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Indiana primary postponed to June 2 over COVID-19 concerns

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INDIANA (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state election officials said Friday they are moving the date of the May primary election to June 2 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer and Democratic Party Chair John Zody joined Gov. Holcomb to announce their agreement on the move.

All dates corresponding with the primary election will be moved by 28 days to reflect the new date of the primary.

For example, military and overseas ballots are required to mailed 45 days prior to the primary election, so they’ll move 45 days prior to June 2.

Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order to suspend Indiana’s election statute and move the dates. The executive order is posted here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

“The right of citizens to elect their leaders in a free and open election is one of the cornerstones of America. In order to balance that right with the safety of county employees, poll workers and voters, delaying Indiana’s primary election is the right move as we continue to do all we can to protect Hoosiers’ health,” said Gov. Holcomb.

In addition, Governor Holcomb, Secretary Lawson, Chairman Hupfer and Chairman Zody made the following recommendations to the Indiana Election Commission.

  • Suspend absentee by-mail rules to allow all Hoosiers the option to vote by mail in the upcoming primary election.
  • Allow county clerks to continually mail ballots from now through 12 days out from the new primary election date.
  • Confirm ballots with a May 5, 2020 date will be valid.
  • Enable medical professionals to be eligible members of traveling boards to vote nursing home and hospital patients.
  • Give family members the ability to deliver absentee ballots. Currently only a member of a voter’s household may take possession of their ballot.

Indiana Election Commission Chairman Paul Okeson has called a meeting of the Indiana Election Commission on Wednesday, March 25 at 10 a.m. to discuss the recommendations. The meeting will be held in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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