Step 1: Register to Vote

Indiana requires you to take the initiative to vote, which starts by completing the voter registration form. For many, the easiest place to register is at the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles when you apply for a drivers license. If you don’t plan to drive you should still visit the BMV and apply for a state issued ID. You will be required to show your id when you vote.

In preparation to go to the BMV visit their page to see what you will need to take with you to prove your identity.

If you already have a drivers licence or state issued ID then you can visit Indiana Voters Portal and register to vote on-line.

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Step 2: Educate yourself on what is on the ballot

First, you need to know what races will be on the ballot, then you will need to know who is running in each race. Indiana doesn’t allow initiatives or referendums so you won’t find those on the ballot. The various elections can be local, state or federal as well as primary and general elections. Many people feel that the most important election is Presidential general election. Yes and no. The world sees the United States as The Federal government, because of the roles the President plays; chief diplomat and the head of the armed Forces. But the state elections are much more important to you, as that is where many of the laws that govern your life originate. The local government is important as it delivers the day to day services that you use. All three branches have the ability to tax it’s citizens, another reason why elections at all levels are important.

Our favorite place to suggest, as a way to educate yourself is Vote411.org (funded and run by LWV Education Fund) which will show you what is on your ballot and other important information. One exceptional feature of Vote411 is that candidates are given an opportunity to answer important questions that let you see their unedited answers. Candidates can also be viewed in a side by side comparison. Another suggested site would be Votesmart.org, where you can find the voting records for candidates that have served before. Other sources of information would be the candidate’s website/social media pages. We also suggest you obtain information from your local television stations and newspapers as well as local on-line news sources. You can be an effective voter, but it will take a little effort.

Step 3: Plan to Vote

The first decision you need to make is; can I vote using a mail-in ballot or will I vote in-person.

Indiana will only let you use a mail-in ballot, also referred to as an absentee ballot, if you have a state defined reason. Visit this Allen County Election Board page to view the acceptable reasons to vote by mail. If you have a valid reason, go to indianavoters.com and request a mail-in ballot be sent to you. Detailed instructions on how to complete and return the ballot will be included in the package you receive. Here is a video that ACEB made about Absentee Ballots.

If you plan to vote in person you need to make an additional decision; will you vote early or will you vote on Election Day, November 3, 2020. If you decide to do early in-person voting visit Allen County Election Board to find the the early voting locations, dates and times. If you plan to vote on Election Day visit indianavoters.com and select the option Voting Location to see your Election Day Voting Location and Hours. For in-person voting make sure you take ID with you, or you will be turned away from the polls. If your registration status is challenged ask for a provisional ballot, that way you are able to vote. If you are wondering how the voting machines work just watch the video ACEB made about that.

Once you have answered the question of what voting method to use, either request your mail-in ballot or put the date on your calendar so you don’t forget.

Step 4: Vote

After you vote, make sure you tell everyone you know that you voted and ask it they did too.

Have a great rest of the day knowing you performed your very important civic duty.

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