The Indiana primary
election will be postponed until June 2 due to the current emergency
situation of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Gov. Eric Holcomb
and Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced so in a media briefing at the
Statehouse Friday morning. The Chesterton Tribune watched via an
online live stream.
Holcomb said an
election should only be postponed in a great emergency, but Indiana finds
itself in that emergency now.
Though the primary
is seven weeks away, Holcomb said he’s been leaning toward postponing the
election “in order to again ensure the safety of our county employees, our
poll workers, and the voters themselves.”
Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer and Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody
worked with Lawson to come to consensus on postponing the election until
June 2, Holcomb said.
counties suspending normal business, we want to give clerks and election
boards time to adjust,” Lawson said.
Lawson made a set
of recommendations for the Indiana election commission, which meets next
Wednesday, March 25 at the Statehouse at 10 a.m. Her recommendations are as
absentee ballots rules to allow all Indiana residents the option to vote by
mail for the June 2 primary;
county clerks to continually mail ballots from now until 12 days before the
that ballots with a May 5, 2020 date will be counted as valid;
the definition of who is allowed to assist with voting for travel boards to
--and Indiana allow
family members of voters to deliver absentee ballots on others’ behalf.
“All these steps
will be in concert to ensure that our election process will continue and
that every eligible voter is given the opportunity to vote in the June 2
primary,” Lawson said. “I am confident that we will conduct a safe, secure,
and fair election.”
announcement follows a host of State directives aimed at curbing the spread
of COVID-19, the latest of which was yesterday ordering the closure of all
public and nonpublic schools through May 1 and canceling state assessments.
Holcomb’s orders have increased in strictness as more patients in Indiana
have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week and two have died.
Indiana has a total
of 79 confirmed COVID-19 cases after 554 people were tested, seven of which
are in Lake and LaPorte counties, according to the Indiana government’s
online map of cases. No Porter County residents have tested positive as of
this writing, though a LaPorte man who tested positive went to Porter
Regional Hospital for treatment.