Hamilton County voters turning out in record high numbers for early voting

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — More than 1.6 million Hoosiers have already cast their ballots in the 2020 election. In Hamilton County, the number of returned absentee ballots increased by 400% over the 2016 election.

“The last two days we’ve done over 8,000 a day with our satellites and plus here and at the fairgrounds,” Kathy Williams, Hamilton County Clerk, said. “So it’s been incredible the turnout.”

On Friday afternoon, the line at the Hamilton County Courthouse moved quickly. So far, more than 128,000 people have cast a ballot in the county.

In 2016, as of October 30 in the early voting period, 33,000 people had cast a ballot. As of Friday night, that number increased to more than 80,000.

“At this point in time we’re at about 46 percent,” Williams said. “Four years ago we were at 16 percent on this day.”

Aaron Dusso, Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of Political Science Department at IUPUI, believes the voter turnout across the country will be higher than it has been for decades.

“Historically early turnout hasn’t been an early predictor of overall turnout’s going to be,” Dusso said. “But I think this year is special. This year’s going to be different. I think the turnout that’s just blowing away predictions is going to really show that this is going to be a historic turnout. We’re going to get 65, maybe 70% turnout across the country. It’s amazing!”

Along with the race for the presidency, there is also a contentious race in District 5 for the US House of Representatives seat between democrat Christina Hale and republican Victoria Spartz.

“So the close campaigns actually do cause people to turn out more,” Dusso said. “So when you’re a battleground state for president or even some of these high profile down ballot seats, you can get more people to show up. So people might realize oh my vote might matter a little bit more this time because I might make the choice.”

Monday at noon is the deadline to vote early.

“All early voting stops at noon Monday,” Williams said. “So if you still have a ballot and you don’t want to put it in the mail, you can bring it here to the judicial center. We have a table out here in the hallway and two people sitting here putting them in a ballot box.”

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