Orr Votes Count—So Don’t Forget To Register
It’s election season in Indiana! Here’s how to cast your vote in a new state and everything you need to know about Indiana’s major offices.
“My vote, my voice” is a refrain you’ve probably heard before.
But it’s not an empty message.
Even if you’ve never voted before, it is your right to participate in our country’s electoral process. Your vote carries the potential to impact every level of government—from city and township boards to legislators in state government. And for the Orr Fellows who’ve moved to Indianapolis—and possibly to an entirely new state, that right still remains.
Here’s what you need to do if you want to make your vote count in Indiana’s upcoming elections.
Indiana will hold a primary election this May 2 and May 3.
Primary elections are partisan in our state, giving the two major political parties—Democrats and Republicans—the chance for their members to narrow down candidates for open positions to nominees who will run in the fall general election. If you want to participate in the primary, that means you’ll need to choose a ballot from your preferred political party. You will only be able to cast a vote for candidates within that party.
An Important Note Here:: It’s okay if you don’t identify with the party you choose, or if you don’t totally know who you support more. In the general election, you also may see nominees running as “Independent” or with other political parties, such as the Libertarian Party and Green Party.
The Key Takeaway: You don’t have to commit to the same party forever. You are welcome to switch ballots in future primaries as your perspective evolves. It’s important to be open to change, but let your core beliefs and values inform the decisions that are best for you.
If you’re making a party choice for the first time, it’s valuable to start by reading the party platforms themselves. These outline what the parties value and their policy priorities, giving you a great place to compare their beliefs with your own.
Where To Register
In order to vote, you must register by the statewide deadline on April 4.
You are eligible to vote in Indiana if:
- You are a U.S. citizen and resident of Indiana
- You are at least 18 years old
- You are not currently in prison after a criminal conviction
- You have lived in your voting precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election
All voter registrations are managed by the Indiana Secretary of State, so submitting your application is as simple as visiting the official government website. Be sure to have identifying information like your driver’s license and address on hand.
How To Prepare
Take some time to research candidates who will be on your selected ballot. Local publications like The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Business Journal, WFYI, and more are great places to begin. There are also free resources online from non-profits who are dedicated to civic engagement, such as Ballotpedia and Vote411.
Now you’re at the fun part: it’s time to plan your perfect Election Day. You can vote in-person or request an absentee ballot, where you mail in your vote in advance.
Be sure to find your local precinct and where voting will take place—usually, this will be at a school, church, or community center. And, most importantly, get ready to make your voice heard.