Central Indiana county officials urge voters to submit mail-in ballots in person

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INDIANAPOLIS — Both the Hamilton and Marion County Clerk’s Office said voters who have yet to return their mail-in ballot should do so in-person, not by mail, to ensure it is accounted for by November 3.

Election Day is just days away and county officials warned a mailed-in ballot may not meet the noon deadline on November 3.

“Time is running out,” said Deputy Director for the Marion County Clerk’s Office, Russell Hollis. “I would recommend that voters do not place that absentee ballot in the mail. Hand-deliver it.”

Hollis said voters can hand-deliver their ballot to the election board office in the City-County, located at 3737 E Washington St., or at any early voting location listed on the website.

“Skip the line, walk right inside, and find an election worker and tell them that you are dropping off your absentee ballot,” said Hollis. “They will further instruct you from there.” 

Hollis said voters can also hand-deliver their absentee ballot at any polling location on Election Day itself as long as it is before the noon deadline.

Across the state of Indiana, counties are reporting record-breaking voter turnout during the early voting period.

“We are shattering previous presidential record turnouts,” said Hollis.

To date, 77,409 voters have shown up to vote early in-person throughout Marion County. The record-breaking single-day voter turnout occurred on Wednesday when roughly 11,800 voters voted in-person.

“Prior to that it was 10,400 [on Tuesday] so it’s been trending upward almost on a daily basis,” Hollis said. “We are shattering previous presidential record turnouts.”

Hollis said the closest comparable turnout happened in 2008. Still, during that election year, voter turnout was “well under 40,000” by this same time that year.

The same record-breaking turnout was seen in Hamilton County this week. To date, Hamilton County has seen 112,556 voters either vote early or already return their mail-in ballots.

“We had 8,222 in-person voters just yesterday,” said Hamilton County Elections Administrator, Beth Sheller. “That was a record for us.”

Sheller said she anticipates the county will surpass that record turnout over the weekend.

“My guess would be about 9,000. That’s probably about all we could take through in one day with our locations,” Sheller laughed, “although if they’re in line, they’ll get to vote.”

Sheller said the most absentee ballots the county had ever received was back in 2016 with a total of 53,602.

“If [Hamilton County voters] have a ballot right now and they want to complete it, I would suggest they bring it into the election’s office,” said Sheller. “That is the only place that you can, by law, drop off a ballot.”

The United States Postal Service is also offering Marion County voters the opportunity to hand off their ballot in-person. Beginning Saturday, October 31, Marion County voters can hand their completed ballot to a USPS employee at the Main Post Office location in downtown Indianapolis, 125 W. South Street.

USPS employees will be collecting ballots on Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., on Monday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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