The Impact of Early Voting

AHappy to say I voted early and have moved one step closer to putting this madness behind me. Thanks to the Hancock County Public Library for setting up such a seamless operation. (I had been in that very room just two weeks prior listening to a presentation by local ghost hunters. God bless public libraries!)

FiveThirtyEight outlines early voting factors and how it may impact this presidential election:

Early voting may have a slight potential to affect the outcome of this election, but experts say its predictive value is not particularly high.

Burden and McDonald agreed that the majority of people who cast their ballots early would have participated in the election anyway and likely would not have changed their minds if they’d waited until Election Day, so the timing of their votes probably won’t change the outcome. Moreover, McDonald said it’s very difficult to identify national trends in early voting, since the laws vary widely by state and different voting opportunities attract different kinds of voters.

In general, though, Democrats who vote early tend to do so in person and Republicans tend to do so by mail. But that isn’t true everywhere — Oregon, Washington and Colorado all offer mail-in ballots to every registered voter, and most of their votes have gone to the Democratic candidates in presidential elections, at least in the last two electoral cycles. Early voting in the past two presidential elections has favored Democrats, McDonald said.

Well-organized campaigns do have opportunities to capitalize on early voting, however, and this year that could benefit Hillary Clinton, who has a stronger ground game than Donald Trump.

It “opens up more possibilities for voting, boosting turnout in the long run,” said Mark Stephenson, the CEO of Red Oak Strategic, a political consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia. “But it also gives the campaign tacticians the opportunity to analyze and see what is happening over a longer period of time and be efficient with where spending is going as a result. Both, when done successfully by either party, can provide a real tactical and strategic advantage.”

“I suppose it probably advantages the Democrats slightly,” Burden said, “but that’s mostly because the Democrats are organized to take on the early vote more than the Republicans are.”

Jon Ralston, a prominent political reporter in Nevada, noted that Clinton can take advantage of the Democratic Party’s edge in organizing early voting, which was built in 2008 and 2012.

The Clinton campaign uses a variety of techniques for reaching out to early voters, including door knocks, phone calls, emails and text messages, said Lily Adams, a Clinton campaign spokeswoman.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short; Be Proactive About Financial Planning

Whether they’re “in the money” or “in the red,” everyone can benefit from financial planning. An upcoming event taking place just before Thanksgiving (unbelievably, it’s right around the corner) couldn’t come at a better time. That’s when many people start thinking about holiday shopping (unless you’re like me and have joyfully purchased several gifts by then. I know, I know. Insert collective eye roll). At the same time, they’re thinking of something decidedly less merry: the impact spending will have on their wallets.

On November 13, Indianapolis Financial Planning Day will feature educational workshops covering topics such as debt management, tax planning, paying for college and retirement planning. In addition, there will be one-on-one meetings with financial professionals.

Did I mention you can attend for free?

The program will be held at the University of Indianapolis from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. View registration information.     

The event is just one financial planning initiative taking place throughout the state. The Bank on Indiana program, for instance, recently featured in a BizVoice® Web exclusive, helps individuals build relationships with financial institutions by connecting them with affordable financial products and education. Among participating communities are Evansville, Bloomington, Columbus, Greenfield and Indianapolis.

Learn more at

Spangle: Libertarian Party Anticipates Growth, Doubling Filed Candidates

Chris Spangle is executive director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

Since the closing of the polls on November 4, 2008 there has been a rush to find out exactly what a Libertarian is and why a third party may be the only viable option left for responsible government. The word is said more often now than two years ago. The failures of both Republicans and Democrats to keep their promises in the last 30 years have led to a growth of the Libertarian Party base in Indiana by Hoosiers unwilling to reform broken parties that refuse to mend. (Don’t be fooled into thinking we are all "R’s" in "L" clothing. Half of our current statewide leadership are former Democrats. It’s my vote anyways.)

