While the 2010 Primary Election is still three months away, it is never to early too start thinking about how to cast a ballot.
Residents have until Monday, April 5, to register to vote in the primary, which is also the same day early voting begins.
In order to vote, a government-issued photo identification card which meets the following four criteria must be presented:
* It must display your photo,
* It must conform with your voter registration record,
* It must contain an expiration date and either still be current or have expired sometime after the date of the last General Election (Nov. 4, 2008), and
* It must be issued by the State of Indiana or the United States Government.
According to the 2010 Indiana Voter Information Guide supplied by Secretary of State Todd Rokita's Office, an Indiana driver's license, Indiana photo ID card, Military ID -- including those with expiration dates of "INDEF" -- or a United States passport is sufficient in most cases.
However, a provisional ballot may be cast by those unable or unwilling to present an ID meeting those requirements. In this situation, an individual has until noon, 10 days after the election to follow up with the county election board to affirm an applicable exemption.
Exemptions exist for the indigent, those with religious objections to being photographed and those living in state-licensed facilities where a precinct's polling place is also located.
There are also numerous ways for an individual to cast an absentee ballot.
In order to vote "absentee-by-mail," one of the nine official exemptions must apply which include, but are not limited to:
* Having a disability,
* Scheduled to work at the individual's regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours the polls are open (6 a.m.-6 p.m.),
* Being a member of the military or public safety officer, and
* Having official election duties outside of your voting precinct.
For those who have a disability or are confined/taking care of a confined individual due to illness or injury during the entire time the polls are open, ballots may be cast as "absentee-by-traveling board."
In both cases of voting by mail or through the traveling board, an application must be submitted to the Clay County Election Office. The deadline to apply for a ballot by mail is midnight, Monday, April 26, and absentee ballots must be cast by Monday, May 3.
Clay County Deputy Clerk Beth Mallinak told The Brazil Times early voting runs from April 5-May 3, with voting available from 8-11 a.m., and noon-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, during that time period. She also said early voting will be available on two Saturdays (April 24 and May 1), from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., in the Clay County Election Office, located on the second floor of the Clay County Courthouse.
For more information about early and absentee voting, contact the Election Office at 448-9023, or by fax at 446-9602.
More voter information may also be found at http://www.in.gov/sos/elections.
Recent candidate filings
The following is a list of individuals who officially filed an official declaration of candidacy with the Clay County Election Office between noon, Wednesday, Jan. 27, and noon, Wednesday, Feb. 3, according to position:
* Clay County Prosecutor -- Charles Hear,
* Harrison Township Board -- Lowell Max Hasler, Mary F. Krauchi and Robert E. Orman,
* Clay County Council, District 3 -- Toni L. Carter and Rick E. Neier,
* Jackson Township Trustee -- Mendy S. Litz,
* Brazil Township Trustee -- Marcia Tozer and Vickie M. Lawhorn,
* Brazil 1 Precinct Committeeman -- Marcia Tozer, and
* Brazil 3 Precinct Committeeman -- Ann Bradshaw.
Through noon, Wednesday, a total of 23 individuals had filed a declaration of candidacy. Those wanting to run for office in the May 4, 2010 Primary Election must do so by noon, Friday, Feb. 19. Withdrawals of candidacy declarations must be completed by noon, Monday, Feb. 22.