Mayor Urges Community Members to Register to Vote, Request Absentee Ballot, Participate in Census
Mayor John Hamilton reminds community members that the deadline to register to vote in the June 2 primary election is Monday, May 4. Voters may register to vote and check the status of their registration record at the online state portal at https://indianavoters.in.gov/.
While in-person voting will still be possible at a select number of polling places on Election Day and for an early voting period from May 26 to June 1 at the Monroe County Election Central office (401 W. Seventh Street), all voters may choose to cast a ballot by mail in the June 2 primary by completing an application for an absentee-by-mail ballot. Local election officials plan to mail the application to all registered voters in Monroe County. Applications may also be requested at the state election division site and returned to the Monroe County Election Board by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Voter Registration, 401 West 7th Street, Suite 100, Bloomington, IN 47404 by May 21. The City encourages residents to vote by mail in keeping with current public health guidelines for physical distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“While we are staying at home to protect our community, this crisis is a stark reminder of the urgency of good leadership -- and our power to determine that with our vote,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “To make sure you can vote by mail, go online and check that you’re registered by May 4, then complete your application to cast an absentee ballot by May 21.”
In addition to registering to vote and casting a ballot, Mayor Hamilton urges residents to participate in the 2020 Census. Households may complete questionnaires that have been sent by mail, or participate by phone or online, where information is also available in 59 non-English languages. Establishing an accurate count of our community’s population is critical to receiving federal funding for infrastructure and nonprofits and for the apportionment of congressional seats for our district. By law, your responses cannot affect government benefits or be shared with anyone including law enforcement agencies or immigration services.
In light of the current crisis, the Census Bureau has extended the self-response period for the 2020 count to help ensure the most accurate count. Responses may be returned online, by phone, or in the mail through October 31, although residents are encouraged to respond as soon as possible. University students who normally live off-campus but may be quarantined with parents should complete the census questionnaire for the address where they regularly live. Students living in university housing do not have to complete census forms individually, as they will be reported through group quarters counts by the university.
Finally, the mayor urges those residents who received the City’s Digital Equity Community Survey to complete and return it. Sent to a randomized sample of Bloomington households, this scientific survey is designed to identify broadband service needs and gaps in the community in order to improve internet accessibility and affordability for all Bloomington residents. Although plans to conduct the survey were made before the COVID-19 pandemic, the current crisis highlights the need for digital equity to allow all residents to work, study, and stay connected. Mailed to approximately 6500 Bloomington postal customers last week, the survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and may be returned in the enclosed postage-paid envelope by May 20. Residents with and without internet access at home who receive the survey are encouraged to complete all sections that apply to them. The responses gathered will be anonymized and personal contact information will not be shared.
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