Elkhart County Election Officials: cast absentee ballots

GOSHEN, Ind. - With Friday's announcement of the delaying of Indiana's primary election, Elkhart County Election Administrator Christopher Anderson wanted voters to know he is expecting the move to create more paperwork for his staff and him, but he welcomes that paperwork because he believes the safest way for people to vote during the coronavirus pandemic is through absentee balloting.

"I would urge all voters to take advantage of it," Anderson said. "Visit their county clerk's website, their election board's website. Ours is www.elkhartcountyclerk.com, click on the blue elections button, and we have a link to the pdf right there on the top of the page."

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Secretary of State also announced Friday that for the 2020 Indiana Primary, the state would be doing away with the 12 reasons applicants have in order to vote absentee. That opens the door for anyone to vote absentee if they wish. Anderson not only wants voters to take this course of action, he has some advice on sealing the return envelope, too.

"The recommendation we are putting out with anybody who calls our office requesting an absentee ballot application is, we're telling them that there is a return envelope in it," Anderson said. "Put the application in that, but don't lick it. Wet it with a damp sponge or a piece of paper towel that has water on it, but no, don't lick it."

Anderson said the delay allows voters more time to get their ballots in via mail. The deadline to turn in absentee ballots is now June 2nd instead of May 5th.

The primary delay will also push back South Bend's vote on the South Bend Community School Corporation referendum. District leaders declined to comment on the delay saying only that they plan to discuss the plan going forward with the political action committee organizing the referendum next week.

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