Election Day: 10 things to know when you are heading to the polls

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With the 2010 General Election now approximately three weeks away, Switzerland County Circuit Court Clerk Ginger Peters – the person charged with running the county election – was asked 10 questions that people in Switzerland County might have about voting and the election in general.

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– (1) How do I know if I’m eligible to vote? How do I know if I’m registered?

“Well, there’s a couple of ways,” Ginger Peters said. “They can call here at the clerk’s office and find out; or they can go to a website: www.indianavoters.com. On that site they can see where their precinct is, and they can also see what our ballot looks like.”

– (2) If I can’t get to the polls on November 2nd, can I still vote?

“Yes. The deadline is October 25th to have a ballot mailed to them,” Ginger Peters said. “That’s an application that needs to be in before the 25th; or they can come here to the office. People can vote Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the exception of lunch from noon until 1 p.m.; and they can vote on Thursday from 8 a.m. until noon.

“There are also two Saturdays, October 23rd and October 30th,” she continued. “We’ll be here both those Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon.”

– (3) How do I know where to go to vote on Election Day?

“When people go to www.indianavoters.com, it will tell them whether they’re registered or not, and it will also tell them what precinct they vote in and where they need to go. If people don’t have access to the Internet, they are more than welcome to call here and we’ll help them out and answer any questions they have.”

– (4) I didn’t vote in the primary. Can I vote in the General Election?

“Yes they may.”

- (5) I’ve moved since the primary election. Is that a problem? Where do I go to vote? My old address or my new one?

“If they didn’t change their address and they are still registered at their old address, they’ll have one more chance to go back to the old precinct and they can vote there, but they need to change their address there,” Ginger Peters said. “They can change their address at the polls. Even if they still vote in the same precinct, they need to change their address at the polls on election day.”

– (6) I’m not sure if I’m a Democrat or a Republican. Does that matter?

“Not in the general election,” Ginger Peters said. “In the primary election they have to declare, but in the general election voters can choose between candidates of either party.”

– (7) I’m not sure what I need to bring to the polls on election day.

“They will need a government-issued photo ID,” Ginger Peters said. “A driver’s license issued by the BMV - it has to be an Indiana driver’s license; or they can do the Indiana ID card; or their military ID card also.”

– (8) What if I make a mistake on my ballot while I’m voting?

“They can go back to the judge and tell them that they’ve made a mistake and they’d like to spoil the ballot, and they’ll be issued a new one,” Ginger Peters said.

– (9) What if I need help reading my ballot or something else while I’m voting?

“At all precincts they have the judges,” Ginger Peters said. “The judges are there to help those who are in need of assistance. Anyone needing any type of assistance while voting should ask for the judge to help them. There is a Democrat and a Republican, that way it’s not partisan.”

– (10) Why should I vote at all?

“They can make a big difference if they vote,” the clerk said. “They might not feel like they can, but they can make a difference when they vote. They can have some say about some issues that may be going on around the county. If they don’t vote, then I guess they don’t really have any reason to talk.

“Everybody should vote. They don’t have to mark everything that’s on the ballot. If they don’t care about one particular office or another. Just because they have a ballot, they don’t have to vote everything on the ballot. The school board, since we got them switched to the general election, if people just want to vote for school board, they can do that.”

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Have other questions? Contact the clerk’s office at 427-4415. The polls on election day, Tuesday, November 2nd, are open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.