As first reported in the March 17th edition of the Cheat Sheet, state officials announced today they are moving Indiana’s primary due to the impact of the coronavirus.
Governor Eric Holcomb joined Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer and Democratic Party Chair John Zody today to announce an agreement to move the date of this year’s Indiana primary election from May 5 to June 2.
All dates corresponding with the primary election will be moved by 28 days to reflect the new date of the primary. For example, military and overseas ballots are required to mailed 45 days prior to the primary election, so they’ll move 45 days prior to June 2.
“The right of citizens to elect their leaders in a free and open election is one of the cornerstones of America. In order to balance that right with the safety of county employees, poll workers and voters, delaying Indiana’s primary election is the right move as we continue to do all we can to protect Hoosiers’ health,” said Gov. Holcomb.
Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order to suspend Indiana’s election statute and move the dates. The executive order is posted here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm
In addition, Governor Holcomb, Secretary Lawson, Chairman Hupfer and Chairman Zody made the following recommendations to the Indiana Election Commission.
- Suspend absentee by-mail rules to allow all Hoosiers the option to vote by mail in the upcoming primary election.
- Allow county clerks to continually mail ballots from now through 12 days out from the new primary election date.
- Confirm ballots with a May 5, 2020 date will be valid.
- Enable medical professionals to be eligible members of traveling boards to vote nursing home and hospital patients.
- Give family members the ability to deliver absentee ballots. Currently only a member of a voter’s household may take possession of their ballot.
“As Indiana’s Chief Election Officer, it is my top priority to protect our elections, but, above all else, it is my duty to protect the health and safety of Hoosiers,” said Secretary Lawson. “I believe the bi-partisan recommendations we have asked the Indiana Election Commission to take will allow us to provide all Hoosiers the opportunity to vote.
Indiana Election Commission Chairman Paul Okeson has called a meeting of the Indiana Election Commission on Wednesday, March 25 at 10 a.m. to discuss the recommendations. The meeting will be held in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.
You can hear the Governor, Secretary of State, and party chairman in the Leon-Tailored Audio above. You can also hear comments from Public Health Commissioner Dr. Christina Box on the latest on the coronavirus in Indiana.
The entire news conference runs 30 minutes.