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.