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What to know about the Indiana election

Q: What races are on the ballot Tuesday?

A: Indiana voters will choose a president, U.S. senator, nine members of Congress, 25 state senators and 100 House members, along with the state attorney general and superintendent of public instruction. They’ll also decide whether to retain more than 60 state and local judges.

Q: Which Indiana races matter most?

—Indiana isn’t expected to be a factor in the presidential race as it was in 2008, when Barack Obama gave Democrats their first win in the state since 1964, but it could help determine control of the U.S. Senate. The race between Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock and Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly has been a toss-up for months, but a recent poll gave Donnelly the edge after Mourdock said during an Oct. 23 televised debate that a pregnancy resulting from rape was something “God intended.” The candidates and outside groups have poured millions of dollars into the campaigns.

Q: What other races should I care about?

A: The governor’s race between Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence and Democrat John Gregg, a former speaker of the Indiana House, could determine whether Indiana continues down the conservative Republican path launched under Mitch Daniels. Whoever wins likely will have to work with a heavy Republican majority in the Statehouse, where House Republicans hope to pick up seven seats to win a supermajority enabling them to do business without Democrats if needed.

Q: I don’t know if I’m registered to vote. How can I find out?

A: Visit www.IndianaVoters.com or call 866-IN-1-VOTE (866-461-8683) to check your voter registration and polling place. You may also call the Indiana Election Division at 800-622-4941, your county clerk or county board of voter registration.

Q. What impact does redistricting have on the ballot this year?

A. The Republican-led General Assembly redrew legislative and congressional maps last year, a process that occurs every 10 years. Many of the districts became friendlier for Republican candidates, and that contributed to more than a dozen Democratic legislators deciding to not seek re-election. In a battle of incumbents in southwestern Indiana’s House District 45, Democratic Rep. Kreg Battles and Republican Rep. Bruce Borders are both seeking re-election.

Q: My county has a vote center. What does that mean?

—A vote center is a polling place where any eligible voter in the county may go to vote. Election officials say this provides greater flexibility for voters. Seven Indiana counties — Wayne, Tippecanoe, Cass, Vanderburgh, Blackford, Johnson and Switzerland — will offer vote centers in Tuesday’s election.

Q: What hours are the polls open?

A: Indiana polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.

Q: I had an absentee ballot mailed to me but haven’t returned it yet. Am I too late?

A: State law requires that absentee ballots returned by mail arrive at the county election board no later than 6 p.m. Election Day. Overseas voters have an extended period to return their absentee ballots by mail. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 6 and can be received as late as noon 10 days after the election.

If you were planning to cast an absentee ballot in person, you’re out of luck. The deadline to vote absentee in person at the county election board office was noon Monday.

Q: What should I do if I see misconduct at the polls?

A: The Indiana secretary of state’s office has a fraud and grievance line: 866-461-8683. You also can contact the state election division at 317-232-3939.

Q: What do I need to bring with me to vote Tuesday?

A: You must present a government-issued photo ID. The ID must have your photo, list your name in a way that conforms to your voter registration record, display an expiration date and either be current or have expired after the last general election in 2010, and be issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government. Generally, an Indiana driver’s license, Indiana photo ID card, military ID or U.S. passport will work.

Those who can’t provide such ID may cast a provisional ballot and will have until noon 10 days after the election to provide the county election board with necessary documentation or proof that they are subject to one of the law’s exemptions. Those include the indigent, anyone with a religious objection to being photographed and those living in state-licensed facilities that serve as their precinct’s polling place.



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