Marion County: 56,700 new or updated voters

Dateline: Tue 22 Apr 2008

Taking the long view, this primary season has been like a bracing tonic to the oft-stagnant electoral process. People care.

But is Marion County, at the heart of the action in Indiana, ready for the surge of new voters and/or those who chose to update their records with current addresses --- 56,700 people as of Jan. 1. That is a record-breaking figure, says Angie Nussmeyer, communications director for the Marion County Clerk's Office.

A tipster suggested that there may be concerns with the printing plant the clerk's office contracts with to run off extra ballots. The firm is Bredensteiner Printing.

But in the primary, Nussmeyer says, the clerk's office actually prints up the bulk of ballots. The printing plant is used mainly for special elections, she says.

Today happens to be the dry run for how smoothly things will go May 6. The clerk's office has run off 3,700 "different voting styles" and will test its process today.

"We are on schedule. We are not concerned about not having enough ballots," adds Nussmeyer.

In a regular election, one ballot is printed per voter.

This time that figure will be doubled in anticipation of very heavy turnout -- a total of about 900,000 ballots.

So how many are registered to vote in Marion Count now? The figure is 652,224. That includes 74,300 17-year-olds, who will be 18 by the general election.

For now, the word is that the massive Marion County operation is running smoothly and on time. Everyone hopes so, because if there are glitches on primary day, everyone will be watching. We want the focus to be on the candidates and the issues, not the nuts and bolts of how to hold an election.

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