The general election is held in Indiana on November 3, 2020, from 6:00am-6:00pm. Registered voters in Indiana have rights when they vote to ensure a fair election where their voices are heard. Knowing your voter rights is just as important as knowing who is on the ballot. Your full rights can be found in the 2020 Indiana Voter’s Bill of Rights. A version in Spanish can be accessed here: Carta de Derechos del Votante de Indiana. The following is a brief overview of some of your voting rights in Indiana.
In Indiana, you have the right to vote:
- in a free and fair election.
- privately and independently, in a voting booth that is free from any unauthorized materials.
- in an Indiana election, if:
- You are a U.S. Citizen; AND
- You are a resident of Indiana; AND
- You will be at least 18 years of age at the next General Election, November 3, 2020; AND
- You are not currently in prison after being convicted of a crime;
- You have lived in the precinct where you vote for at least 30 days before the election; AND
- You are registered to vote.
Who does the voter ID law apply to?
In Indiana, you must have a government-issued photo ID with you when you vote in person. This photo ID must have been issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government and must have your photo, name, and an expiration date that has not expired before the last general election that was on November 3, 2016. For more information, see https://www.in.gov/bmv/resources/voter-information/.
There are limited reasons Indiana voters may be exempt from showing an ID. These reasons are outlined at https://www.in.gov/sos/elections/2624.htm.
What if the polls are closing but I haven’t voted yet?
Polls are open for the general election in Indiana from 6:00am-6:00pm on November 3, 2020. If you are in line at 6:00pm when the polls are closing as determined by an election judge, or are in the process of voting at that time, you have the right to cast a vote.
What if I need help using the voting booth?
Help is available when you go in to the voting booth at in-person polling but only if you have a permanent or temporary disability or if you cannot read or write in English, and only if you ask for assistance before you enter the voting booth. You and the person assisting you will have to fill out additional paperwork if you choose to do this. You cannot designate your employer or union representative to be the person that assists you in the voting booth. If you need assistance but do not bring anyone with you, 2 voting judges will assist you in the voting booth.
What if I make a mistake on my ballot?
If you vote for too many people running for the same office, for example, voting for more than one person running for president or you choose a candidate you did not want to vote for on the ballot, you have the right to return that ballot to an inspector and to receive a new ballot.
What is a provisional ballot?
Provisional ballots are a type of official ballot and contain the exact same information as the regular ballots. Provisional ballots are kept separate from the regular ballots and the county election board will determine if your ballot is eligible to be counted after election day.
Provisional ballots are given when you don’t have a photo ID with you at the poll, your eligibility to vote in the precinct is in question for some reason, or polling place hours have been extended. You may have to fill out additional paperwork at the polling location if you fill out a provisional ballot.
If you fill out a provisional ballot, you may want to follow up with the proper documentation with the county election board in order for your vote to count. According to the Indiana state government, “If you cast a provisional ballot, you have until noon, 10 days after the election to follow up with the county election board and either provide the necessary documentation or affirm one of the photo ID law’s exemptions applies to you.”
What if I moved and haven’t lived in my current precinct for at least 30 days?
If you moved less than 30 days before the election on November 3 and now live in a different precinct, you can still vote in your old precinct by signing an affidavit provided by election officials. This only applies if you have moved from one place in Indiana to a new place in Indiana, not if you moved from a different state to Indiana. If you have moved from Indiana to a new state less than 30 days before the election, you can vote only for president and vice president in your old precinct by signing an affidavit.
What if I can’t make it to the polls on November 3, 2020?
All registered voters in Indiana have the right to vote early. This is called absentee in-person voting. Dates for absentee-in-person voting are from October 6, 2020, until Noon on November 2, 2020. You can find your early polling location by going to www.indianavoters.in.gov, clicking “Find my polling location,” and entering your information. Early voting locations, dates, and times for La Porte County can be found here: https://laporteco.in.gov/residents/elections/.
Some registered voters in Indiana are eligible to vote by mail. You find out if you are eligible by visiting https://www.in.gov/sos/elections/2402.htm. A few of the common reasons voters are eligible to vote by mail include: being at least 65 years old, being disabled, lacking transportation to the polls, or is scheduled to work the entire time the polls are open on November 3. If you are eligible to vote by mail, you must submit an application for a ballot by October 22, 2020. You can submit an online application at www.indianavoters.in.gov. Once you fill out your mail-in ballot, you can mail it or hand-deliver it to the county clerk’s office. The La Porte County clerk’s office is 813 Lincolnway Suite 105 La Porte, IN.
You also have the right to vote by traveling abroad. You must fill out and submit an application to request this option by November 2, 2020. It is recommended that voters fill out the application as soon as possible.
You also have the right to vote if you are serving in the military. Please use the Federal Post Card Application or FPCA to do so. More information can be found at https://indianavoters.in.gov/. Click the vote by mail or traveling abroad button.
Have questions? Contact the La Porte County Election Board:
LA PORTE COUNTY ELECTION BOARD & COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE
813 LINCOLNWAY WAY, SUITE 105,
LAPORTE, IN 46350
PHONE: 219-326-6808 (La Porte County Clerk Office, La Porte office)
219-874-5611 x2385 (La Porte County Clerk Office, Michigan City office)
Catherine Zeman, First Deputy Election Administrator at La Porte, 219-326-6808 x2471