With early voting in full swing and the November election quickly approaching, the Vigo County Clerk’s Office would like to remind absentee voters of a few procedures concerning voting in-person.
“We want everyone to have the best voter experience possible, so it’s important for us to not only recognize what the most common questions are but make sure that we communicate the answers to those common concerns,” states Elizabeth Stiverson, Deputy Clerk. “We get a lot of questions about the ability to vote in-person once an absentee ballot is requested.”
State law does not allow a voter who received an absentee-by-mail ballot to vote absentee in-person because they changed their mind. The absentee ballot must be lost, spoiled or defective and the ABS-5 form executed before an absentee ballot can be reissued. This can be accomplished in the following ways:
BEFORE ELECTION DAY
Voters who have requested absentee ballots may request a replacement absentee ballot and vote in-person if their original absentee ballot by mail is lost, spoiled or defective (IC 3-11-4-17.7). The voter will need to fill out an ABS-5 form, and the county can reissue the ballot by mail or during in-person absentee voting now that it has begun. State law does not require the original absentee ballot to be returned to the County Election Board if the ABS-5 form process is followed; instead, the voter should destroy the original ballot if they have not done so already.
ON ELECTION DAY
On election day, IC 3-11.5-4-18 allows a voter to surrender their absentee ballot and vote in person. The voter will need to surrender their absentee ballot to the inspector and the inspector must mark the ballot “canceled” and preserve it with the rejected ballots, per IC 3-11.5-4-18.
If the voter has not received their absentee-by-mail ballot by Election Day, the voter has to complete the PRE-5 form and then can vote a regular ballot, if otherwise qualified.
For more information regarding voting in Indiana, visit https://www.in.gov/sos/elections/2398.htm. For Vigo County voter information, contact the Vigo County Clerk’s Office at (812) 462-3235.
Vigo County eligible voters needing assistance during the voting process have a resource at hand for filling out their absentee mail-in ballots. Travel Board IC 3-11-10-24(b) is designed to provide assistance that does not infringe upon someone’s right to vote and provides trained, unbiased support. This service is designed to assist individuals with disabilities and the elderly. Apart from the Travel Board, no other individual is allowed to help a voter with an absentee mail-in ballot.
When requesting Travel Board, one democrat and one republican from the Vigo County Election Board go to the voter’s residence and assist the voter in filling out their ballot.
“The Travel Board in Indiana Code provides an added means to ensure that the voting process is easy for all eligible voters in Vigo County,” states Brad Newman, Vigo County Clerk. “No Vigo County voter will ever have to pass up their right to vote, including reasons such as wanting and needing assistance to fill out a ballot. This is a resource we highly encourage voters to take advantage of should it be needed.”
With COVID-19, Travel Board workers are taking extra precautions to ensure all health and safety measures are followed.
In-person voting also provides voters with assistance as an alternative to Travel Board. When voting in-person, an eligible voter may have assistance from an individual after completing a PRE-3 form, as long as the individual providing assistance is not the voter’s employer or union representative. The Democrat Judge and Republican Judge can complete the PRE-3 affidavit of assistance and are also on-site to provide voter assistance at vote centers.
As stated in the Indiana Election Division Dispatch from September 2020, “state law requires the voter to be able to personally mark their own vote-by-mail ballot. If they cannot, then state law specifically requires the person to vote travel board. IC 3-11-10-24(b).”
Travel Board is designed to assist individuals with disabilities who meet the following criteria:
To request Travel Board with your absentee ballot, voters are encouraged to call the Absentee Voting Office at (812) 462-3235. The due date to apply for an absentee ballot is October 22.
As the 2020 General Election is quickly approaching, the Vigo County Election Board votes to approve this year’s vote center locations. During Wednesday’s meeting, 18 locations were disclosed to house this year’s in-person voting. The vote center locations and schedules are as follows:
Vote Center Locations
Beginning October 6
Haute City Center
Meadows Shopping Center – Basement
Vigo County Annex
*The above vote centers will remain open on Columbus Day, October 12.
Beginning October 27
IBEW Labor Union #725
National Guard Armory
Vigo County Solid Waste Management
West Vigo Elementary Conference Center
Election Day, November 3
American Legion Post 104
CASY at Booker T. Community Center
ISU Student Union Building
Maryland Community Church (East side location)
New Goshen Fire House
New Goshen Fire House
Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union #157
Sandcut Fire House (East Rio Grande Ave.)
Vigo County Public Library
“Our community is blessed with the support of these local businesses and locations,” states Brad Newman, Vigo County Clerk. “All of these locations are well equipped to support the logistics, voter privacy and overall safety and sanitation for the general election and we greatly appreciate their contributions.”
Early voting begins October 6 at Haute City Center, Meadows Shopping Center and the Vigo County Annex. These vote centers will be open beginning October 6, Monday through Friday, and two Saturdays, October 24 and October 31.
“We encourage every Vigo County eligible voter to partake in the general election. Collectively, these vote centers offer easy access to all corners of Vigo County,” states Newman. “In Vigo County, voting is made easy.”
