INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric Holcomb joined Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer and Democratic Party Chair John Zody to announce an agreement to move the date of this year’s Indiana primary election from May 5 to June 2.

All dates corresponding with the primary election will be moved by 28 days to reflect the new date of the primary. For example, military and overseas ballots are required to mailed 45 days prior to the primary election, so they’ll move 45 days prior to June 2.

“The right of citizens to elect their leaders in a free and open election is one of the cornerstones of America. In order to balance that right with the safety of county employees, poll workers and voters, delaying Indiana’s primary election is the right move as we continue to do all we can to protect Hoosiers’ health,” said Gov. Holcomb.

Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order to suspend Indiana’s election statute and move the dates. The executive order is viewable at www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm.

In addition, Governor Holcomb, Secretary Lawson, Chairman Hupfer and Chairman Zody made the following recommendations to the Indiana Election Commission.

Suspend absentee by-mail rules to allow all Hoosiers the option to vote by mail in the upcoming primary election.

Allow county clerks to continually mail ballots from now through 12 days out from the new primary election date.

Confirm ballots with a May 5, 2020 date will be valid.

Enable medical professionals to be eligible members of traveling boards to vote nursing home and hospital patients.

Give family members the ability to deliver absentee ballots. Currently only a member of a voter’s household may take possession of their ballot.

“As Indiana’s Chief Election Officer, it is my top priority to protect our elections, but, above all else, it is my duty to protect the health and safety of Hoosiers,” said Secretary Lawson. “I believe the bi-partisan recommendations we have asked the Indiana Election Commission to take will allow us to provide all Hoosiers the opportunity to vote.

In light of this news, Decatur County Clerk Adina Roberts, the county’s chief election officer, issued the following statement: “The Decatur County Clerk’s office will continue to accept the absentee applications as they are received. We will continue to process and mail out the ballots like normal. All the ballots including the ones already received will be counted on Election Day, June 2. There is no need to resend your application a second time.”

Roberts also indicated that as she receives additional directives from the state she will provide more details about any impact at the local level.

Indiana Election Commission Chairman Paul Okeson has called a meeting of the Indiana Election Commission at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 to discuss the recommendations. The meeting will be held in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.

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