Early voting for the primary election begins Tuesday, which allows voters to cast ballots for their preferred Bloomington City Council and mayoral candidates. There are no contested Republican races, so the primary will only include Democrats.
The polls will open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. The polls will be open in the same timeframe every weekday for the following three weeks and will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22 and April 29. The last day of early voting will be from 8 a.m. to noon on May 1, with election day taking place on May 2.
All early voting takes place at Election Operations, located at 302 S. Walnut St.
Deadline to register to vote is April 3
Those looking to vote in the Bloomington primary election must register to vote by Monday at 4 p.m., which is when the local voter registration office closes. College students can choose to vote here instead of in their hometowns as long as they register at their Bloomington address. Registration can be done online or by filling out a form and bringing it to Election Central at 401 W. 7th St., Suite 100.
Bloomington residents can register to vote in this election as long as they will be 18 years old by the general election on Nov. 7, 2023, even if they are currently 17 years old. Additionally, people with felonies can vote as long as they are not currently in prison.
Many races may be decided in the primary election
So far, only two races are contested in the general election — city council District 3, where Republican Brett Heinisch is running, and the race for mayor, where Independent Joseph Davis is running. The Republican and Libertarian parties will have an opportunity to choose a candidate via caucus by July 3, and independent candidates can run as long as they collect enough signatures by June 30. If no opposition emerges by then, the primary election could determine many of the races prior to the general election.
Every race in the primary is contested except for the city council’s District 6 and District 4. Voters will be able to choose three out of the seven candidates running for city council at-large and will be able to vote in one of six city council districts, depending on where they live.
The District 6 city council race may have a different Democratic candidate after the primary election. The district’s only candidate — IU student David Wolfe Bender — has announced his intent to withdraw after the primary election, according to an email sent by his counsel to the election board last month.
The election board is investigating Bender’s residency, which may not be in the district where he is running. If Bender does withdraw, the Democratic party will have 30 days after the withdrawal is official to choose a candidate via caucus.
For the mayoral primary, voters will be able to choose one out of the three Democratic candidates running — Don Griffin, Susan Sandberg and Kerry Thomson. Current mayor John Hamilton is not running for re-election.
City Clerk Nicole Bolden, a Democrat, is on the ballot but is running unopposed.
Editor's note: David Wolfe Bender is a former employee of the Indiana Daily Student.