What you need to know for voting in the 2020 general election

Absentee and early voting, polling locations, deadlines and instructions to register

By Nancy Price

Hoosiers anticipating absentee ballots can start checking their mailbox in a few weeks.

“They won’t go out until mid-September,” said Russell Hollis, deputy director for the Marion County Clerk’s Office. Hollis recommends that voters planning to apply for absentee ballots by mail do so this month.

Marion County voters planning to visit the polls in person on Election Day, Nov. 3, will have 188 locations from which to choose, including Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “The challenges are going to be preventing folks from crowding,” Hollis added. “Our hope is that folks will be voting absentee in large volumes and the number of polling locations on election day will prevent (crowding) from happening.”

Indiana residents must register to vote by Monday, Oct. 5 (including online and in person; to register by mail, it must be postmarked by Oct. 5). The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Thursday, Oct. 22. To register online, go to indianavoters.in.gov and print a voter registration form, fill it out and either mail or hand deliver to your county voter registration official or the Indiana Election Division at in.gov/sos/elections. You may also use the website to update or check the status of your voting registration. You may also register to vote in person if you prefer.


  • be a citizen of the United States
  • have resided in the precinct at least 30 days before the next election
  • be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next general election
  • not currently be imprisoned following a criminal conviction

You must possess an Indiana driver’s license, ID card or learner’s permit to use the state’s online voter registration system. If you don’t have an Indiana-issued ID, you can still register by mail to vote.


  1. Print and fill out the National Registration Form at eac.gov/sites/default/files/eac_assets/1/6/Federal_Voter_Registration_ENG.pdf.
  2. Box 6 – ID Number. Your state voter ID number is your 10-digit Indiana-issued driver’s license number. If you don’t have an Indiana driver’s license, then provide the last four digits of your Social Security number (SSN). If you don’t have an SSN, then a voter ID number will be assigned to you. Please indicate which number was provided or write “none” if you don’t have an Indiana driver’s license or SSN. (Indiana Code 3-7-13-13)
  3. Box 7 – Choice of Party. Indiana does NOT require that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections.
  4. Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
  5. Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
  6. Sign the form. Send the completed form by mail (or hand-deliver it) to your local election official; go to indianavoters.in.gov/CountyContact/Index.


Active-duty military, their families and overseas citizens can register to vote and request an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:

  1. Go to fvap.gov/fpca or download a copy at fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca.pdf. Your election official may have questions; please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official (go to fvap.gov/search-offices)
  3. Please submit an FPCA as soon as possible by looking up recommended mailing dates by country and region at fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/VAO/RecommendedMailingDates.pdf
  4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. The following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
  • 35 days before election – on a ship at sea: Sept. 28
  • 30 days before election – outside the U.S.: Oct. 2
  • 11 days before election – stateside: Oct. 23
  1. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven’t received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office at fvap.gov/search-offices. If, after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) at fvap.gov. Print, sign and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail an FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov – offers additional information on military and overseas voting in Indiana. You can also call 1 (800) 438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov. You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct at indianavoters.in.gov.


Absentee in-person voting starts Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Monday, Nov. 2 at the City-County Building with various weekday and weekend hours.

The Perry Township Government Center at 4925 S. Shelby S., Indianapolis, IN 46227 will be a satellite location for early voting starting Saturday, Oct. 26. Weekends hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and weekday hours are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Access to the west side basement entrance will be handicapped accessible.


  • A photo ID that displays your name, an expiration date (can be current or expired sometime after Nov. 6, 2018) and be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government. Acceptable forms include: an Indiana driver’s license or Indiana-issued photo ID card, military ID or U.S. Passport. A student ID from an Indiana State school may be used if it meets the above requirements. A student ID from a private institution may not be used for voting purposes.
  • If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail, you will also need to provide proof of residence to vote. Acceptable forms include (must show current name and current address): Indiana driver’s license or Indiana-issued ID card; any current and valid photo ID; or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable or unwilling to present ID meeting these requirements, you may cast a provisional ballot. If you cast a provisional ballot, you have until noon 10 days after the election to follow up with the county election board and either provide the necessary documentation or affirm that one of the law’s exemptions applies to you.

Polls will be open on Election Day, Nov. 3, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents may go to vote.indy.gov to view a list of polling locations.

The address for the Indiana Election Division (in.gov/sos/elections/index.htm) is: 302 W. Washington St., Rm E204, Indianapolis, IN  46204. The phone number is: (317) 232-3939.