At its Friday meeting, the three-member Monroe County election board voted to accept as valid 19 out of the 32 provisional ballots from the Tuesday, May 3 primary elections.
Provisional ballots are those that are cast by a voter, but set aside due to some question about whether they are valid. Provisional ballots allow a voter to make their choices for candidates, without requiring Election Day poll workers, in circumstances that might be hectic, to make a final decision on validity
So Monroe County’s election board met last Tuesday afternoon to review any outstanding issues related to this year’s general election. The Nov. 3 general election will take place as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rack up about 1,110 confirmed positive tests a day statewide and about two dozen a day in Monroe County.
Tuesday’s discussion took place the same day as a ruling by federal district judge Sarah Barker, but before it was widely reported. Barker’s ruling granted a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of an Indiana election law on mailed-in ballots.
The law says mailed-in ballots have to be received by noon on Election Day, and they’ll be rejected after that, no matter when they’re postmarked. The injunction—which has been appealed—says that Indiana election officials are “not to reject mail-in ballots postmarked on or before November 3, 2020 and received on or before November 13, 2020.”
If that ruling stands, it’s not clear how it might impact local election planning.
A concern about adequate space was one theme of last Tuesday’s meeting, as the local election board is looking towards larger numbers of in-person and mailed-in votes alike.
The newly renovated Election Central facility in the old Johnson Hardware building, at Madison and 7th streets, has a lot more room for early voting than the previous configuration.