With the 2012 General Election approaching, Hoosiers have a number of options when it comes to registering and casting their ballot. Below find information on registration, the photo ID law, absentee and early voting, important deadlines and Election Day procedures.
Registering to vote
To vote in the upcoming 2012 General Election, eligible voters must complete a voter registration form or register online by October 9, 2012.
To register to vote by any method in Indiana, you must:
- Be 18 years old by the date of the election;
- Be a citizen of the United States; and
- Have lived at your current address for 30 days prior to the election.
Register by mail or in person: Hard copy voter registration forms may be mailed either to the county election office or Indiana Election Division. Hoosiers can also register to vote in-person at either of these locations as well.
Register online: Eligible residents can register to vote, update and confirm their registration, and locate their polling place online at www.IndianaVoters.com. To register online Hoosiers must meet the above voting requirements and possess a valid Indiana driver’s license or state identification card.
Update your voter registration: If you have moved or changed your name, notify the county election office where you currently live or update your information online. If you have moved to a new county, you should also contact the county election office where you previously lived to remove your name from their records.
Applications for an absentee ballot must be received by either the local county election office or the Indiana Election Division by October 29, 2012.
Voters may apply to receive an absentee ballot if one of the following criteria applies:
- You have a specific, reasonable expectation that you will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open (6 am to 6 pm).
- You have a disability.
- You are at least 65 years of age.
- You will have official election duties outside of your precinct.
- You are scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- You will be confined due to illness or injury or you will be caring for an individual confined due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- You are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- You are a participant in the state’s address confidentiality program.
- You are a member of the military or a public safety officer.
- A member of the uniformed services or spouse stationed in the United States or overseas; or
- A US citizen living temporarily or indefinitely outside the United States.
Assistance with absentee voting: In order to vote absentee-by-traveling board, one of the following must apply:
- The voter expects to be confined, due to illness or injury, or the voter expects to be caring for a confined person at a private residence, on Election Day.
- The voter is a voter with disabilities and believes their polling place is not accessible to them.
The ballot will be delivered to the voter by a bipartisan absentee voter board who will be able to assist with the ballot. Voters voting by traveling board are NOT required to show photo ID.
Also known as absentee in-person voting, Hoosiers can cast their vote at their convenience nearly a month before Election Day. Beginning October 9 this year, county election offices will allow registered voters to vote up to 29 days before Election Day. Be sure to confirm your county election office’s hours and remember to bring your photo ID.
Voter ID requirements
Voters must present a photo ID when they vote in-person on Election Day. Your ID must meet the following criteria:
- Your ID must display your photo.
- Your name on the ID must match or closely match the name on your voter registration.
- Your ID must contain an expiration date that is either current or expired after Tuesday, November 2, 2010 (military IDs with “indefinite” expiration dates are permitted).
- Your ID must be issued by the State of Indiana or the US government.
- An Indiana driver’s license, state-issued photo ID, any type of military ID, a photo ID issued by a state university or a US passport are acceptable.
Provisional Ballots: If you do not have the proper photo ID when you arrive to vote, you are permitted to cast a provisional ballot. After submitting your provisional ballot, you have 10 days to present documentation proving your identity to your county election board. Hoosiers may also sign an affidavit of indigence or religious objection to being photographed.
Receiving a free photo ID: If you do not have a photo ID that meets Indiana’s voter ID requirement, you can receive one at no cost from any Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch that issues driver’s licenses.
Prepare for Election Day
The General Election will be held on November 6, 2012. Polling places are open from 6am to 6pm on Election Day. Here are a few basic pointers for Election Day. If you do have any questions about your right to vote, contact the Indiana Election Hotline at 866-461-VOTE (866-461-8683).
Locating your polling place: After submitting your registration, voters are assigned a polling location in their neighborhood where they will cast their vote. Polling places are open from 6am to 6pm on Election Day. Any voter who is at the polling location at 6pm will be permitted to vote. Polling sites are identified on the voter registration card and can also be found online or by calling the Indiana Election Hotline at 866-461-VOTE (866-461-8683.
What to bring: Hoosiers will need a photo ID on Election Day (more information>>). Voters are permitted to bring candidate information with them into their polling location but cannot wear campaign attire or anything that could be reasonably assumed as expressing support or opposition for a candidate or public question.
Voters with disabilities: As a result of the federal Help America Vote Act, at least one accessible voting machine will be available at every polling place in Indiana and the facility will be accessible to those with disabilities. On Election Day, if you have a complaint or require assistance, contact the Indiana Election Hotline at 866-461-VOTE (866-461-8683).
Criminal convictions and the right to vote: A criminal conviction does not mean that a resident cannot vote. Indiana law restores a person’s constitutional right to vote after he or she is no longer incarcerated. Individuals on probation, on parole, subject to home detention or in a community corrections program have the right to vote. Hoosiers must re-register upon being released as their registration is not automatically reinstated.