Allen County political leaders push for vote-by-mail primary

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Information about Absentee Voting is shown on the Indiana Secretary of State Election Division’s website.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Leaders of Allen County’s political parties are coming together to suggest mail-in voting for the state’s upcoming primary election.

Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine on Wednesday said in an email that the party “strongly suggests” voters vote by absentee ballot.

“Do your part for social distancing,” Shine wrote. “Make your home your polling place by voting absentee.”

Allen County Democratic Chair Misti Meehan went a step further and sent a letter to the Indiana Election Commission on Wednesday, urging the state to move to a mail-in primary. Meehan said local election boards are “in limbo” and planning for an in-person election, while still understanding that “there is a high probability Hoosiers will be prohibited from gathering in large numbers” when early voting is scheduled to begin May 5.

“Every one of us has a responsibility to contribute to the most equitable, accessible election possible,” said Meehan. “I have spoke with poll workers, poll watchers, election officials, county chairs, district chairs (both sides of the aisle), and elected officials. The only way we can insure a safe and effective election with the circumstances we are facing is with an all mail-in election.”

Groups including Common Cause Indiana, Indiana Vote By Mail and the League of Women Voters of Indiana have also called on the state election commission to move to a vote-by-mail election.

Indiana’s primary election is set for June 2. It was reschedule from May 5 amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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