Vote 2020: Early voting in Indiana begins, polling times vary across state

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- Polling places across the state of Indiana open for early voting Tuesday ahead of the general election on November 3.

Election officials are expecting a high voter turnout due to interest in the Presidential Election.

"People are very excited about voting so we are very happy to see the lines are very long, Indiana Election and Registration Board President, Michelle Fajman said. "People are making it through in 45 minutes though, and they are just very excited to be voting."

The voting process this year will be the same, officials said. The only change is that extra precautions are being taken because of COVID-19.

Vote 2020: Election Information



"At all of our early voting locations, workers will have masks, gloves and disinfecting spray and sanitizer," Fajman said. "All the good PPE items to keep our locations safe and clean."

Indiana in-person voting will be open through November 2.

Voters will be required to wear masks at certain polling locations like the Lake County Government Center, Hammond County Courthouse and East Chicago County Courthouse, Fajman said. Other locations may not require a mask to enter the building.

"I am a senior in my 70s and it is a privilege," said Gary resident Valeria Hughes. "I have always honored that so I am here to personally do that with my sisters."

Hughes said their mother fought in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

"Never missed voting in my life," said Hughes' sister Jacqueline Perry. "Put your mask on, have your hand sanitizer and you will be OK."

On this first day of early in-person voting, some said there were other reasons to be here.

"I think it is going to be too tough when the actual [November] 3 comes," said Kelly Webb of Merrillville. "I just feel you will try to get in here, I work afternoon so I don't have a whole lot of time and if I can't, I will come back tomorrow."

But excitement seemed a common theme, especially for those casting a ballot for the first time.

"It feels weird but I am excited," said Amarpreet Kaur of Crown Point. "Everyone is like excited about this election because everybody has different views about it. Some people want to change, some people want the same stuff, so we'll see what the results are."

"We are increasing at some of our satellite offices in Gary," Farmjan said. "There is a demand for more voting machines so we will be putting some more up [Wednesday], more iPads in here and so on, just to make the lines go a little bit faster."

Election officials since sending out about 30,000 mail-in ballots in Lake County on September 13, they've already received a third (11,000) of them back, which they said is another indication of how much interest there is with the election.

"I have been doing this for 30 years and this is comparable to 2008," Famjn said. "2008 was a really exciting year and in fact we had lines out the building all the way out to the street, so this is comparable but I think 2008 might've had more volume."

Operation times for each polling place will vary across Indiana. You can find a list of polling places near you using the ABC7 guide.

Indiana native, Vice President Pence is expected to vote in Indianapolis on Friday.

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