Saturday, March 6, 2010

To Vote On School Board, You Must Be Registered

The School Board election is on May 4. The deadline to register to vote is April 5.

Many people assume that because the School Board election is held at the same time as the Party Primary elections, that you must declare a Party in order to vote for candidates running on the School Board ballot. That is not true. You would go to your voting location and let them know your only want to vote for School Board and they will give you a ballot listing only those candidates.

But, you must be registered to vote. Two things on this matter. IF YOU THINK you are already registered to vote - check to be sure. I'll tell you how below. IF YOU KNOW you are NOT registered to vote, I have some tips below to ensure your application will be successful.

I have worked the polls for a number of years now and I can tell you that it is common to see two things - folks who have voted year after year who do not show up on the records because they moved or changed their names and did not remember to get their voter registration updated - and - folks who filled out the voter registration form and trusted the BMV to get it to the Voter Registration people.

If you think you are registered to vote, or if you filled out the form and assume you are properly registered, you can call Voter Registration at 327-5040, or drop into their office if you are in the City-County Building. As we get closer to the election, you will also be able to double check on the County Clerk / Election Board website. Once polling locations are determined for the May 4 election, they will have an interactive form that tells you a) if you are registered to vote, and b) where you would go to vote. I will post that link once the feature is available.

If you need to register for the first time, or if you need to transfer your registration to a new address, or if you changed your name (ladies - that can easily be you if you recently got married and took your husband's name) - click here - on this page you have the choice of getting the form in either Word or Acrobat Reader format. Fill out the form. Having worked at the polls on election day, I can tell you that I have never heard of someone who sent their form to the Voter Registration Office who was not on the books as a registered voter. Lots of folks filled out the form at the BMV and never got registered. So, I advise you to either mail it to the Marion County Voter Registration Office (if you live in Marion County) - you will find the address on the form. Or, walk it in to the Voter Registration Office. It is on the first floor of the City-County Building.

If your registration is successful, the Voter Registration Office will send you a postcard that you should bring with you to the voting location, just in case. If you have that card, you will be allowed to vote, even if somehow your name does not show up in the books. If you have not received this card - make sure you double check that you are registered by calling 327-5040.

The deadline to register is April 5. So, if you want to vote on May 4, you must double check your registration before April 5 so that you have time to get the situation corrected.


Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for getting this information to everyone. This will be a very important election. Is there someone to contact if anyone needs help getting to the election site?

Had Enough Indy? said...

You bring up an excellent point.

I have to assume that the candidates will want to organize volunteers to do a number of things on Election Day. One would be to help folks get to the polling locations. The other would be to get volunteers to donate an hour or two at their own polling place to talk to undecided voters before they cast their votes - or just to remind voters of the names of the challengers.

Let me contact Natalie Coffey and Bobby Hire to see if they mind me publishing their phone numbers or email addresses so folks can contact them to volunteer.