More ways than ever to make your voice heard

There has never been an easier time to vote in Indiana.

Whether you wish to mail in your ballot, attend early voting or head to the polls on Election Day, Hoosiers have every option available for Tuesday’s primary election.

Thus far, Jackson County has turned out in a big way. The mail-in ballot records have been broken, and turnout at the polls is expected to finish strong.

The county received 1,973 requests for absentee ballots before the May 21 deadline, and as of Tuesday afternoon, 1,429 ballots had been returned. In 2016, the last presidential primary, 273 registered voters used mail-in absentee ballots.

Also Tuesday, 46 people cast ballots during the first day in-person early polling was available at the Jackson County Courthouse Annex. That means nearly 1,500 registered voters had cast ballots at the end of that day.

In 2016, the last presidential election, 1,799 voters or 15% of 30,017 registered voters voted before Election Day.

In 2012, 780 voters or 12% of the 24,692 registered voters voted early, while in 2008, the number of registered voters casting absentee ballots was 1,068 or 9% of 29,871 registered voters.

Early voting will continue at the courthouse annex through 4:30 p.m. today; from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; and from 8 a.m. to noon Monday. Mail-in ballots will be received through noon Election Day.

Statewide, 544,379 Hoosiers will cast ballots from home. In 2016, just 53,818 ballots were mailed in.

The numbers are encouraging, as more locals are taking the time to perform their civic duties.

Opening mail-in voting to all Hoosiers while still holding in-person elections should be the way of the future barring any unforeseen issues.

This election will serve as a test as to whether or not offering all three options of voting to all citizens will result in greater voter participation, which should be the goal for every election.

For those with mail-in ballots still in their possession, send the information back as soon as possible.

If you choose to vote Tuesday, check to make sure you’re heading to the right polling location and prepare accordingly.

Make your voice heard this primary.

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