Voter registration deadline just a month away for Nov. 5 election
Election Day is eight weeks from today. That gives would-be voters plenty of time to tune in to their ballot choices and become informed about the big races and major issues confronting them.
However, if you're not yet registered to vote, or you need to make a change to your voter registration for some reason, Indiana has set a little trap for you.
In order for an individual to be eligible to vote on Nov. 5, he or she must be registered by the end of the business day on Monday, Oct. 7. That's a full month ahead of Election Day.
There was a time when a county needed that kind of time to process registrations and make sure voter rolls were ready and accurate when Election Day rolled around. Given dramatic advancements in technology, that's no longer necessary. Yet Indiana clings to that rule for no good reason.
Although many have tried to move Indiana into the 21st century, the dominant political establishment resists, especially when it comes to updating registration laws. Making the voter registration process easier and more accessible closer to Election Day is not on their agenda.
There's little hope for change any time soon, so making sure the voting public is aware of the early registration date is key.
There are major issues on the ballot this year that need voter attention. This would normally be a municipal election featuring races for Terre Haute mayor and City Council. But this is far from a normal year. There are hotly contested municipal races up for election, including a four-way race for mayor. But there are also two ballot questions, one dealing with a potential casino, the other pertaining to a special property tax increase for the Vigo County school district.
Because of the referendum items, voters living outside the Terre Haute city limits can go to the polls. Whereas city voters will see the referendum questions on their ballots in addition to the municipal races, county voters will only see the referendum items.
Residents can register to vote at the Vigo County courthouse.
Citizens can register to vote online by texting "Indiana" to 2VOTE (28683), or by visiting IndianaVoters.com. A voters app is also available for download at that website.
The Indiana Voters app allows Hoosiers to confirm their voter registration, look up their polling place if your county doesn't have vote centers, get driving directions to polling locations, find out who's on the ballot, track an absentee ballot application or provisional ballot information and contact local election officials.
In order to be eligible to register to vote, you must: Be a citizen of the United States, be at least 18 years old by Election Day, have lived in your precinct for at least 30 days before the election, and not currently be imprisoned after being convicted of a crime.
The 2019 election is pivotal for Vigo County. We urge you to participate. To do so, you must be registered. Now is the time to make sure you're eligible.