Governor: Indiana’s primary election moved to June 2

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana primary election has been moved from May 5th to June 2nd.

Governor Eric Holcomb, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer and Democratic Party Chair John Zody announced an agreement to move the date.

“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.

Holcomb signed an executive order to suspend Indiana’s election statute and move the dates.

Officials 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.

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.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody issued the following statement after the major political parties reached an agreement regarding the May 5 primary election:

“This is an unprecedented time for our state and nation. Hoosier Democrats believe that holding the election on May 5 and expanding the right to vote through mail-in options was the appropriate decision. However, it has become clear the window for that to happen is quickly closing and we must first be concerned about the health and safety of the public. 

“Accordingly, Hoosier Democrats have reached an agreement with our Republican counterparts to move the May 5 primary to June 2. Republicans have agreed to join a bipartisan petition to the Election Commission for an unprecedented expansion of vote by mail for the primary election. That includes petitioning the Indiana Election Commission to: move to no-fault absentee voting; develop an email option to submit an application to vote by mail; allow any ballots already in motion for the May primary to be counted in June; expand options for how ballots are transported and who may serve on a traveling board; and keep the absentee window open now through the June election.

“Both agreements will require the unanimous approval of the Indiana Election Commission, which is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans.

“This is about ensuring the safety of Hoosier voters and election workers. There’s no assurance the pandemic threat will pass by June 2 and the Trump administration is projecting a timetable of 18 months or longer. To that end, we believe a primary election conducted almost completely by mail is the safest option and Hoosier Democrats will continue to work toward that goal.

“This agreement will lead to a historic expansion of Hoosiers’ voting rights. We fully expect every Hoosier that wants to vote by mail in the June 2 primary, to be able. It will bring down barriers to the ballot box and throw open the door to freer, fairer elections in the Hoosier state.”

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer released this statement in support of Governor Holcomb’s announcement today that Indiana’s Primary Election will be moved to June 2:

“Hoosiers have always come together in times of crisis and today’s bipartisan announcement to move Indiana’s primary election to June 2 is yet another example of that unity. Moving our primary is not a step we took lightly, but it is necessary. Moving to June 2 will provide for the safety and security of all involved in the election process and allow additional time for those tasked with the job of conducting the election to prepare. I’m grateful for the leadership of Governor Holcomb and Secretary Lawson and appreciate Chairman Zody’s commitment to a bipartisan solution.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett provided the following statement:

“In the midst of this public health crisis, there is no place for partisan posturing or political games. That’s why I was heartened to see the bipartisan collaboration of Governor Holcomb, Secretary Lawson, Chairman Zody and Chairman Hupfer, and I fully support their decision to move the Indiana primary to June 2, 2020.

“Moving forward, we must continue to prioritize the safety of Indianapolis residents and redouble our efforts to make the June 2nd primary election as accessible as possible.  In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the City of Indianapolis will be taking unprecedented steps to enable and encourage voting by mail, including mailing every registered voter an absentee ballot application with instructions on how they can request to vote by mail.”  

“Our city’s ability to ensure that every resident can vote on Election Day is vital to the health of both our community and our democracy.”    

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