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What do I need on Election Day? The midterm election is Nov. 8

A Black voter begins to feed their ballot into a voting machine in a school gym. The box has a computer screen that reads "Welcome. Please insert your ballot." They're wearing a jacket with an American flag patch, a ball cap over their braids, and a surgical masks. Just behind them, a poll worker assists them.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Only 14 percent of Hoosiers voted in the May primary.

Indiana’s midterm election is on Nov. 8, 2022. What do you need on Election Day? Where can you find your ballot to research candidates ahead of time? Does your vote really matter?

We received questions through the Indiana Two-Way, a weekly text group that provides news updates and asks questions to inform our reporting. To join, text the word “Indiana” to 73224.

What do I need on Election Day?

You need a photo ID.

Under Indiana’s 2005 voter ID law, your photo identification must meet four criteria: it must display your photo, your name (though, it doesn’t have to be a perfect match), an expiration date and either be current or have expired sometime after the date of the last General Election, and issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government.

There are a handful of photo IDs that fall into those categories. An Indiana driver’s license, a U.S. passport, Indiana State Identification Card, or military ID card all work. And student IDs at Indiana state colleges and universities may also work – as long as they follow the rest of the criteria. However, students at private institutions may not use student IDs for voting.

Who is eligible to vote in Indiana?

There are a few qualifications to vote in Indiana. First and foremost, you must be both a U.S. citizen and a resident of Indiana. Additionally, you must be 18 years old on or before Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022.

People who are currently in prison after being convicted of a crime cannot vote in Indiana. But their voting rights are restored upon release. And you have to have lived in the precinct you’re voting in for at least 30 days before the election.

Finally, you have to be registered to vote.

How do you register to vote?

The easiest way: go to IndianaVoters.com. The Indiana secretary of state runs the site, and allows you to register to vote, update address information, check your registration and find your polling place on this website.

But you also must have a valid Indiana driver’s license or other ID issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government.

You can register to vote in-person or by mail by filling out a voter registration form. Indiana residents can register to vote without a driver’s license or Indiana State Identification Card – but, because of Indiana’s voter ID laws, you’ll have to have a legal identification card issued by the U.S. government or the state of Indiana on Election Day.

Certain military and overseas voters have extended registration deadlines. All that information is available on the Indiana secretary of state’s website.

Where can I find my ballot? And where can I find information on candidates?

There are lots of places you can go – including candidate websites, local media outlets and even specialty voting guides on issues important to you.

Go to IndianaVoters.com and select “Check my registration.” Once you log into your Voter Portal, scroll to “Who's on the Ballot.”

We’ve also compiled a tip sheet for finding more information about the candidates on your ballot to make informed decisions when voting.

Where can I find information on school referendums? 

Eight school corporations in Indiana are seeking voter approval for referendum funding this May.

Here’s a calculator to see how these proposed referendums will affect your property taxes.

Lawmakers changed state law in 2021 to require new referendum language on ballots. They now include percentages about a school's average property tax revenue, among other things. That same year, lawmakers also created a requirement for schools to post revenue spending plans so the public can better understand how those dollars would be used.

But school leaders and experts have concerns about new, lengthier language on voters' ballots.

What rights do I have as a voter?

Voting places must be accessible to Hoosiers with disabilities. For example, if you’re unable to stand for long periods of time, you can request a chair. Or if you’re visually impaired, you may request a magnifier.

Voters with disabilities may seek assistance from poll workers (one from each political party). You’re also able to designate a friend or relative to assist you during voting – but they must complete an Affidavit of Voter Assistance at the Polls. That’s available at the polling station, before entering the voting booth.

Hoosiers who cannot read and/or write in English can also request assistance at a polling place.

Indiana Secretary of State’s Office
(866)-IN-1-VOTE (866-461-8683)
They’ll have staff on hand for phone calls from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern.

Indiana Disability Rights
Voice (317) 722-5555
Toll Free (800) 622-4845
Text Telephone (TTY) (800) 838-1131

Indiana Election Division
Direct (317) 232-3939
Toll Free (800) 622-4941

How do I make sure my voting place is accessible? 

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires each polling place to have at least one accessible voting machine, in addition to making the facility accessible.

Voters with physical disabilities may seek assistance from poll workers (one from each political party). You’re also able to designate a friend or relative to assist you during voting – but they must complete an Affidavit of Voter Assistance at the Polls. That’s available at the polling station, before entering the voting booth.

If there is an issue with accessibility at your polling place, you can call the Indiana Secretary of State’s office and file an accessibility grievance form.

Can someone vote if they are housing insecure?

Short answer: yes.

People who have a non-traditional residence, like those who are homeless, or those who live in a motor home, must still provide a location sufficient to allow local election officials to place the person in a precinct. If you stay in more than one place, voter registration officials should ask you to designate the location where you usually sleep in the county.

Your best chance of registering to vote will be working with your county election board. If the place has no street address, you’ll be asked to indicate the location by drawing a map or writing a description of the location on the state’s voter registration form or federal mail-in registration form in the appropriate box.

You’ll also be asked to provide a mailing address within the county where you reside – that being said, P.O. boxes cannot establish residency.

For online voter registration, you’ll be asked to provide an intersection for your address, which county officials will use to determine your precinct.

What is being done to increase voter security?

Indiana counties that use electronic voting machines are finally getting enough money from the state to equip all those machines with paper backup systems.

A new state law, HEA 1116, requires counties that use electronic voting machines to, by 2024, install “voter verifiable paper audit trails” – a backup system that lets people check their ballot selections on a paper printout before confirming their vote.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need leading up to Election Day.

The state will provide funding for every county that needs paper backup systems by July 1. Purchasing those systems will take time, but all should be in place by the 2024 elections.

That is just one of several things the state has done recently to increase voter security.

Does my vote really matter?

Indiana, like most states, has had several examples where a small amount of votes decided elections.

Especially in midterm elections – when fewer voters cast ballots – showing up can make a bigger difference.

Only 14 percent of Hoosiers voted in the May primary.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

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Lauren is the digital editor for our statewide collaboration, and is based in Indianapolis at WFYI. Since starting for IPB News in 2016, she's covered everything from protests and COVID-19 to esports and policy. She's a proud Ball State University alumna and grew up on the west side of Indianapolis.