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Thousands of Hoosiers apply to vote by mail

Marion County reports absentee vote by mail applications are ahead of pre-pandemic numbers.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana reports processing more than 17,000 absentee vote by mail applications. Marion County says more voters may vote by mail than they did before the pandemic.

Marion County told 13 Investigates, it had times times as many applications during the first 15 days of processing compared to the 2018 primary election. The county said that's the most comparable election.

"People voted by absentee mail. They had to in 2020, and they figured out what to do and liked it," said Brienne Delaney, director of elections for Marion County. "I think that's why."

Here's what you need to do to make sure your application goes through and your vote counts.

If you apply online, you need to include the last four numbers of your social security number or your 10-digit driver's license number. That information is not required if you submit a paper application.

It is a primary election, so you must choose a party to get a ballot.

RELATED: Indiana's 'election integrity bill' signed into law

One of the biggest mistakes people make is forgetting to sign their absentee application and ballot. You must sign both. Also, make sure you do it yourself and don't have a family member sign for you. If the signature doesn't match clerk records, your application or ballot will be rejected.

The 2020 elections saw record voting numbers. Nearly 500,000 Hoosiers voted by mail during the 2020 general election.

"Were not anywhere near where we were in 2020," Delaney said. "We're well above where we were in 2018."

Credit: WTHR

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In Indiana, you must give a reason when you apply to vote absentee by mail. The state has 11 different reasons you can use. Work, travel and illness are some acceptable reasons not to vote in person. You can also vote by mail if you're over 65 or disabled. Click here to read the state's full list.

As of the morning of April 7, the Indiana Secretary of State's office reported processing 17,553 absentee ballot applications.

13 Investigates reviewed the numbers for 10 central Indiana counties. Marion and Hamilton counties have processed more than 1,000 applications so far. Johnson, Hendricks, Hancock, Boone and Morgan have each processed hundreds of applications. Shelby and Brown counties processed less than 100 applications, with Putnam processing the least — only 30 so far.

Hoosiers have until April 21 to apply for an absentee ballot. So, those numbers will change.

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