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Tippecanoe County Election Board adopting new strategies amid COVID-19 pandemic

As election season approaches the Tippecanoe County Election Board is adopting new strategies. News 18 spoke with the Election Board Chairman about the impact COVID-19 could have on election season.

Posted: Apr 30, 2020 4:43 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2020 6:19 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—"This is new for the election board and the Indiana Election Division," said Randy Vonderheide.

Vonderheide is the Tippecanoe County Election Board Chairman. He said the board is preparing for an increase in absentee ballots this election season.

"We expect a much higher than normal volume," said Vonderheide. "The estimation anywhere 75,00 and 10,000 absentee ballots."

Vonderheide said to date the board has already received more than 2,000 absentee ballot request. That's compared to the 2016 election season where only 500 request were submitted.

"We're going to need to start earlier and have many more people working just because of the scanning limitations of the scanning equipment," said Vonderheide. 

That's why the board approved to start processing and counting absentee ballots at 6 AM on election day.

They have also expanded their team on top of the several returning poll workers and allowing 16 & 17 year olds to help by applying to be an election officer. Something the board has offered every year.

"I am very pleased to report we are not having trouble," said Vonderheide. "Regular poll workers that we've had for years by large almost all of them are indicating that they are going to work for the public again this year."

As far as voting locations, Vonderheide said that's a moving target. As of now Payless and Purdue University are not on the current list of 14 voting locations.

"Our March 9th meeting we locked in our early voting and vote centers and after COVID-19 that has had to change," said Vonderheide.

Vonderheide goes on to say the Indiana Election Division also limited early voting to just one week instead of two.

"We're also concerned as an election board about the safety of our poll workers," said Vonderheide. "So we've made every effort to assure that safety."

Vonderheide said the secretary of state is also working with the county to provide PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for poll workers. He said people interested in a absentee ballot should submit an application by midnight of May 19th.

For information on voting locations, absentee application and more click here. 

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 666516

Reported Deaths: 12726
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion912711659
Lake48687890
Allen36102644
Hamilton32445398
St. Joseph30306514
Elkhart25510420
Vanderburgh21326382
Tippecanoe20220205
Johnson16466363
Porter16068281
Hendricks15944302
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Madison11799323
Vigo11685234
Monroe10419164
Delaware9891179
LaPorte9831199
Howard9112201
Kosciusko8597111
Bartholomew7522147
Hancock7462134
Warrick7451153
Floyd7263173
Wayne6661192
Grant6462158
Boone616691
Morgan6129128
Dubois5936112
Dearborn551270
Cass5485100
Marshall5451105
Henry542995
Noble513178
Jackson465567
Shelby463391
Lawrence4195113
Gibson405185
Harrison403265
Clinton397553
Montgomery391684
DeKalb387478
Miami358263
Knox357885
Whitley351238
Huntington349477
Steuben340055
Putnam333960
Wabash333176
Ripley327962
Adams325449
Jasper319143
White298152
Jefferson296274
Daviess285996
Fayette272756
Decatur271688
Greene262680
Posey261432
Wells259075
Scott251850
LaGrange242470
Clay241644
Randolph226077
Spencer219430
Jennings216744
Washington213027
Sullivan203739
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Starke189951
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Fulton179737
Jay178728
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Orange171451
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Tipton149541
Parke140216
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Pulaski107644
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