Voting in the 2020 election

As Election Day comes closer and closer in The United States, Americans over the age of 18 are starting to practice their first amendment right to vote. But how do you vote? There are several ways of voting; absentee and the traditional style with polling stations. Though mail-in voting in Indiana has come to a close. And Indiana does not practice same day registration, so voters, so those who were unable to register previous to Election Day, will be unable to vote.

Social Distancing Practices

Due to the pandemic, Covid-19, election workers are requiring that voters maintain about a six-foot distance between voters. Because of this, lines are both expected to appear longer in length, and be longer than normal since this requirement. 

Personal Protection

Voters are encouraged to wear masks, as Indiana has no state mandated requirement for citizens to wear masks. They are also suggested to use hand sanitizer upon entry to

Voters also will be provided with a disposable finger sleeve to use for the touch-screen voting machine. Voting machines will be frequently cleaned throughout the day.

Election Day

On Election Day, Tue. November 3rd, 2020. Polling stations will be open from 6:00 am to 6:00pm. Marion County voters will be able to vote from 187 different polling stations that can have up to 3 hours worth of waiting time. 

Amongst the arrival to the voting center, voters will likely be greeted by volunteers politicking for their favorite candidate. Once you enter the polling place, no politicking should take place. It’s OK to bring literature from a volunteer with you into the polling place, but please do not leave it in the voting booth. Voters are also allowed to receive a translator, as long as your family member is a citizen in the United States, over the age of 18, they are permitted to vote. You, or any other family member, are allowed to be substituted as a translator if needed. 

Cheri Montgomery, a Marion County resident, voted early by going to the polls. She decided to go to the polls rather than mailing in a ballot. She said, “I chose to vote in-person at the polls because I feel like this election is one of the most important elections yet.” Though Sherree Gipson, a elderly woman living in Marion County, voted early by also mailing in a ballot. She said, “This was the best option for me and my health because I can catch the virus easier than some other people.” Voting by mail has given older people like Gipson a new way of voting so they can put themselves and their safety/health first.”

Absentee Ballots

If voters who were registered, and have their absentee ballots completed, but were unable to mail your ballot are strongly encouraged to hand deliver their absentee ballots to an early voting location or an Election Day vote center. The United States Postal Service has told voters that they will make every effort to deliver ballots on time, but with current disruptions in mail delivery, voters have prompted by the Election Board to use alternative delivery methods. Keep in mind that voters always have the option to surrender their absentee ballot and vote in person at any point on Election Day.

Voters that hand deliver their absentee ballots before noon on Election Day should:

  • Skip the voting line and approach the election clerk’s table.
  • An election Inspector will confirm the ballot is the voter’s ballot.
  • If you are hand delivering someone else’s ballot, you MUST file out an ABS-19 form and you must be in one of the approved categories listed on the back of the ABS-19 form. Otherwise, polling stations cannot accept the ballot. The approved categories include family member, caregiver, member of the individual’s household, attorney in fact, USPS and bonded courier. “Family member” is defined as an individual listed in IC 3-6-6-7(4) in relation to the voter, those who qualify are listed on the ABS-19 form.
  •  USPS will also be accepting absentee ballots.

Voters who hand deliver their absentee ballot after noon on Election Day should:

  • Discard their absentee ballot and vote a traditional in-person ballot.
  • Please note: Absentee mail-ballots received after 12:00 p.m. cannot be accepted for absentee ballot counting by the Marion County Election Board.

Voters who arrive with an absentee ballot that is not their own should:

Know that only people on the following list may deliver a voted absentee ballot: family member, caregiver, member of the voter’s household, attorney in fact, US Postal Service worker, or bonded courier.

  • If the voter with an absentee ballot that is not their own is someone from the approved list, the voter must fill out the ABS-19 form for each ballot the voter delivers for the poll workers to accept the ballot(s).

Voting is an extremely important action for eligible citizens. Regardless which candidate you want in, they won’t be able to make office unless you as a citizen votes. Greg Reever, a 46 year old living in Marion County, did not hesitate to vote. He knew exactly what he wanted. Voting is important to him because he believes that “Every vote counts.”