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Tippecanoe County Election Board worried about absentee ballots unaccounted for

There are some concerns with voting in Tippecanoe County after a historical amount of absentee ballots were cast.

Posted: Jun 3, 2020 10:24 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- There are some concerns with voting in Tippecanoe County after a historical amount of absentee ballots were cast.

The head of the election board said there are thousands of mail-in votes not accounted for yet.

Randy Vonderheide and County Clerk Julie Roush answered Wednesday how the election played out and what the county and state can do better going forward.

Tippecanoe County more than quadrupled the record for mail in votes in the 2020 primary.

"Turnout was lower than we expected, but the turnout for mail-in ballots was extremely high," said Tippecanoe County Clerk, Julie Roush.

Roush said she's extremely happy with how the county handled the election considering the circumstances.

"We did a great job," said Roush. "We know that we did it thoroughly. We know that we matched signatures. We are ensuring the integrity of the election."

However, there is integral part of voting that the Tippecanoe County election board abides by.

"Our standard is to not lose one vote," said the head of the Tippecanoe County Election Board, Randy Vonderheide.

Losing a vote means losing one's voice.

"The concern would be voters have been disenfranchised," said Vonderheide.

Vonderheide said he worries votes may have been lost and did not get counted.

"I still have the question as to where out absentee ballots are," said Vonderheide. "Did those people's vote count?"

More than 22,252 people voted and approximately 8,700 were by mail. The turnout rate was jut shy of 20 percent.

"Never do all the ballots come at one time," said Roush.

Roush said the official results of the primary come 10 days after the election.

"I'm sure that through the week we will receive ballots and that's one of the errors I am talking about with mail-in ballots," said Roush.

Roush and Vonderheide said they have to abide by state mandates. Those late votes will not count.

Roush said November should not be anything like the primary because typically for mail-in ballots, voters need a reason to do it that way.

Vonderheide added people will do better the next time around if they stick with the absentee ballot.

"People have to understand what that process is," said Vonderheide. "They have to understand they have to be timely and they don't want to wait until the last day to request an absentee ballots."

June 12th is when official results of the primary will be finalized.

If the state adds new mandates to voting we will keep you updated.

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