Indiana Won't Allow Expanded Vote-By-Mail This Fall

Aug 27, 2020

Poll workers and voters will have access to personal protective equipment at polling places this fall, like they did in the primary. The poll worker seen from June isn't wearing their mask correctly, blunting its effectiveness at halting COVID-19's spread.
Credit Justin Hicks / IPB News

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson insists the state will have a “normal election” this fall and won’t expand mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Hoosiers – even via lawsuit – have pushed the state to allow anyone to vote by mail for the general election, as Indiana did for its primary. But Republicans, including Lawson, have rejected those pleas.

There are about a dozen reasons you can legally cast a mail-in ballot, including if you’re confined to your home by illness. Lawson said fears over COVID-19 for those in high-risk populations might fall under that provision.

“But if you’re still going to the grocery store and running other errands, you’re not confined to your home,” Lawson said.

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Even without expanded vote-by-mail, Lawson said the state expects a significant increase in mail-in ballots this year.

“We are working with the Post Office to ensure that ballots are prioritized by the Postal Service and are received in a timely manner,” Lawson said.

Still, Lawson encouraged those who want to (and can) vote by mail to request their ballot and return it as soon as possible.

Indiana is one of just six states that refuses to expand vote-by-mail this fall. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers said Gov. Eric Holcomb "is doing everything he can to erode Hoosiers' access to democracy."

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.