High Demand for Mail-In Ballots
The state of Indiana has seen a dramatic increase in the number of requested mail-in ballots. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary of State’s office said it had received 415,979 applications statewide, compared to 53,818 ballot requests for the 2016 primary.
Due to the high volume, Secretary of State Connie Lawson said final vote counts may not be available for two or three days after the primary election.
“We’re not expecting to have results by 7 or 8 on election night. It’ll be nearly impossible due to absentee ballots.”
The deadline to request a mail-in ballot for Indiana’s June primary is Thursday. Voters can request an absentee/mail-in ballot from the Indiana Secretary of State’s office online at www.indianavoters.com.
Voting centers will be open statewide for the June 2 primary, but Lawson has been urging voters to cast their ballots remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Voting absentee by mail is safe and secure. It is important to remember this isn’t a new process. It’s just an expansion of something that clerks do every election cycle,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson during a recent news conference. “And as we weather the covid-19 storm, it’s the smartest way to vote.”
Voters may also hand-deliver the application to the local county election board, fax, or email the request, but it must be received by the end of the business day Thursday.
There is a short window to return the ballot, The state says clerks must have the ballots in-hand, and not just postmarked, by noon on June 2.
Lawson says early in-person will begin May 26. She urges voters to check with their county as to where the voting will take place.
For voters who intend to vote in person, Lawson is encouraging them to wear masks to the polling places.
Lawson said the state is providing personal protective equipment for poll workers and election staff in the state’s 92 counties.
“My office has been working nonstop to make sure we’re prepared for a safe election day,” said Lawson.
Using funding from the federal CARES Act, the state purchased an abundant supply of PPE, including 300,000 pairs of gloves, 200,000 ear-looped face masks, 25,000 face shields, 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and 4,000 gallons of disinfectant cleaner.
Lawson said the PPE has been purchased from suppliers that are not serving frontline healthcare workers.
“We’ve been very deliberate and careful not to solicit vendors supply critical care needs as not to interfere with those supply lines,” said Lawson.
She said some of the PPE is being held back in the event of a recount.