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Indiana: What to expect on election night

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Indiana has been virtually a one-party state for the past decade, with Democrats struggling to succeed outside of urban areas and college towns. Donald Trump easily carried Indiana in 2016 and 2020 with former Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, and Republicans hold all offices and statewide supermajorities in both houses of the state. state legislature.

Republican U.S. Senator Todd Young has used a high profile strategy throughout his re-election campaign by largely ignoring Democratic challenger Thomas McDermott. Young maintained huge fundraising and organizational advantages over McDermott, mayor of the Lake Michigan town of Hammond, who struggled to garner attention while attacking Young on issues covering abortion rights, federal spending, and marijuana legalization. National political groups have all but ignored the Indiana Senate race this year after spending tens of millions six years ago on Young’s successful campaign against former Democratic U.S. Senator Evan Bayh.

Democrats have drawn attention to the Secretary of State race, where Republican Diego Morales, former aide to Governor Mike Pence’s office, is being criticized for doubting the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election and being twice ousted from his jobs in that office after being drafted. for poor job performance. Democrat Destiny Wells, a lawyer and Army Reserve Lt. Col., argued that Morales was “sowing seeds of fear and doubt” about the election and that the secretary of state, who oversees voting policies statewide, should focus on improving Indiana’s problems with low voter turnout.

An expensive campaign is being waged in Northwest Indiana’s 1st congressional district, party where US Democratic Representative Frank Mrvan faces Republican Jennifer-Ruth Green, a black US Air Force veteran. Democrats have generally won in the district, which runs along Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline near Chicago, by wide margins for decades, but former President Donald Trump closed the gap by appealing to voters to the working class in the district, which has some of the largest steels in the country. mills. Of Indiana’s other eight districts in the United States, political analysts expect Republicans to retain seven seats and Democrats to retain one.

Republicans have commanding majorities in both the state House and state Senate. Democrats are seeking a backlash from voters against the Republican-backed state abortion ban approved over the summer in their bid to trim the GOP’s advantage in the Legislature.

“It could be something that gives a new spark to the Democrats in the state. But it’s hard to say if it’s enough to overcome the strong Republican mentality, ”said the professor of public affairs at the University of the State. Indiana, Paul Helmke, former Republican mayor of Fort Wayne, on the impact of Indiana’s abortion ban.

Here’s a look at what to expect on election night:

election night

Most of Indiana’s 92 counties are in the Eastern Time Zone (polls close at 6 p.m. ET), with 12 counties in the Central Time Zone (polls close at 7 p.m. ET).

How Indiana Votes

Early voting in person and mail-in ballots have become more common in Indiana over the past decade, but many state votes are still cast on Election Day.

In the 2020 general election, approximately 61% of ballots were cast early or by mail, as many election officials and campaigns encouraged to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic. State reports show that figure fell to 27% of the total votes cast in the primary in May this year, which more closely tracks early and mail-in voting in the 2018 general and primary elections.

Republicans have generally won by such wide margins in most rural Indiana that they overwhelm pockets of Democratic strength in urban areas, including Indianapolis and Lake County in northwest India. Indiana, and college towns such as Bloomington. Democrats are trying to win in fast-growing Hamilton and Boone counties in suburban Indianapolis and limit their loss margins in rural counties to give their Secretary of State nominee, Wells, a chance at victory in statewide.

About 14% of Indiana’s statewide votes went uncounted on election night in 2020, in part due to record high mail-in ballots. This delayed the calling of some of the most competitive races that year.

What did we learn from primary school?

Indiana’s frustrated conservatives have failed in most primary races in their bid to push the Republican-controlled state legislature further to the right on issues like abortion and guns. The roughly two dozen so-called freedom candidates have had only a handful of victories in Republican legislative races across the state.

What has changed since the 2020 pandemic election?

The trend of offering in-person early voting continues. For the 2022 general election, there are voting centers in 58 of Indiana’s 92 counties. For the 2020 general election, 45 counties have proposed voting centers.

For the 2020 general election, 61% of ballots were cast in advance by mail or at voting centers. As the pandemic wanes, more voters may be inclined to show up at polling stations on Election Day.

Republicans had full control of the reshuffling of Indiana’s congressional and legislative districts that are being used for the first time this election. The cards have been criticized for giving Republicans an excessive electoral advantage and diluting the influence of minority and urban voters in favor of white voters living in rural areas.

One notable change was moving the Democratic-leaning North Side of Indianapolis out of the congressional district narrowly won by Republican U.S. Victoria Spartan in 2020 and giving it more GOP-friendly rural areas to the north and northeast. from the city.

What does participation and early voting look like?

Turnout in a midterm election is generally lower than in a presidential election. For the 2020 presidential election, Indiana’s turnout was 64% of registered voters. In the 2018 midterm elections, turnout was 50%.

How long does the count usually take?

For the 2020 presidential election, 50% of the votes were counted as of 8:48 p.m. ET on election day, November 3. At 6:40 p.m. the following day, 90% of the votes had been counted. It was not until Friday, November 6 that 100% of the votes were counted.

What happens after Tuesday?

For the 2020 presidential election, almost 14% of the votes were not counted on election night, meaning several races could not be called until the following day. Expect some close races not to be called on election night – they will be considered the following morning when more votes are tallied. For races that are still too close to be announced, the winner will be determined once county prospecting is complete on Nov. 25.