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Primary Election Day in the United States

Indiana’s primary election, also known as primary election day, is listed as a state holiday in which state government offices in Indiana are closed. It is the first Tuesday after the first Monday of May and every two years thereafter.

Is Primary Election Day a Public Holiday?

Primary Election Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

State government offices are usually closed on Indiana's primary election day (state capitol building pictured above).


What Do People Do?

Polling Places are open from 6am (06:00) to 6pm (18:00) local time on primary election day in Indiana. Some people volunteer to be poll workers for the primary election. Residents in Indiana who cannot cast their ballot in person on primary election day can be absentee voters.

Voters eligible to vote in Indiana’s primary election must be United States citizens and residents in Indiana. Depending on the city or town having the election, the major political parties will nominate candidates for various offices. School board members are elected by voters in several school corporations in either the primary or general election.

Public Life

Indiana’s primary election day is listed as a state holiday, in which the state government is closed, including the Secretary of State's office. Federal government offices and some local government offices are open. Unless proscribed by law, the governor may set or change the date on which this holiday is observed.


A primary election is a preliminary election in which voters nominate party candidates for office. Voters in a jurisdiction select candidates for subsequent elections.  It is one way that a political party nominates candidates for a following general election. They are common in the United States and are conducted by the government on behalf of the parties.

Indiana primaries are “closed” primaries. When voters sign in at their polling place, the clerks ask them which political party ballot they prefer. They vote for only the candidates on this ballot. In the primary, voters nominate the candidates of their party who will be on the ballot in the general election.

Primary Election Day Observances

Holiday currently only shown for years 2015–2016.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015TueMay 5Primary Election DayState holidayIndiana
2016TueMay 3Primary Election DayState holidayIndiana

We diligently research and continuously update our holiday dates and information. If you find a mistake, please let us know.

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