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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Secretary of State shares new details for June 2 primary voting

There will be early in-person voting leading up to Indiana's primary election and extra safety measures in place to protect voters and election workers.
In this Sept. 20, 2018 photo, voting booths stand ready in downtown Minneapolis for the opening of early voting in Minnesota. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - There will be early in-person voting leading up to Indiana's primary election and extra safety measures in place to protect voters and election workers.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson shared new details on the primary, which was moved from May 4 to June 2 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at the governor's daily briefing, Lawson encouraged voters to vote absentee. The deadline to request absentee ballots is 11:59 PM May 21. Those ballots must be received by the county by noon on Election Day. Unlike previous elections, any registered voter can vote absentee without a special reason.

She said early in-person voting will take place, but over a limited period. Normally it's 28 days, but Lawson said, this year it will start May 26 and end June 1.

She urged voters to "check with your county as locations may be different than past locations."

Given concerns about the virus, her office applied for $7.9 million in federal funds to buy masks, gloves and other supplies to be distributed at election offices and polling places.

"We plan to address the potential coronavirus threats by minimizing direct contact among country voters and election staff, educating poll workers on sanitation best practices, and ensuring polling locations are supplied with the necessary personal protective equipment," Lawson said.

She also addressed the worries many county clerks have about staffing the election, saying her office will use social media to recruit "younger people," high school and college students, as well as the recently unemployed to work the polls.

Because she expects an unusually high number of mail-in ballots, along with a reduced staff in many counties, it will likely take much longer to count ballots.

As a result, county election boards will be given until June 12 to submit the final numbers.