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Local voters receiving unsolicited absentee ballot applications

The applications are coming from the state Democratic and Republican parties in Indianapolis.

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 4:18 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2020 9:58 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Toni Lear is one of many Tippecanoe County voters receiving unsolicited mail-in voting applications.

"I come home the other day and I see I have an Indiana absentee ballot request form and it says immediate attention required, and I never requested this," she says. "After I called the election board and they said they're legit, I turned around and, knowing that I'm going to vote in person, tore it all up and threw it away."

Tippecanoe County Clerk Julie Roush says that the applications are coming from the state Democratic and Republican parties in Indianapolis. 

"Both parties, the Democrat party and the Republican party apparently have both sent out mail-in ballot applications to residents that they did not ask for it," Roush says. "A lot of people are calling, they're very concerned, they don't understand and some people have already submitted one."

Roush says that the applications aren't illegal or illegitimate, but they're causing confusion among local voters. She adds that the election board has been receiving non-stop calls from concerned voters.

"This did not come from us and if you've already submitted an application do not send this one in because we've already filed it, it's done, it's processed," she says. 

It's not uncommon for the election board to receive duplicate applications. Roush says that the their computer system catches and rejects them.

"I've seen up to five times that people had applied, but again, we do have a stop, we put it in the system, we see it," she says.

For Lear, the extra step of shredding the application seemed necessary.

"I'm just really concerned about this," she says. "I know they say it's slim to none with voter fraud, but it is 2020, so who knows what's going to happen this year."

As News 18 previously reported, Indiana isn't expanding "no excuse" absentee voting for the general election. Roush says her office will begin sending out absentee ballots Sept. 19.

She says the easiest way to apply for a mail-in ballot is online at indianavoters.com

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