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Indiana officials considering only mail-in vote for primary

Indiana election officials have started contemplating whether voters might need to cast all ballots by mail for the state’s primary election because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 12:59 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana election officials have started contemplating whether voters might need to cast all ballots by mail for the state’s primary election because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state election commission voted unanimously Wednesday to delay Indiana’s primary by nearly a month to June 2 and give all voters the option of submitting mail-in ballots. The state’s Republican and Democratic chairmen agreed last week with Gov. Eric Holcomb to move the primary from its scheduled May 5 date over concerns about the safety of election workers and voters.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said then that election officials still planned for early voting sites in each county and to have polling locations open on the day of the primary.

But election commission Chairman Paul Okeson said it would meet April 22 to discuss “moving to a vote-by-mail election if necessitated by the public health crisis.”

Okeson, a Republican, said delaying the primary was “unprecedented territory” and he appreciated the cooperation of political leaders in reaching an agreement.

Commission Vice Chairman Anthony Long, a Democrat, said he believed the procedures approved Wednesday will allow an orderly move of the primary.

“It will give an opportunity to see how well the mail-in system works and what problems it will create — and I’m sure there will be problems,” Long said.

Ohio and Kentucky are among at least seven states that have delayed their primaries, and others are considering increased voting by mail.

Indiana has no challenged races for statewide elected offices in this year’s primary and it is uncertain whether the Democratic presidential race will remain undecided. Multiple candidates are seeking nominations for congressional seats being given up by Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky and Republican Rep. Susan Brooks. State legislative seats and county offices are also on the primary ballot.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

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