Indianapolis City-County Council allocates funds for coronavirus responses, including absentee ballot applications

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday adopted two measures allocating funding for COVID-19 responses, including the mailing of absentee ballot applications and the equipment needed to manage a pandemic-impacted election season.

One proposal authorized just over $2 million for the Marion County Elections Board to provide for mailing of absentee ballot applications and the equipment needed to manage an election season “unlikely to look like anything Hoosiers have seen before,” according to a press release.

The other approved $750,00 of additional funding for the Office of Public Health and Safety to provide for medical supplies, more frequent and thorough cleaning of public spaces and to address the issue of capacity at the Marion County morgue.

“We have an equal responsibility to protect the health of our city and the health of our democracy in this unprecedented time,” said Council President Vop Osili. “The action taken tonight ensures that Indianapolis residents can access their fundamental right to vote without undue risk to public health or the nightmare voting scenarios we’ve seen in other places around the country.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released the following statement:

Dr. Virginia Caine and our public health experts have been clear that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone should be encouraged to use absentee ballots rather than in-person voting on Election Day. This will ensure the process is as efficient and secure as possible, enabling all registered voters the opportunity to quickly cast their ballot without time-consuming delays or concerns of large crowds. For so many in our city, this will be the first time they have voted by mail, and we have an obligation to make the democratic process as accessible as it can be.

I want to applaud the City-County Council for taking swift action this evening to provide every registered voter with an absentee ballot application and ensure safe access to the ballot for Indianapolis residents.

Mayor Hogsett

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