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Demand for absentee ballots surges in Indiana

Posted at 2:03 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 14:03:55-04

JOHNSON CO. — Democracy 2020 is being impacted by the ongoing pandemic, which means people will be voting by mail in big numbers this year.

Both the Marion County Clerk's Office and the Johnson County Courthouse are having trouble handling the absentee ballot applications.

In 2016, the clerk's office mailed out 1,028 ballots. The number this year is ten times larger.

The clerk has mailed out 11,484 ballots for next Tuesday's primary.

"Our voters are very interested in this election. It's Presidential. With the safety, I think our voters are concerned for themselves and poll workers, and that's why they are voting by mail," Trena McLaughlin, R-Johnson County Clerk, Once we receive those ballots every day, we have a system of processing them into our statewide voter system. After we process the ballots into the voting system, we run a report, and our bipartisan team balances the report with the ballots daily."

The clerk says that in-person voting includes the cleaning of voting machines after each voter has cast their ballot. The county received personal protective equipment from the state.

The Secretary of State's Office says that as of Tuesday, almost 546,000 Hoosiers had requested to vote by mail. Compare that number to the last presidential year of 2016 when there was no pandemic, and that number is just under 54,000.