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Monroe County voters out early to cast ballots in Indiana midterm elections


People line up to receive their paper ballots Nov. 6 in Emmanuel Baptist Church. People voted for local and state officials during the midterms. Claire Livingston

Before 7:55 a.m. Tuesday, 27.1 percent of registered Monroe County voters had cast a ballot in the 2018 midterms.

As of noon, more than 34,000 had voted, Monroe County Clerk Nicole Browne said in an email. In 2014, the county had approximately 27,000 voters total. By 3 p.m., 43.8 percent of registered Monroe County voters had cast a ballot, Browne said. 

Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, and Monroe County residents were out early to cast their ballots. Adults held their children’s hands while walking into Evangelical Christian Church. It was still dark out, but some parents said they wanted to vote together as a family.

“It seemed important that they were here to see this,” the children’s mother said as she walked back to the parking lot.

In the Indiana Memorial Union, students were able to vote without leaving campus.

Ethan Gill, 22, volunteered at the IMU’s polling station, the only on-campus place to vote. This is the first time a polling station has been offered in the IMU, after students complained about polling locations on the outer limits of campus during the last election.

“Voting matters because it is a great way to get your voice heard in this political sphere,” Gill said. 

Many young people voted in this year’s election. As of noon, 4,300 voters were 18 to 24-year-olds, Browne said in an email.

Junior Savannah Powell said she voted for candidates that say they will protect asylum seekers and refugees. 

“It is very important to me that they are allowed to stay in our country and not be deported to their deaths,” Powell said. 

Powell said health care reform is also important to her. 

“I have a chronic illness and would like to keep my health insurance,” Powell said. 

Lucas Thatcher voted at the IMU and said he cast his ballot based on candidates’ morality.

“It doesn’t seem we’re heading in a moral direction with all this hatred going about,” Thatcher said. 

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