials are hoping for at least a 10 percent turnout during the upcoming primary election.

The same amount of work goes into the election if one person votes or if all registered voters in the county cast a ballot, Misiniec said.

“Obviously the push is we want people to vote,” she said.

Get Registered

County residents have until April 9 to register to vote in the primary election. Those who were already registered are encouraged to check their registrations after a statewide clean up of the voter rolls caused about 6,000 people in the county to be removed from voter rolls last year.

Online: You can register and check your registration at indianavoters.in.gov.

In-person: Visit the county voter registration office at the Johnson County Courthouse, 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin, or any license branch.

Text: You can also text “Indiana” to 2VOTE (28683), to register to vote.

Deadline: April 9

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Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mkritsch@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2770.