Nov 7, 2023 - News

Your guide to Election Day in Central Indiana

Illustration of a woman wearing an "I Voted" sticker.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

It's a potentially wild Election Day in Central Indiana.

Why it matters: Elections for mayor and city council generate notoriously low turnout, which means relatively few voters wield disproportionate power to change the course of Indianapolis and its suburbs.

Between the lines: It's conceivable that a Republican could win the mayoral election in Indianapolis and a Democrat could win in Carmel at a time when both parties are amping up competition in council races across the region.

Zoom in: Republican businessman Jefferson Shreve spent $13.5 million of his own money as of last month in his bid to become mayor of Indianapolis. It's a record-breaking sum that has blanketed the airwaves with ads and could at least somewhat offset Mayor Joe Hogsett's advantage in Democratic-leaning Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, Democrats are expected to maintain a large majority on the City-County Council as all 25 seats are on the ballot, but Republicans should make some gains.

Zoom out: In Hamilton County, Miles Nelson is warning about right-wing activists taking over schools as he seeks to become the first Democrat elected mayor in Carmel, while Republican Sue Finkam is resisting calls to denounce Moms for Liberty and highlighting her experience and extensive policy proposals.

  • Elsewhere, Republican Scott Willis is running unopposed for Westfield mayor and Republican John Stehr is running unopposed in Zionsville to succeed Democrat Emily Styron as mayor. Republicans Scott Fadness, Fishers mayor since 2015, and Chris Jensen, Noblesville mayor since 2019, are also unopposed.

Separately, the Carmel, Hamilton Southeastern and Sheridan school districts have operating referendums on the ballot to determine whether to extend property tax increases to retain teachers.

Be smart: Polls are open 6am until 6pm.

Details: Visit and click on "find your polling place" to look up locations.

  • Marion County voters can cast ballots at any vote center, but other counties, including Hamilton, still have specific precincts.
  • As long as you're in line by 6pm, you can vote.

Don't forget: You need your ID to vote.

Of note: IndyGo is offering free rides across Marion County during voting hours.

The bottom line: These off-year municipal races can give voters their best opportunities to effect change in their communities.


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