Only a little more than a week remains to register to vote in the May 4, 2010 Primary Election.
Voter registration officially ends at noon, Monday, April 5, which is the same day early voting begins.
During the past 20 years, the number of registered voters has increased dramatically for mid-term elections in Clay County, but the amount of people actually casting a ballot in the Primary has decreased.
From 1990-2006, the number of county registered voters rose from 13,494 to 19,713, which is an increase of 46.1 percent. However, the number of ballots cast went from 6,038 in the 1990 Primary to 4,992 in the 2006 Primary, for a 17.3-percent decrease.
The State of Indiana, as a whole, has also seen a similar trend.
In 1990, there were 2,907,914 registered voters in the state, which exploded to 4,375,238 for the 2006 Primary, a 50.5 percent increase, but the total number of ballots cast in 2006 was also less than in 1990. A total of 849,945 people voted in the 2006 Primary, which was 61,944 (6.8 percent) fewer than the 911,889 total ballots statewide in the 1990 Primary.
The high point for mid-term Primary Elections came in 2006 with 19,713 registered voters, but only 4,992 ballots were cast in that election, much fewer than the high of 6,552 in the 1998 Primary. However, the fewest number of ballots cast in a Primary since 1990 came in 2002 with a total of 4,908.
Absentee ballots have swayed back and forth in the five mid-term Primary Elections with 272 in 1990, down to a low of 228 in 1994, back up to 362 in 1998, then 255 in 2002 and a high of 381 in 2006.
In order to register to vote in Indiana, all of the following criteria must be met:
* You must be both a U.S. citizen, and an Indiana resident,
* You are 18 years of age on or prior to the next General or Municipal Election,
* You are not currently in prison after being convicted of a crime, and
* You must have lived in your precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election (with the exception of certain military voters).
Voter registration applications may also be utilized for name and address changes, along with transferring registration upon moving to a different voting precinct.
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. Early voting will also 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.