Absentee ballot applications confusing voters
Some Pulaski County residents are receiving absentee ballot applications that they didn’t ask for and it’s becoming a bit of a snafu for voters.
Pulaski County Clerk JoLynn Behny said it has been brought to the attention of the election board that a mass mailing has happened regarding absentee ballot applications. At this time, Behny is unsure as to how many Pulaski County residents have received an application and she is unsure if the Indiana Republican State Committee targeted certain age groups or precincts. It appears that some nonregistered voters have received the applications.
The mailings are not the ballot but the application for one. The bulk-mailed applications that were recently received by some local residents were funded by the Indiana Republican State Committee. It appears the democrat party at the state level sent a mass mailing of the application in other counties.
As of now, the general election in Indiana will remain the same as it has in the past. Voters can vote absentee or in-person at the polls. According to the state there are three types of absentee voting: in-person, by mail or by traveling board. Absentee voting in-person is also called early voting which tends to be popular in Pulaski County and does not require any special circumstances.
Absentee voting by mail requires a voter to apply for an application and the voter must have a reason for not being able to early vote or vote at the polls. There are about a dozen reasons a person could qualify as to why they want to vote by mail. Those reasons include but are not limited to having official election duties, working the entire time the polls are open and being a member of the military or a public safety officer. COVID-19 is not a reason and Behny said the application will not be accepted for people who write that on the ballot.
Behny said the ballots are legitimate but they were not sent by the election board unless someone specifically requested one. Behny also noted that in the bulk mailing there are two applications. Each voter who would like to vote by mail should only fill out one application.
If someone has requested an absentee ballot then they don’t need to do anything further. The election board is processing the applications that have been received and will mail the ballots by Sept. 19.