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Democratic chairwoman: June 2 primary should be conducted by mail only

Misti Meehan

The chairwoman of the Third Congressional District and Allen County Democrats is urging that Indiana’s June 2 primary be conducted entirely by mail because of COVID-19 and the uncertainty and logistics of dealing with it.

In a letter to the Indiana Election Commission, Misti Meehan noted that early voting is scheduled to start on May 5, and “There is a high probability Hoosiers will be prohibited from gathering in large numbers at that time . . . Indiana needs to move to an all mail-in primary now (Americans With Disabilities Act and confined voting considerations remaining).”

Meehan added that municipalities are making plans for in-person voting “but feel they’re aiming at a moving target . . . securing locations and staffing poll workers for the June 2 date, sanitation processes for allowing people to vote under current CDC restrictions, securing enough (protective gear) for poll workers. The challenges are tremendous. While performing all of these tasks, they are also creating plans for the logistics of an all mail-in election . . . The additional sanitation steps necessary between voters, besides abiding to only 10 people in a building at one time, will significantly increase the voting time per voter. When considering that a majority of poll workers belong to a high risk group, there is great concern about being able to staff polling locations for an in-person election. ”

In Allen County, Meehan said, election workers are “spending hours upon hours creating plans and rescheduling both locations and workers which could end up being a grotesque waste of time. While an all mail-in primary is still a challenge, it is far less challenging than continuing forward with an in-person election that is tied to an unpredictable, deadly virus spread through in-person interactions.”

In a statement Wednesday, Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine added that “There is a distinct possibility that the June 2nd primary will be by absentee ballot only. The Allen County Republican Party strongly suggests that you take advantage of voting by absentee ballot. Everyone is eligible to vote by absentee ballot if you are registered as of May 4, (and) you must apply for an Absentee Ballot Request Form before May 21.

The form can be found at http://www.allencounty.us/images/election_board/2020_Documents/Fill_IN_ABS-MAIL_PRIMARY_2020.Form_56929.Allen.pdf

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