Voters are encouraged to request an absentee ballot if they choose to not vote in-person. Registered voters must simply call the Vigo County Clerk’s Absentee Voting Office at 812.462.3235 or visit IndianaVoters.com to apply. By calling, voters will be sent an application via mail to fill out and send back. By visiting the website, voters will fill out the application online. All absentee ballot applications must be received by October 22 in order to vote by mail. Approved applicants will be sent a ballot via mail to fill out and submit to the Vigo County Clerk's Office by noon on November 3.
VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) --We know after talking to county clerks, they work for a long time to make sure everything is ready for election day. Right now, they are seeing a shortage of poll workers, and they're calling for more help!
Going to a voting center in Vigo County you're bound to stumble on a few familiar faces. Faces like Matt Schalburg.
"I'm just pumped and jazzed for the day," Schalburg said.
Schalburg has been working the polls in Vigo County for close to 20 years.
He said it's a passion of his.
"It's a way to be involved in my community and politics is a passion of mine and it just goes hand in hand with what I like to do and being a part of what's going on,' he said.
Schalburg said working at the polls gives him a sense of community.
"We're all one team there together. Regardless of what side you're on. Everybody is a team," he said.
But, he said it's been difficult finding more teammates.
"People are kinda leery of the conditions with the COVID and stuff. So, it does make it kind of sketchy a little bit sometimes," he said. "It's been this way pre that too. There have been times where people they just have had other obligations that came through that they couldn't come through on us," he said.
Schalburg said even though it's a small step in the voting process, it's important.
"You help facilitate all this so that others can come in and do what they need to do and you were a small part of making that happen," he said.
If you want to help out at the voting locations you can call the Vigo County Clerks office at (812) 462-3235.
If you want to learn about what it takes to be a poll worker you can find out more, here.
Tuesday is National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, and the Vigo County Voter Registration Office is looking for poll workers.
Established by the U. S. Election Assistance Commission, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day aims to raise awareness about the benefits and importance of poll working and inspire more Americans to volunteer.
In Vigo County, poll workers specific duties and compensation vary, but all include welcoming voters, verifying registrations, and directing voters to ballot scanners.
Poll workers also help ensure voters understand the voting process by demonstrating how to use the voting equipment and explaining voting procedures.
Locally, election staff are overseen by the Vigo County Election Board and Vigo County Clerk’s Office, which provides information and training classes in advance of Election Day.
Most poll workers have traditionally been over the age of 65, making them especially vulnerable to complications if they contract COVID-19. As such, Vigo County has a critical need for poll workers who are willing and able to assist with the voting process.
Those interested in assisting are asked to contact the Vigo County Voter Registration Office at 812-462-3393 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be considered, a person must:
• Be a registered voter of Vigo County;
• Have basic ability with computers;
• Possess reliable transportation;
• Have the ability to sit/stand for long periods of time;
• Not be related to any candidate on the ballot;
• Attend training class and pass a test prior to serving as a poll worker;
• Possess the ability to listen, learn, and get along with other poll workers.
Early voting is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and will run through Election Day (Nov. 3).
Hours for early voting are 10 a.mn to 6 p.m. weekdays, with the Vigo County Courthouse Annex having hours of 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Election Day hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Poll workers must be available for the entire day/week/month to be considered. No split days/hours accepted.
Positions are needed at polls, travel board (teams that go to the voter), and Election Day hourly workers to assist with absentee envelopes, ballot pick-up, and ballot check-in.
The final day to register to vote for the November election is close of business Monday, Oct. 5. Absentee ballots begin to go out Sept. 19. The final day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 22. People born born on or before Nov. 3, 2002, may register and vote in this election.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - We are 75 days away from the General Election. The Vigo County Election Board met on Wednesday morning to continue planning for this November. Vigo County Clerk Brad Newman gave News 10 more details on what was discussed.
The first thing Newman said was you’re going to see a lot of things that reflect what was done in the primary since it worked so well. For instance, they will be partnering with Servpro again. There will be two Servpro employees at every voting center on Election Day sanitizing all voting equipment. They will continually be cleaning the voting area the entire time polls are open.
Newman also addressed mail-in voting this fall. He says the Clerk’s Office has always had a great relationship with the postal service. He says voters don’t have to worry about the safety of the voting center or the security of their vote.
“With it being a fluid situation and us not knowing how this is going to play out, we wanted to plan for the worst and, hopefully by doing so, things work out for the best,” Newman said optimistically.
Safety, security, and success is what Vigo Newman says they’re focusing on. Here’s what you at home need to know.
Newman stressed the importance of staying flexible and always improving to make this process safe and efficient.
He said they have four potential plans on what polling centers may look like this November for the election. They could have anywhere between 10 and 18 voting centers. They will have two to three “28 day centers” for early voting along with a few week long centers.
The Clerk’s Office also has a travel board for “shut-ins” or people who are in the hospital with special circumstances such as COVID-19. This travel board will be sent out to make voting available for these individuals.
Overall, Newman says his office and the election board will work tirelessly to make sure this election is safe and successful for Vigo County.
