The Marion County Clerk's Office reported an over threefold increase over the 2014 midterm elections at the conclusion of the first week of early voting at the end of the day Thursday.
Those numbers were still less than half of what they were during the 2016 presidential elections, according to a report issued Friday.
During the 2014 midterm elections, 820 voters had cast their ballots early at the Clerk's Office by the end of the first week of early voting. This year, that number was at 3,082. During the 2016 presidential elections, 6,398 had done so during the same time period.
However, slightly more voters chose to vote absentee by mail this time than in 2016. In 2016, 13,492 requests were submitted and 5,673 were returned. This year, 14,875 were submitted and 6,052 were received.
The deadline to request an absentee by mail application is 11:59 p.m. Oct. 29. Applications are found at vote.indy.gov or can be mailed to a voter if they call the Clerk's office at 317-327-VOTE. Applications must be complete, including marking a reason for the request, and signed. Once the application is processed, a ballot is mailed to the voter. Civilian absentee ballots are due no later than noon on Election Day, Nov. 6.
Overall, the cumulative absentee votes returned was 12,123 in 2016, and 9,295 in 2018.
“The driving force behind the higher absentee voting in 2016 is the fact that more people voted absentee using in-person early voting,” stated the Clerk's office. “Cumulative absentee voting includes in-person early voting, absentee-by-mail, traveling board, military voting, and civilian overseas voting.”
Early voting hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Election Day at the Marion County Clerk's Office, inside the City-County Building.
To vote early, voters do not need a reason but must provide a valid photo ID issued by the state of Indiana or federal government.
When you arrive at an early voting location, you will be asked to complete an application to vote absentee.
Any person casting a vote before Election Day is considered an absentee voter under Indiana law since your ballot won’t be counted until Election Day.
After you present your ID and your application is approved, you will be handed a ballot to complete on site. You then seal your ballot in a security envelope and it is safely stored until it’s counted on Election Day.