INDIANA (WPTA21) - Earlier this month, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order to move the state's May 5 primary to June 2 over concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer and Democratic Party Chair John Zody joined Gov. Holcomb all agreed on the date change.
Election officials met Wednesday morning and officially accepted Gov. Holcomb's recommendations.
All dates corresponding with the primary election will be now be moved by 28 days to reflect the new date of the primary.
For example, military and overseas ballots are required to mailed 45 days prior to the primary election, so they’ll move 45 days prior to June 2.
The Election Commission’s order included the following changes, which will apply to the June 2nd Primary only:
- Moves all election dates by 28 days.
- Avoids reprinting ballots and other forms that have the May 5th, 2020 date.
- Allows everyone to cast an absentee ballot by mail without having a specific reason to do so.
- Grandfathers applications already received for an absentee ballot, which did not state an excuse permitting the person to vote by mail.
- Permits county election boards to conduct meetings electronically rather than in person.
- Encourages counties to appoint medical professionals to act as traveling absentee boards to help voters confined in medical facilities to cast a ballot.
- Permits family members and caregivers of a confined voter to personally deliver and return a ballot.
- Allows county election boards to consolidate voting locations and vote center sites and to take spacing measures to ensure the safety of voters.
- Loosens restrictions on students who wish to serve as poll workers or absentee board members.
- Allows county election boards to begin expeditiously counting ballots at 6 a.m. on Election Day.
- Advises county election boards that election results must be determined by 3 p.m. on June 12th.
“As we take precautions to protect Hoosiers from the threat of COVID-19, it is vitally important to protect citizens’ right to vote,” said Secretary Lawson.
“I am pleased that our bi-partisan recommendations have been adopted, and I thank the Indiana Election Commission for their expeditious work. With these changes, I am confident our primary will move forward with minimal disruption.”
Eligible Hoosiers can register to vote online, check their registration status, and request an absentee ballot by visiting www.IndianaVoters.com.
More than 4.5 million Hoosiers are registered to vote.