Your guide to the 2018 Indiana U.S. Senate race

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - In a state that President Donald Trump carried by 19 percent in the 2016 election, Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly could face a significant challenge as the 2018 U.S. Senate race begins in Indiana.

Candidates for the U.S. Senate seat were required to file with the Indiana Secretary of State's office on Feb.9, in order to be included on the primary election ballot   Donnelly will face one of three Republican challengers in the fall, as well as an independent write-in.

Here's a look at the candidates:

The Incumbent:

Senator Joe Donnelly was first elected to the Senate in 2012 and is currently finishing his six-year term. He serves on the Senate committees for Aging, Agriculture, Armed Services and Banking.

Donnelly is regularly listed as one of the most bipartisan senators by The Lugar Center's McCourt School Bipartisan Index.  According to his Senate website, he is "committed to a moderate and common sense agenda that includes creating and preserving jobs, a strong national defense, reducing the debt and deficit, fighting for our veterans, and promoting an all-in energy plan."

Before he began his career in the Senate, he represented Indiana's 2nd Congressional District from 2006 to 2012.

The issues he's focusing on in the 2018 race, according to his campaign website Joe Donnelly for Indiana, include education, veterans and servicemembers, jobs & the economy, trade, health care, the opioid epidemic and seniors.

Donnelly is the only Democrat running for U.S. Senator in the Indiana primary, and will therefore be the party's candidate in the general election in November.

The Republican Challengers:

Luke Messer, originally from Evansville, IN, has served as the congressman from Indiana's 6th district since 2012. Messer sits on the Education and Workforce Committee, as well as the Financial Services Committee.

Messer previously served as the president and CEO for a non-profit, and the major issues he focuses on are immigration and education.

Running against Messer is congressman Todd Rokita. Originally from Chicago, IL, he serves as the congressman for the 4th congressional district, and he was Indiana's Secretary of State from 2003 to 2011.

Rokita is running as a "family man," prioritizing limited government, reducing national debt, education and "draining the swamp."
The final candidate is Mike Braun. Originally from Jasper, IN,  Braun is running as a "conservative businessman," and advertises himself as a big supporter of President Trump.

Braun is the current CEO of Meyer Distributing and owner of Meyer Logistics, The issues he's focusing on during his campaign include securing borders, protecting the Second Amendment, job creation, healthcare reform, reducing government spending, "draining the swamp" and pro-life promotion.

Dates to Know:

2018 primary election

Last day to register to vote in the 2018 primary election: Monday, April 9

Deadline to request an absentee ballot for the 2018 primary election: Monday, April 30, to request a ballot by mail; Monday, May 7, for military/overseas and confined voters

Deadline to vote an absentee ballot in person for the 2018 primary election: Monday, May 7

2018 primary election day: Tuesday, May 8; polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2018 general election

Last day to register to vote in the 2018 general elections: Tuesday, October 9

Deadline to request an absentee ballot for the 2018 general election: Monday, October 29, to request a ballot by mail; Monday, November 5, for military/overseas and confined voters

Deadline to vote an absentee ballot in person for the 2018 general election: Monday, November 5

2018 general election day: Tuesday, November 6

Voter ID Requirements:

Indiana requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID before they can cast a ballot on Election Day. That photo ID must:

-Display the voter's photo, name (must "conform" to voter registration record) and an expiration date (ID must be either currently valid or have expired after the 2016 general election)

-Military IDs are not necessarily required to have an expiration date. See the Indiana Secretary of State's website for details.

-Have been issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. Government

According to the Indiana Secretary of State's website, "In most cases, an Indiana driver license, Indiana photo ID card, Military ID or U.S. Passport is sufficient."

In order to use a student ID to vote, it must be from an Indiana State school and meet the above criteria.

Registering to Vote:

You can register to vote in Indiana online, in person or by mail.

To register online, you will need a valid Indiana Driver's License Number or Indiana State Identification Card Number. You can also update your address or name online. The website is indianavoters.in.gov.

According to the Indiana Secretary of State's office, voters can register in person at their local county voter registration office, any Bureau of Motor Vehicles License Branch, at any National Voter Registration Act full service agency such as Family and Social Services Administration offices or at the Indiana Election Division in Indianapolis.

For information on how to register to vote by mail visit the Indiana Secretary of State's website.

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