Hoosiers endure long waits to cast early votes
We're getting a very strong sense of the importance of this election. People are already waiting hours to vote - and it's still four days from Election Day.
Curving through the courthouse and hooking through hallways, long lines of Hoosiers waited to vote Friday.
"I waited about an hour and a half, yeah," said Kyle Holden of Hamilton County.
"Waited about an hour an 20 minutes," added voter Bill Horton.
"I'm getting pretty close, so hopefully it won't be too much longer," said Hamilton County voter Cottrell Carter.
In Hamilton County, early voting is on a record-setting pace. They had almost 24,000 walk-ins through Thursday and Friday was even busier, with nearly 2,000 more.
In fact, the line of voters was full well after the polls closed at 4:30, with people waiting to get to the ballot box.
"They'll say, 'Well, when will the line be shorter?' And I said, 'Well, the line was shorter October 8th and it's been growing ever since then'. When you have these volumes, it's just going to take awhile to get everybody through the process," explained Hamilton County Elections Administrator Kathy Richardson.
It was a similar situation in Marion County Friday - long lines, with about 40 minute waits, where early voting continued until 8pm. Unlike four years ago, there are no satellite voting sites this year, so everyone has to vote downtown at the City-County Building.
"It's the busiest yet. We're voting about 250 voters an hour, which is a lot of voters," said Marion County Clerk Beth White.
"It's fine! As long as I get to vote," said Marion County voter Otha McCullough.
The reason so many are casting ballots early varies. Some have to work on Election Day, others thought they would beat the crowds anticipated on Tuesday, and still others believe it's the candidates and the races in Indiana that are building up these lines.
"Everybody's here because it's a very important election and we want to make sure that we get our vote in," said Hamilton County voter Alisa Jackson.
"We have an open Senate seat and open governor's seat and those races are tightening at this point and I think that's driving a lot of interest," White said.
Long lines are expected to continue all weekend long. But voters aren't discouraged. They say the wait is well worth it.
"We waited four hours in line for a roller coaster one time, I was like, 'We can do this'," Holden said. "I don't mind. I have the patience of a rock. I just wanted to go and vote because I care about my future."
Early voting will end at noon on Monday. If you go, don't forget to bring a government-issued photo ID.