KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Who can register to vote? Where do you register? Have you moved since you last voted? I haven’t voted in years, am I still registered? I didn’t vote in the primary can I still vote in the general election? How do I know if I’m registered?
These questions and many more are often asked each election season.
There are simple answers to each question and the answers can be found with the county clerk of the court and through the Indiana Secretary of State’s office and its website: Indianavoters.com.
People have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, to register to vote in the fall general election. This can be done in three ways: going to www.indianavoters.com and submitting an application to register online by 11:59 p.m. Oct. 9; visiting the Kosciusko County Clerk’s office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m; or any Bureau of Motor Vehicles office during its business office hours.
You can also register by printing out a voter registration application and mailing it to the clerk’s office, or contacting the clerk’s office to have an application mailed. Utilizing the mail option, people should make sure the mailed in request is made early enough to go through the postal service, and is postmarked by Oct. 9. Those registering by mail will need to enclose a photocopy of a driver’s license, BMV identification card, current utility statement, bank statement or government document showing your name and current address.
If none of these ways are convenient, individuals can contact one of the two party chairmen: Mike Ragan, Republican; or Brian Smith, Democrat, and request a ride to the justice building to register or help with registering in person.
People can also check to see if they are registered by checking Indianavoters.com. It is simple and quick. On the home page, click on check voting status. Enter your first and last name, date of birth and county and submit. However, the name by which a voter registered must be entered. If a person registered under the name of Bill, that name should be entered instead of William. People should try variations of first and last name – with or without hyphens, apostrophes even capitalizations, such as O’Neal, Oneal or ONeal. It will show you what precinct and where you will vote as well as other information.
So who can register to vote?
Persons who are citizens of the United States, 18 years of age by the time of the general election, and a resident of a precinct 30 days prior to the general election are eligible to register. No party declaration is required at the time of registration and no other person can register for another.
Ann Torpy, clerk of the Circuit Court and secretary of the county election board, stated poll workers are provided with a chart of procedures if a voter moved within the state before the general election. Steps necessary are noted in the guide.
If a voter moved his/her registration address on or before Sunday, Oct. 7, and moved within the same precinct, the voter is to write the new address in the poll book or fill out a new voter registration form on Election Day and vote a regular ballot. If they changed precincts and congressional district, only a provisional ballot may be used. If the voter changed precincts but still lives in the same district and moved to a new county, a provisional ballot will be issued, if the voter still lives in the same county, a voter fills out a new registration form and votes a regular ballot in his/her old precinct.
If the voter moved his/her registration address on or after Monday, Oct. 8, and before the general election, and resides in the same precinct the new address is written in the poll book or new voter registration form is filled out on Election Day and votes a regular ballot.