We took to aggressively build our grassroots organizations. In the last year and a half, over 30 county parties began or renewed their efforts to regularly organize their county parties by outreach events and candidacies in 2010. We’ll add four more this month. We also revamped our web site at and online properties to spread our message to a younger, and more receptive, audience. In fundraising, we’re close to doubling our efforts from one year ago.

Most importantly, it’s difficult to ask people to vote Libertarian if you don’t run candidates. In 2008, the party ran less than 30 federal and state level candidates combined. We anticipate that number to more than double and possibly triple. We’ll have quality candidates in all 10 federal races. For the first time ever, we had a contested federal Senate race at our version of the primary — a nominating convention. We will have anywhere from 25 to 50 candidates in the state legislative races. We nominated over 20 state legislative candidates this past weekend, and have more ballot vacancies to appoint. A complete slate of candidates is close to completion in Marion and Lake County alone.

The most important race for 2010 is the Secretary of State race. Our candidate is Greenfield resident Mike Wherry. We’ve achieved two percent in every Secretary of State’s race since 1994 to achieve consistent, automatic ballot access. We’ll need to hit that number again in 2010 to maintain automatic ballot access for the next four years. We believe now more than ever, Hoosiers need that third option. In many state legislative races, we are the second option. (At this moment, almost 38 state legislative races have one candidate.) Ballot access is crucial to the survival of our message. By achieving 10 percent we will have attained major party status, and would hold primaries (we currently have nominating conventions) and “register” Libertarian voters in Indiana. That data would greatly increase our ability to spread the libertarian message.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Out of respect for our guest bloggers, we will not be allowing anonymous comments on their blogs this week. Additionally, the Indiana Chamber does not necessarily share the opinions of our guest bloggers.

Exit Interviews Still a Necessary Part of the Process

Cindi Kiner, president of the Greenfield-based The HR Connection, LLC, recently penned a column for BizVoice magazine on the importance of exit interviews. Heeding this advice could be quite beneficial for your business:

Employers often assume that they know the reason an employee is leaving the company. They may assume an employee is leaving for a better opportunity, when the real reason is that the employee never felt like part of the team. Employers generally think employees leave because of salary or benefits, but more often the reasons involve interpersonal relationships. The answers provided about an employee’s experience with the company can be very surprising and revealing, and can provide an excellent opportunity for an organization to make needed changes.

Exit interviews serve a dual purpose. The more obvious purpose is to learn where the company can improve its working conditions and performance. Departing employees can often provide a unique perspective on this since they don’t have to fear immediate repercussions. It is very important to assure an employee that the information he provides will be confidential (within limits) and will not affect his paycheck, references or his eligibility for COBRA or unemployment. The less obvious purpose of an exit interview is to protect the company from costly litigation in the future by a disgruntled employee. Any remarks that indicate discrimination, illegal activity or harassment must be documented and investigated, and proper action must be taken immediately.

Also, if you’re looking for further advice on exit interviews or any other part of the interviewing process, the Chamber’s second edition of The Interviewing Guide (authored by attorneys from Ogletree Deakins) was just released in downloadable PDF form.

Chamber Supports Bipartisan Electronic Waste Bill

HB 1589, authored by Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D – Indianapolis) and Sen. Beverly Gard (R – Greenfield), requires manufacturers of household televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes or some flat panel screens to recycle certain electronic devices. The bill also requires that manufacturers of video display devices and collectors and recyclers of certain electronic devices register with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

According to Indiana Chamber VP of energy and environmental affairs Vince Griffin, electronic waste (E-waste) represents the fastest growing waste stream in our society. If handled improperly, it may present an environmental and public health threat.

"The large majority of landfills are built to the strictest standards and are appropriate final disposal sites for E-waste," Griffin explains. "However, to reuse and recycle these products is preferred. The Indiana Chamber supports a program that promotes responsible reuse/recycling of E-waste and the fee to pay for the handling, recycling and disposal of E-waste – though it should not be an unfair burden on Indiana business or consumers."

The Chamber has played a key role in working with all parties to realize a compromise bill. The bill passed out of Senate Energy and Environmental Committee Monday and is eligible to be heard by the legislature.