On the first day they could, voters made a trip to the courthouse to cast their ballots for races ranging from president and U.S. senator to local school boards.
Local residents voted early Tuesday for different reasons — they won’t be in town, they won’t be able to make it to a vote center, they didn’t want to wait in long lines on Election Day.
But they had one goal in mind: They wanted their votes to count.
Tuesday was the first day for voters to cast ballots early for the fall election, and halfway through the day, more than 130 people had voted at the courthouse.
Local residents can vote early at the courthouse on weekdays and the two Saturdays before the election. And starting Oct. 27, they also will be able to vote at seven additional early voting sites that will be opened as part of the county’s recent switch to vote centers.
Jill Loveal of Franklin will be in France by Election Day. She thinks it’s important to stand up for women’s rights, something she can do by casting her ballot, and voted early to have a say in the election.
Loveal said she disagreed with some of the stances the Republican Party has regarding women.
“I’m waiting for the day when Indiana turns into a blue state,” she said. “I’m expressing my opinion.”
This election is the second Markee Adams of Franklin can vote in. As a student at Purdue University, she would not have been able to get to Johnson County to vote on Election Day. But since she was home on fall break, her mother reminded her to vote while she could.
Adams said she was most excited to vote for the next president.
“I’m just excited to have someone new, to change it up a little,” she said.
With the presidential race on this year’s ballot, the Johnson County clerk’s office expects more than a 50 percent turnout of voters, Clerk Sue Ann “Susie” Misiniec said.
Many of those voters will head to the polls on Election Day, but Misiniec hopes many will take the opportunity to vote early.
Residents have more options for voting early now, she said. They used to be able to vote early only at the courthouse.
But in the spring, the county began using vote centers, which allows voters to cast ballots at any of a handful of polling sites throughout the county. Now, voters can head to additional early voting sites for more than a week before the election.
State law requires the county to have one satellite site open for early voting two Saturdays before Election Day, Misiniec said. Johnson County will have two satellite sites open the two Saturdays before Election Day and will have eight sites open the week before the election, Misiniec said.
The county did not want to open the additional voting sites earlier because they would have had to pay more to have election workers at the sites, she said. The goal of vote centers is to save money, she said.
Despite having options for voting early, some residents still want to vote on Election Day, Misiniec said.
“I just think for a lot of people it’s instilled in them to vote on Election Day,” she said.
During a recent visit to Greenwood Village to register voters, Misiniec repeatedly heard that residents believed if they voted early their vote didn’t count unless the race was really close.
She wants voters to know all votes are counted, Misiniec said.
If voters wait until Election Day, they could end up not voting, Greenwood resident Katie Pennington said.
Katie and her husband, Scott Pennington, said people find reasons not to go to the vote centers. They’re too busy, they don’t want to wait in lines, they don’t know where to go. But voting is a right citizens have that they should utilize, she said.
“If you’ve already made up your mind what you’re doing, then do it,” she said.