Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Spurred by Clinton/Obama battle, Hoosiers* voting early and often

May 2, 2008 |  8:25 am

The fact that ever-red Indiana is playing such an important role in the Democratic presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is its own wonderful irony.

One of the keys to who will win Indiana will be the turnout of the vote in Marion County, the state's largest and one of few with a substantial African-American population.

So we turn to Brendan O'Shaughnessy of the Indianapolis Star for this take this morning:

With nearly twice as many Hoosiers voting early as did four years ago, officials say voters in Marion County are requesting Democratic ballots 3-to-1 over Republican ones so far.

Spurred by intense interest in the Democratic presidential race, more than 10,000 people per day have been casting early ballots this week across the state. The more than 113,000 votes counted through noon on Thursday easily surpassed the 57,000 absentee votes from the previous presidential primary, in 2004.

Marion County Clerk Beth White said the nearly 9,000 people who have voted early already outpace recent elections, and she expects it ...

* Not "Indianans," as this read initially. We can take a hint (see Comments section).

to pick up even more this weekend.

A group of local pastors is organizing a massive get-out-the-vote effort that aims to bring thousands of people to the City-County Building for early voting Sunday. White said the office will be open and ready for a big turnout.

The Rev. Charles Harrison, pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church on the Westside, said he and other pastors plan to bus people from five locations and from up to 100 churches to Downtown after Sunday services. He said the nonpartisan effort aims to get people involved in what he called a historic primary election.

"This is putting our faith into action," Harrison said. "It's the biggest mobilization effort I've ever seen, and I've been here 15 years."

-- Michael Tackett

Michael Tackett writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.