Hundreds of absentee ballots will not be counted in upcoming primary

Friday afternoon the Tippecanoe County clerk's office clarified the reason for that and what do if voters never received the mail-in ballot they requested.

Posted: May 29, 2020 11:29 PM
Updated: May 30, 2020 1:49 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- Hundreds of absentee ballots are not going to count in the upcoming primary.

Friday afternoon the Tippecanoe County Clerk's Office clarified the reason for that and what do if voters never received the mail-in ballot they requested.

As we've reported, several people never received theirs due to delays with the over-burdened postal system.

There are four days until the primary election and people are still checking their mail, waiting for their absentee ballots.

"We recognize there are delays in the mail," said Tippecanoe County Clerk, Julie Roush. 

Roush told News 18 voters should wait 7-10 business days to receive their ballots, but now it's too late.

The application for a mail-in vote was due last week. She said she had rejected hundreds of applications due the fact they were late.

"They were supposed to be in our office by 11:59 on the 21st," said Roush. "If they were not in our office it does not matter when it was put in the mail, we were to reject those because they did not meet the deadline."

There were more than 11,000 absentee ballot applications received by the county and more than 5,000 have been received and accounted for. Those are record numbers.

"If you have not received your ballot you may go to a vote center," said Roush.

Then you will be asked to sign an affidavit.

"Basically stating you haven't received your ballot and that you haven't voted," said Roush.

This will allow your voice to be heard and vote to be cast.

Roush talked about safety at voting stations during Friday's press conference.

She said there are sneeze guards, masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, disposable applicators to vote.

All of the personal protective equipment was provided by the state.

"Vote by mail is not an easy endeavor at all," said Roush.

This practice is being used for health purposes and that's why county commissioners have changed the way candidates will participate in the county viewing party at the county building.

"The governor's current plan allows for up to 100 [people] but we have counted at best 25-30 chairs that we can put in there," said Tippecanoe County Commissioner, Tracy Brown. 

Roush and her team will be counting votes from 6 a.m. until late into the night on Tuesday, June 2nd.

She said the official tally may not be done until the following day.

Also if voters mailed in their absentee ballot already they may call to see if the clerk's office received it and if voters have not mailed it in, they or someone they trust may drop it off at any polling location or at the drop box at the county building.

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