Number of registered voters increases as deadline nears

The deadline to register to vote in the 2016 General Election is Tuesday, October 11, 2016. (WISH photo)
The deadline to register to vote in the 2016 General Election is Tuesday, October 11, 2016. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)—The number of registered voters in Indiana soared past 2012 numbers with still hours left for voters to register online, state election workers said.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office said 4.5 million Hoosiers registered in 2012. IndianaVoters.com, a state run election website, showed more than 4.7 million registered voters Tuesday morning.

The presidential race drove 58-year-old Ken Amonett to register Tuesday so he could vote for the first time in decades. Amonett said he last voted in the 1976 race between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

“I didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal. This year, it may be,” Amonett said. “I feel like we only have one choice this year to vote for and everybody needs to vote.”

Amonett registered in Hamilton County, where registration workers are reporting record numbers.

Beth Sheller, Republican director for Hamilton County voter registration, said the county recorded about 34,500 new and updated registrations between the 2016 primary and the day before this year’s registration deadline.

In 2012, in the same time period, the county recorded 21,014 registrations.

Sheller said many people who call her office specify that they want to vote because of this year’s presidential race.

Hamilton County election workers will open two new early voting centers to handle the increase in voters, but Sheller said she’s still expecting long lines on Nov. 8.

Voters can still register online Tuesday night. To register to vote, click here.