Voter registration site on Indy’s near east side opens: ‘Their voices are just as important’


INDIANAPOLIS – We are inching closer to the moment when voters can make their voices heard on election day, but there are still thousands of people in central Indiana who aren’t registered.

At the corner of East 10th Street, you’ll find a fence covered in red, white and blue streamers along with white cups that spell out “vote,” as well as murals, painted to encourage neighbors on Indianapolis’ near east side.

“Their voices are just as important as other voices, and we need them to participate, and this is non-partisan. It doesn’t matter what side, we all have to give voice to this process,” said James Taylor, a volunteer and the CEO of the John Boner Neighborhood Centers. “We have opened a free voter registration site where people can come in, register to vote, check their voter status, learn about what documentation they need.”

Inspire 10th Street has transformed their headquarters into the registration space. The group is focused on getting more people to the polls this election day because they’re aware of a major issue — the lack of registered voters on the near east side.

“It’s heartbreaking because we want all voices to be heard,” added Taylor.

Taylor believes there are challenges facing voters this election.

“This year, you add to it the complexity of record-breaking turnout, you’ve got the complexity of social distancing that’s going on, you still have transportation issues that are going on,” he said. “Add to that, the polling places have all changed!”

They are changes that the registration site hopes to make voters aware of.

“I think that’s outstanding,” said Russell Hollis, the deputy director for the Marion County Clerk’s Office.

Hollis says voting is a two-step process. There are roughly 651,000 registered voters in Marion County right now.

“Our population is over 800,000, so there are a lot of folks that are not registered. But at the end of the day, we want the folks that are registered to actually show up and participate on election day,” said Hollis.

But before that, Hollis suggests you have a plan.

“You should not wake up on election day and decide that you plan to go vote,” he added.

And that’s where Taylor and his team at Inspire 10th Street want to help.

“If you have questions, this is the place to come.”

You can stop by the Inspire 10th Street location at 2301 East 10th Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 26. There’s also chances to register October 3 and October 5, which is the last day to register to vote here in Indiana.

Click here if you would like to check your registration status in Indiana.

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