Indiana primary election postponed
The Indiana Election Commission met digitally Wednesday morning, and passed an order which will postpone the primary election to June 2, 2020 in response to the public health disaster emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the virtual meeting held via Zoom, Commission Chair Paul Okeson detailed some of the changes that come with postponing the election.
All dates previously set in the election calendar for the primary, following the passing of the order, originally scheduled in May will be extended by 28 days.
In order to prevent the added cost of re-printing information that already includes the May 5 primary date, all documents, ballots and forms with the former date are still valid for the June 2 primary.
While the state is seeking ways to help minimize person-to-person contact, any individual interested in voting absentee can do so without needing to provide a reason as previously required by law.
“All registered and qualified Indiana voters are afforded the opportunity to vote no-excuse absentee by mail,” the order explains. “An absentee by mail application that was submitted on or after Dec. 2, 2019, and not later than the date of this order on which the voter did not indicate a qualification under IC 3-11-10-24(a) shall be accepted by a county election board if otherwise in accordance with the requirements of Indiana law. If the application was rejected prior to this date due to the lack of stated qualifications to vote by mail, it shall be accepted if otherwise in compliance with Indiana law.”
Okeson noted the order also states the Indiana Election Commission will attempt to create a way for voters to register for an absentee ballot online. The Election Division will work with the Secretary of State to try and make this possible.
The order allows the county election board to start counting the anticipated influx of absentee ballots at 6 a.m. on Election Day.
Previously, Greene County Clerk Stuart Dowden stated he had already ordered additional absentee envelopes in anticipation of an increase of requests due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order, which can be read in its entirety by visiting www.in.gov/sos/elections and clicking on Election Commission, also provides additional direction to the county election boards.