INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana election officials have started contemplating whether voters might
need to cast all ballots by mail for the state’s primary election because of
the coronavirus pandemic.
The state election
commission voted unanimously Wednesday to delay Indiana’s primary by nearly
a month to June 2 and give all voters the option of submitting mail-in
ballots. The state’s Republican and Democratic chairmen agreed last week
with Gov. Eric Holcomb to move the primary from its scheduled May 5 date
over concerns about the safety of election workers and voters.
Secretary of State
Connie Lawson said then that election officials still planned for early
voting sites in each county and to have polling locations open on the day of
commission Chairman Paul Okeson said it would meet April 22 to discuss
“moving to a vote-by-mail election if necessitated by the public health
Republican, said delaying the primary was “unprecedented territory” and he
appreciated the cooperation of political leaders in reaching an agreement.
Chairman Anthony Long, a Democrat, said he believed the procedures approved
Wednesday will allow an orderly move of the primary.
“It will give an
opportunity to see how well the mail-in system works and what problems it
will create - and I’m sure there will be problems,” Long said.
Ohio are among at
least seven states that have delayed their primaries, and others are
considering increased voting by mail.
Indiana has no
challenged races for statewide elected offices in this year’s primary and it
is uncertain whether the Democratic presidential race will remain undecided.
Multiple candidates are seeking nominations for congressional seats being
given up by Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky and Republican Rep. Susan Brooks.
State legislative seats and county offices are also on the primary ballot.