By Mark Ambrogi
Hamilton County elections administrator Kathy Richardson is optimistic the addition of early voting centers in Fishers and Carmel will ease Election Day lines.
“With the size of our county, it is very difficult to have enough voting machines to handle everyone voting all on Election Day,” Richardson said. “Having satellites gives us more opportunities for our voters. We have leased an additional 40 voting machines for the satellite locations and for Election Day.”
The early voting in Carmel will be held at the Carmel Public Library, 55 4th Ave SE, while Fishers will be at City Hall, 1 Municipal Drive.
Early voting in the county previously was held only at the Noblesville Judicial Center. Early voting will begin in Noblesville Oct. 12 and will begin in Carmel and Fishers a week later.
“We are hoping that this will be more convenient for Carmel and Fishers voters and relieve the pressure on the Judicial Center, especially in the last couple of weeks,” Richardson said.
The county turnout for the 2008 presidential election was 74.5 percent of 175,538 registered voters. It was 68.5 percent of 201,877 registered voters in 2012.
Richardson said in both 2008 and 2012, the county sent out approximately 9,000 absentee ballots by mail. As of Sept. 26, the county had already sent out 2,600 absentee ballots.
“Voting by mail is another way to help voters who will be out of the county or have difficulty getting to the polls due to their work or various other reasons,” Richardson said.
Richardson said it is expected to cost taxpayers at least $20,000 for staffing at the early voting centers. The Hamilton County Election Board voted unanimously to add the two sites in late August.
For more on hours and days the early voting centers are open, visit hamiltoncounty.in.gov.