Do you live in Marion County? Are you unable to vote for the primary election on May 8th between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. but don’t qualify for absentee voting? Well then head down to the one and only place you can early vote… the City-County Building! Yes, get ready for the metal detectors, the downtown clutter traffic, never being able to find a parking spot, and paying to park if you do. Sounds fun, right?
Well, hopefully by the General Election in November that will all change. Senior federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued an injunction requiring the Marion County Election Board to establish two satellite voting locations, the same number as were established in 2008.
Resolutions to re-establish satellite offices in Marion County failed in every federal general election year after 2008 because of the lack of the Republican Board member’s vote. What happened in 2008? Oh yeah, Indiana for the first time since 1964 cast its electoral votes for the Democratic Party’s nominee for President! Hmmm…. That’s weird. No, not really.
Marion County is Indiana’s most populous and most racially diverse county. Marion County also tends to vote Democratic. Early voting tends to be more popular with traditionally Democratic constituencies, particularly African American voters. Therefore, restricting early voting depresses Democratic voter turnout as well as the statewide vote share of the Democratic Party. This allows the Republicans to gain partisan advantage. To sum up Judge Barker’s 48 page order– Not cool!
Even though there was too little time before the May 8 Primary to order early voting precincts, Judge Barker’s order will hopefully provide greater equal access to the ballot and increase voter turnout in the General election.
Speaking of elections- if you want to contribute to my campaign you can donate here!
* Kelsey Rairden contributed to this post.