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Hoosiers have record turnout for early voting in Indiana

Posted at 5:50 PM, Nov 07, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana is setting a record for early voting in an election that’s got many on the edge of their seats.

More than 700,000 Hoosiers have already cast their ballots for this year’s election - that’s one out of every six registered voters.

In Marion County, election officials say nearly 10 percent of all registered voters cast their ballots prior to Election Day.

In Hamilton County, it’s nearly 22 percent.

But the largest number of early voters appears to be in Johnson County – where election officials say one-third of all registered voters have already cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s election.

But why are so many voters casting their ballots before Election Day?

For some, it’s just a matter of timing.

“I just couldn’t let the day pass without doing it. I wanted to try to get in a little early and not wait until tomorrow,” said Franklin resident Marion Jordan.

And some, like Jacquie Murray of Greenwood, just want to make sure their vote gets counted.

“I just want to make sure it gets in ahead of time, I want it counted,” said Murray.

University of Indianapolis Professor Ted Frantz studies the history of presidential elections. He said he believes the divisive rhetoric and claims of a “rigged election” are playing a direct role in the early voting numbers.

“In my lifetime, I have never seen someone question the political process as a presidential candidate in the way that Donald Trump has,” said Frantz. “And so, naturally, it will lead to fears that peoples votes will not count.”

Frantz said fewer people are identifying with a party than ever before, and once trusted institutions are on the decline, which makes the decision a stressful one for many voters. But it’s still a priority.

Given the large turnout of early voters, some precincts believe lines may be shorter tomorrow than normal at certain polling locations.