Election Day, to the relief of most, is nearly here.
On Tuesday, Kokomo voters will eschew a long, contentious election season and finally choose the city’s next mayor, along with a cohort of city council positions, and decide whether to re-elect the city’s longtime clerk.
Will it be Democrat Abbie Smith or Republican Tyler Moore to take over a third-floor City Hall office soon to be vacated by Greg Goodnight, the longest serving mayor in Kokomo’s history?
Will the Common Council – currently dominated by Democrats – continue on its current course? Could it become more evenly divided? Or will a complete revamp take place, flipping control of council chambers to the Howard County Republican Party?
Each of these questions will be answered shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, providing insight into the next four years of city government.
But first, you, the voter, must head to the polls.
Here is what you need to know before casting your ballot:
What do you need?
You will need a photo ID.
Indiana law requires Hoosiers to present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot at the polls on Election Day.
Under Indiana Code, a voter’s photo ID must meet four criteria to be acceptable for voting purposes. It must:
- Display your photo.
- Display your name, and the name must conform to your voter registration record. Conform does not mean identical, but the ID must comply with a standard of similarity.
- Display an expiration date and either be current or have expired sometime after the date of the last General Election, on Nov. 8, 2016.
- Be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government.
In most cases, an Indiana driver’s license, Indiana photo ID card, military ID or U.S. passport is sufficient. A student ID from an Indiana state school may only be used if it meets all of the four criteria specified above. A student ID from a private institution may not be used for voting purposes.
If you are unable or unwilling to present ID meeting these requirements, you may cast a provisional ballot. If you cast a provisional ballot, you have until noon 10 days after the election to follow up with the county election board and either provide the necessary documentation or affirm one of the law’s exemptions applies to you.
Source: Indiana Election Division
Check your voting status
Want to make sure you’re registered to vote? If so, you can visit www.indianavoters.com.
Once you enter identifying information, the site will also provide directions to each of Howard County’s vote centers, along with other information that could be pertinent to your Election Day experience.
Where to vote
Here are the vote centers slated to be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Election Day:
- Carver Community Center, 1030 N. Purdum St.
- Eastern Performing Arts Center, 421 S. Harrison St.
- Kokomo First Assembly, 1520 N. Apperson Way
- Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 121 Santa Fe Boulevard
- Indiana Wesleyan University, 1916 E. Markland Ave.
- Kokomo High School, 2501 S. Berkley Road
- Maple Crest Middle School, 2727 S. Washington St.
- Northview Church (formerly Oakbrook Church), 3409 S. 200 West
- Russiaville Lions Club, 555 N. Liberty St.
- Kokomo Senior Citizens Center, 721 W. Superior St.
- Kokomo Howard County Public Library South, 1755 E. Center Road
- Titan Annex Facility, 3794 E. 300 South
- UAW Local 685, 929 E. Hoffer St.
Even if you vote straight ticket – an option allowing voters to make a single ballot mark to vote for a party’s slate of candidates – you must also manually vote for the council’s at-large race.
A 2016 Indiana law change means that straight-ticket voting no longer counts toward partisan races where more than one candidate can be chosen.
A straight-ticket vote will take care of the mayoral, clerk and district council races; it will not, however, include the at-large races.
In other words, a voter who marks the straight-ticket option must still go down and choose the at-large candidates they wish to vote for. Voters are allowed to vote for three at-large candidates.
What not to do
Do not wear clothing that supports or opposes a candidate or party, and do not bring a campaign sign into the vote center. Voters will, however, likely notice campaign signs directly outside vote centers in a last-ditch effort to grab your vote.
Follow our reporters
To get updates on Election Day, follow Tribune reporters George Myers (@gmyerskt), Carson Gerber (@carsongerber1), Laura Arwood (@LauraArwood) and Kim Dunlap (@PharosKJD) on Twitter. You can also find updates at kokomotribune.com and on social media, at facebook.com/KokomoTribune and @KokomoTribune.
If you have issues at the polls Tuesday, you can call the Indiana Election Division at 317-232-3939 or the Howard County Clerk’s office at 765-456-2204. Anyone concerned about polling accessibility or voter fraud can also call 866-IN1-VOTE (866-461-8683).
If you are turned away at the polls, the AFL-CIO encourages voters to ask for a provisional ballot and a receipt or other information to show what is needed to ensure the vote is counted.