“We’re going to have plenty of locations, we’re going to have plenty of cleanliness, we’re gong to have social distancing, we’re going to have the players in place to make this work, and we’re going to have a smooth election,” Newman said, “Whether we have it in 10 super centers or 18 different locations, it will happen.”
Newman also says they are always in need of poll workers. If you’re interested in working the polls, be sure to call the clerks office.
Some important dates to remember: Voting registration ends on October 5th, and early voting begins the very next day on October 6th. The election board’s next meeting is on September 9th.
VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - The General Election in November has generated a lot of buzz across the country as COVID-19 presents new challenges for election officials. The Vigo County Election Board met on Wednesday morning to discuss a gameplan this fall.
Vigo County Clerk Brad Newman says there was a lot of communication and the bouncing of ideas between the election board on Wednesday morning. COVID-19 has made for some seriously intensive planning looking ahead to the General Election this November.
Newman says the way they ran the primary election in the spring was a great trial run. They saw a lot of absentee voting, provided excellent cleaning at voting centers, and made it all work seamlessly.
The election board discussed a variety of plans on Wednesday centered around how many voting centers Vigo County needs. Newman says Vigo County was one of the first counties to go to different polling centers and not just provide smaller precincts.
He says they tossed around three plans: Plan A would be to have 16-17 voting centers in the county, Plan B would be to mimic what was done for the primary which residents are now used to, and Plan C would be a hybrid of both making voting as available as possible for everyone.
One thing he made clear is that these plans are fluid due to the constantly changing COVID-19 information they receive, but they will continue to give voters the peace of mind that they will be safe at the polls.
"One thing we've gotten recognition for all over the state, and now other states have called us too, is the in-real-time sanitation," Newman said, "We're set up that we are going to have the cleanest, safest environments to vote in in the state. We have really excelled with that."
A question a lot of you have been asking us at News 10 is how absentee voting will go this time around. Due to COVID-19, Indiana lifted restrictions so that anyone who wanted to vote absentee could. Newman also took the time to address that there is a possibility that this is not the case this time around.
Indiana is one of eight states that still has not announced if you can vote absentee without an excuse. Newman says they'll be prepared no matter what the decision is, but as aforementioned, plans are fluid with new information always coming out about COVID-19.
"If they go back to not having a reason to vote absentee and everything is wide open, that changes things," Newman explained, "Remember, 50% of the vote was absentee in the primary. I think you're going to see a record-breaking election in the fall no matter what."
He says they've set the standard for the cleanliness of voting centers across the state of Indiana. They want to give everyone the peace of mind that voting in person is safe and if the state lifts restrictions on absentee voting, the peace of mind that your vote will count.
"In the past in some other counties, there's been fraudulent activity," Newman said, "I can assure you we're not going to have fraudulent activity. We have checks, checks, and more checks, and as long as I'm the clerk, we're not going to do that. Either way, your vote is going to be secure."
Newman doesn't believe Indiana will lift restrictions on absentee voting for November. He says people are passionate about voting in-person in our area, and their goal is to always encourage people to come out and vote.
"I think it's setting a precedent. The election must go on with or without COVID and we still have to go about doing the election in the right way," Newman concluded, "We still have a majority of people in Vigo County that want to vote in person. We'll continue to do whatever we need to do to make the polls work. We're going to set the standard and example for the rest of the state."
Again, Newman says these plans are fluid, but they are prepared for every scenario no matter what's decided for November's General Election.
During a Tuesday morning press conference, the Vigo County Clerk’s Office announced a partnership with SERVPRO of Vigo County dedicated to enhancing the safety of citizens during the voting season. This unique partnership consists of fogging and sanitizing the Vigo County Courthouse every week during the voting season. Additionally, SERVPRO has offered to staff two employees at every vote center at no cost to the taxpayer.
SERVPRO representatives will be sterilizing all equipment, doors, tables, chairs and high touch points after each use using EPA disinfectant. Continuous cleaning of the area will be done at each vote center. Each SERVPRO representative will have the required credentials that grant them access to the vote centers.
“In Vigo County, we are committed to providing the community with fair and safe ways to vote. This partnership with SERVPRO and their donated services will enhance what Vigo County has established,” states Brad Newman, Vigo County Clerk.
The Vigo County Clerk’s Office also made mention of a comprehensive, educational campaign the office has launched called Every Vote. Every Vote was created with the goal of encouraging all Vigo County eligible voters to exercise their right to vote while providing reliable, current and relevant information pertaining to the upcoming elections.
“Every vote is not simply this campaign. It is the foundation for our business model and the moto for which we operate. We have created this safety measure as an added layer of security to ensure that every voter feels confident in exercising their voice.”
These added safety measures have been established for voters who are comfortable voting in person. Absentee voting is encouraged for any Vigo County voter who wishes to vote via mail. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is May 21. To receive an absentee ballot, registered voters must simply call the Vigo County Clerk’s Absentee Voting Office at 812.462.3235 or visit IndianaVoters.com to apply.