To vote in the Indiana Primary on May 3, today is the deadline to register. And this year, the primary might actually matter.
Well, it always matters. Sure, it can seem like a mere formality at times, such as when candidates for certain offices run unopposed. Or, since our primary is on the later end of the schedule, if the Presidential nominations are already decided and several people on the ballot aren’t even still running. But in either case, the votes are still counted.
This year is different, however, as both major party races are far from settled. The battle for the Democratic Presidential nomination is still competitive, and since Democratic pledged delegates are awarded proportionally, every vote truly does count. On the Republican side, it realistically looks more like a contest between Donald Trump and a brokered convention at this point than between him and any other candidate. Still, every last vote matters in that contest as well.
Aside from the national elections, there's still the matter of choosing candidates in state and local elections. Here's a little refresher you can use to familiarize yourself over the next four weeks if you're unfamiliar with them.
Turnout for the Indiana Primary has been pretty low in Presidential election years, usually hovering around 20 percent since the start of the millennium. The one exception was in 2008, when Hillary Clinton won a close contest in the state, but not by enough of a margin to weather the campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama. Our state played a part in what was widely considered the last stand of the Clinton campaign by pundits and the media.
And the turnout form that Primary? 40 percent.
The Republican race that year was already decided before the Indiana Primary. This year, with both parties having incentive to get out and vote, there's no reason we can't top that.
So, if you’re eligible to vote but not registered, do so. You don’t even need to go out on this wintry day to do it.
If, however, you’re reading this when Monday has passed…well, register to vote anyway, so you can do so in November.