Polls open in Indiana and Michigan on this Election Day

Election Day has officially begun in Indiana and Michigan and there are some big races to watch, both statewide and countywide.

Polls opened in the Hoosier state at 6 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m. In the Wolverine state, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To access the Indiana or Michigan election websites, click on the Big Red Bar.

In both states voters have some important decisions to make. Here's a look at some key races:

Race for U.S. Senate, Indiana

One of the most important races in Indiana and for the country is the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Evan Bayh. The candidates running for his seat are Republican Dan Coats, Democrat Brad Ellsworth and Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris.

Coats retired from the senate in 1999 to become a lobbyist but he is hoping to make a return to congress.

Ellsworth is currently a U.S. representative and former Vanderburgh County Sheriff.

Sink-Burris is the representative of four states on the National Libertarian National Committee.

Race for Congress, Indiana 2nd District

The race for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district seat is a heated one between Democrat incumbent Joe Donnelly, Republican Jackie Walorski and Libertarian Mark Vogel.

Walorski is currently a state representative for House District 21 representing St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties.

Vogel has served in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Reserves and is currently finishing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree through IU and Purdue.

Race for Congress, Indiana 3rd District

Democrat Tom Hayhurst and Republican Marlin Stutzman are vying for the 3rd district congressional seat.

The candidates were chosen by precinct committee members from their respective parties to replace Republican Mark Souder who resigned because of an affair.

Race for Governor, Michigan

In Michigan, Jennifer Granholm is leaving office after reaching her term limit so her seat is up for grabs. Facing off for the spot is Republican Rick Snyder against Democrat Virg Bernero.

Snyder worked as the president and chief operating officer for Gateway until he left the company in 1997. His focus has been on job creation.

Bernero is currently serving as the mayor of Lansing. He's served previously as a county commissioner, state representative and senator.

Race for St. Joseph County Sheriff

In St. Joseph County, Indiana, Republican Jim Fox and Democrat Mike Grzegorek are vying for the sheriff position.

Grzegorek is currently the assistant commander of the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide unit. Meantime, Fox is a deputy prosecutor for Elkhart County.

You may remember that former Sheriff Frank Canarecci stepped down back in June, before his term had expired, citing the need for more time with his family. Since then, Democrat John Botich has served as interim sheriff.

Race for Elkhart County Sheriff

Republican Brad Rogers is taking on Democrat Larry Owens for sheriff in Elkhart County and a lot of the jabs between the two have centered on experience.

Owens serves on Elkhart's Board of Safety and negotiates labor contracts for the city whereas Rogers has been with the sheriff's department for 22 years.

Stay with NewsCenter 16 for all the race results. We'll bring you the information both on the air and online. You can click here for final numbers, as they are made available.

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