SOUTHERN INDIANA — Election Day is less than a month away, but registered voters can already cast their votes in the municipal election.
Tuesday kicked off early voting in Clark and Floyd counties. The deadline for Indiana voters to apply for absentee-by-mail ballots is Oct. 24, and the deadline for counties to receive the applications is Oct. 28. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.
A mid-afternoon check of first-day early voting showed 30 voters in Floyd County and 33 voters in Clark County had cast their ballots.
In Floyd County, voters can cast their ballots at the City-County Building at 311 Hauss Square in New Albany from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays until Nov. 1. On Nov. 4 (the day before the election), early voting goes from 8 a.m. to noon.
Two parking spaces in front of the City-County Building have been added this year specifically for voters. In Clark County, early voting is only available at the courthouse, but Floyd County will have several satellite vote centers open for early voting.
The Floyd County residents can vote early on Saturdays on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The locations include the City-County Building, Floyd County Public Library at 180 W. Spring St., Sojourn Church at 2023 Ekin Ave., Silver Street Park at 2043 Silver St., the Floyd County 4-H Fairgrounds at 2818 Green Valley Road, and Trinity United Methodist Church, 2796 Charlestown Road.
From Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, Floyd County voters can cast ballots from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Floyd County Fairgrounds and Sojourn Church.
There are 31,550 registered voters in New Albany, according to Floyd County Voter Registration Clerk Nancy Riley. The only other Floyd County elections this year besides New Albany include a few precincts in Georgetown and one in Greenville.
Early voting will be available in Clark County from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the courthouse at 501 E. Court Ave., Jeffersonville, in addition to Saturday voting days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. at the same location. Early voting will also take place from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 4.
Unlike Floyd County, Clark County has precinct voting, which means that voters may only vote at their specified precinct on Election Day. This year, three precincts within Charlestown and Sellersburg have been relocated. Precinct 3 is moving from Jonathan Jennings Elementary School to Charlestown High School, and Precinct 5 is moving from the Arts and Entertainment Center in Charlestown to Charlestown Middle School.
In Sellersburg, Precincts 2 and 3 will be moving from the West Clark Education Center to the American Legion, and Precincts 4 and 5 will move from Silver Creek Middle School to Silver Creek High School.
Clark County Voter Registration Clerk Angela Cornett said as of Tuesday afternoon, the office had not yet run the voter registration totals for the county. She encourages registered voters to vote early to avoid lines on Election Day.
"You can go ahead and get it done and not have to worry about Nov. 5 and remembering that one day," she said.
Floyd County Clerk Danita Burks said as long as registered voters bring their ID, early voting is an easy process.
"I still think a lot of people like to vote on Election Day primarily, but if you're not able to get there that day or you have to work, it does offer opportunities for those who would like to take advantage of it," she said.
Burks said it is everyone's privilege to vote, and she encourages them to come out for early voting to avoid any obstacles that might arise on Election Day.
"I know sometimes people face sickness or a situation where they can't get out, and early voting can offset that," she said. "We really have three and a half weeks, so to me, there's not really a reason you can't get out and vote."