Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Friday it could take two to three days after Election Day for votes to be counted and results to be determined given the high number of absentee ballots counties will have to process.
Hoosiers have until Thursday to request an absentee ballot from their county clerk’s office to vote by mail in the June 2 primary. To date, more than 330,000 Hoosiers have made that request. That’s about 55,000 more than the number reported Tuesday.
During the 2016 primary, just 53,800 Hoosiers voted by mail.
For the first time in Indiana, voters are not required to have a specific reason for absentee voting, a change made to accommodate social distancing recommendations. Only ballots received at county election offices by noon June 2 will be counted.
Processing a large number of absentee ballots coupled with the need to follow other coronavirus prevention measures may mean some counties won’t see results on election night, Lawson said.
In fact, in some counties—like Marion, where 56,000 mail-in ballots have already been cast—results might not be available for two or three days, she said.
Many counties still need volunteers to work the polls June 2, Lawson said. An order by the governor allows Hoosiers receiving unemployment benefits to work the polls and get paid without impacting their unemployment benefits.
And the state has already procured several thousand pieces of personal protective equipment, including bottles of hand sanitizer, gloves and face masks, to keep poll workers and voters safe. Poll workers need to be registered Indiana voters and should contact their county clerk to volunteer.
Lawson said one of the best ways for voters to protect themselves and others is to vote absentee by mail.
But for Hoosiers who want to exercise their constitutional right to vote in person, she recommends doing so early. Early voting begins May 26 and runs to June 1.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said he’s a fan of in-person voting and plans to vote in-person in this primary, though he might do so early.