Thousands of Hoosiers are taking advantage of the option to vote early — but not as many as in the last presidential election.
Four years ago, about a quarter of the voters cast their ballots early. The state was on pace to beat that figure after the first two weeks of early voting, but that has dropped off sharply since. Secretary of State Connie Lawson says the early votes that have come in are still far behind the same point in 2008. So much so, that it would put the state about 10 percent behind the 2008 total if the trend continues.
“Compared to the same period of time and the number of days before the election in 2008, we‘re down about 70,000 ballots right now compared to where we were in 2008,” Lawson says.
More than half the falloff is in Marion County, where early voting is down 26 percent. Clerk Beth White‘s office points out there were three early voting locations in 2008 versus just one this year.
Lawson also says that while Democrats put extra emphasis on early voting four years ago, both parties have encouraged their supporters to do so this year. She suggests that led to the two week surge as people acted on prodding from the state parties and the campaigns.