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Safety a Priority as Hoosiers Head to Polls

Fewer polling locations are open for Indiana's primary because of a lack of poll workers. (kgroovy)
Fewer polling locations are open for Indiana's primary because of a lack of poll workers. (kgroovy)
June 2, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana's Primary Election Day is here, and election officials are stressing that voter safety is first and foremost.

The election was delayed by four weeks because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. Polls will be open to allow in-person voting, and all poll workers will be wearing masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment.

Rhea Cain, president of the League of Women Voters of Indianapolis, noted that because of the pandemic, there are significantly fewer polling locations available.

"The reason our polling sites have been reduced by so much is, honestly, they are having a tremendously difficult time recruiting poll workers," Cain said. "Most poll workers, they're retired older folks who are absolutely in a high-risk group. And quite frankly, most of them said, 'I'm not willing to put my health at risk.'"

Government-issued photo ID is required to vote in person, and Indiana BMV branches have extended hours today to issue ID cards and driver's licenses. However, polling sites will also accept identification that expired after the last General Election.

Hoosiers who chose to vote by absentee must submit their ballots by noon at a polling place

Cain said roughly a half million people requested an absentee ballot, which is an unprecedented number. And after the primary, the league will examine ways to best support precincts for the November election and engage voters in the absentee-voting process.

"It's clear that there is a want to vote absentee because of the pandemic," she said. "And so what would they need going forward from the state of Indiana, and how can we help get that message across to ensure that everyone who votes, no matter how they vote, their vote is counted?"

She encouraged Hoosiers to go online to vote411.org to find election information including polling locations and deadlines.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN