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Absentee Voting

Information on Absentee Ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election
 

In Indiana, voters have access to three types of absentee voting: in-person, by mail, or traveling board. Military and overseas voters can also vote absentee, but state and federal law set forth different procedures.

NOTE: Applications to vote absentee for the November 3, 2020 election, are currently being accepted. For in-person absentee voting, county officials will have applications or electronic Poll Books at early voting locations so there is no need to file an ABS-In Person application before your visit.

 

  • IN-PERSON ABSENTEE VOTING
    State law requires counties to make in-person absentee voting available for 28-days before the election, ending a noon (local prevailing time), the date before the election. In addition, all Indiana counties must make in-person absentee voting available the two Saturdays immediately before the election.

    For the November 3, 2020 election, in-person absentee voting begins Tuesday, October 6, 2020 and ends, noon (local prevailing time), November 2, 2020. Every county must also have in-person absentee available Saturday, October 24, 2020, and Saturday, October 31, 2020, for at least seven (7) hours unless the county’s population is less than 20,000, and then the site can be open for a minimum of four (4) hours.

    Please visit indianavoters.com to view your county’s absentee-in-person or “early voting” dates, times, and locations.
     

  • ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL
    To vote absentee-by-mail in Indiana, a voter must be able to personally mark their own ballot and sign their name to the completed ballot security envelope and have a reason to request an absentee vote-by-mail ballot:
    1. You have a specific, reasonable expectation that you will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open (6 am until 6 pm).
    2. You have a disability.
    3. You are at least 65 years of age.
    4. You will have official election duties outside of your voting precinct.
    5. You are scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
    6. You will be confined due to illness or injury or you will be caring for an individual confined due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
    7. You are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
    8. You are a participant in the state's address confidentiality program.
    9. You are a member of the military or a public safety officer.
    10. You are a "serious sex offender" as defined in Indiana Code 35-42-4-14(a).
    11. You are prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls.

    A voter applying for an absentee-by-mail ballot does not need to present proof of identification. However, a first time voter in Indiana who registered to vote by mail and did not provide proof of residency will be asked to include that evidence with their absentee balloting materials. This can be a state-issued ID where the address matches their registration, but can also be a bank statement, utility bill, etc.

    Finally, a voter does need to file an application before each election for which the individual wants to vote absentee-by-mail.

    How to Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

    To vote absentee by mail, a voter must first complete an ABS-Mail (En Espanol) application before each election. The application to request a vote-by-mail ballot must be received not later than 11:59PM, 12-days before the election, or October 22, 2020 for the November election.

    Important! The county or the state must have the application in their possession by this deadline; any application received after this deadline – even if it’s postmarked before the deadline – cannot be processed.

    Voters can download and print the ABS-Mail form OR call their county election official or the Indiana Election Division at (317) 232-3939 for an application to be mailed to the voter OR visit their county election office or election division to pick-up an application in-person. Remember, the application must be in the possession of election officials by the October 22, 2020, deadline to be processed for the November 2020 election.

    Hoosier voters who are currently registered to vote can file an absentee application:

    1/ Online at indianavoters.com by logging in to their “my voter portal page” by entering the requested information exactly as it appears on their voter registration record. When on the main landing page, the voter selects the “ABS-Mail (Por Correo)” option and enters the information as prompted. After clicking “submit,” a confirmation screen appears that allows the voter to download and retain a copy for their records. There is no need to sign and return the online submission since the system applies the voter’s registration signature to the application on the back-end.

    2/ By mail or hand-delivery. Physical addresses to the county election boards are found on the back of the ABS-Mail application. Please contact their office directly to determine office hours. Remember, if you take custody of another’s absentee ballot application, you are to deliver it to the election official not later than noon, ten (10) days after receiving it OR the application deadline, whichever comes first.

    3/ By email. This requires the voter to print, sign, and scan or photograph their absentee ballot application and send it to the county official or the Indiana Election Division at elections@iec.in.gov.

    A voter with disabilities may request that another person sign the voter’s name on their behalf on the application. The person providing the assistance may not be the voter’s employer or union representative and must complete the affidavit of assistance found on the application. If the assistor is the voter’s power of attorney (POA), the POA paperwork should be submitted with the application.

    Returning your Absentee-By-Mail Ballot

    If your application is reviewed and approved by bi-partisan county election officials, a ballot packet is mailed to you. This packet will include your ballot, the absentee voter bill of rights, and a first class postage pre-paid return security envelope.

    The voter must be able to personally mark their own ballot but may have assistance with placing the ballot inside the envelope and sealing it. (Be sure the assistor completes the affidavit of assistance!) The voter should sign the ballot (or make their mark) on the signature line. A voter’s power of attorney (POA) may attest to the voter’s signature but is to enclose their POA with the ballot materials inside the security envelope and complete the affidavit found on the absentee return envelope.

    County election officials must receive an absentee-by-mail ballot not later than noon (local prevailing time) on Election Day, November 3, 2020. County election officials must have possession of the ballot by this deadline; postmarks – even if dated on or before the date of the election – cannot be considered timely.

    Finally, pursuant to state law, only the voter, the voter’s attorney-in-fact, a bonded courier, or a member of the voter’s immediate household may hand-deliver a completed absentee ballot to the county election board. Any person other than the voter doing so is to complete the ABS-19 affidavit.

    Troubleshooting Absentee-By-Mail Ballot Issues

    Before Election Day, a voter who has an absentee application on file can fix most issues by filing an ABS-5 form with county election officials. Examples include spoiling a ballot because the voter made an error, mistakenly signing your name on your spouse’s ballot envelope, forgetting to sign your ballot envelope, or receiving the wrong ballot or a ballot lacking two sets of initials.

    However, in the primary election, a voter may not use the ABS-5 to switch parties. Once an absentee application is on file for the election, the party selection cannot be changed. On Election Day, a voter who requested an absentee ballot but never received it in the mail may complete the PRE-5 affidavit at their polling location and vote a regular ballot, if otherwise qualified; OR

    A voter may surrender their absentee ballot to the Inspector, who can then issue a regular ballot, if the voter is otherwise qualified; OR

    A voter who had their absentee ballot rejected by county officials may appear before the county election board not later than 5PM on Election Day to request an ABS-21 form and then go to their polling place to vote a regular ballot, if otherwise qualified.

  • TRAVEL BOARD
    Absentee voting by travel board is an option for some voters to have a bi-partisan team deliver the voter’s ballot and assist the person with completing their ballot during the 19-day period before the election. In order to vote absentee-by-traveling board, one of the following must apply:
    1. The voter expects to be confined, due to illness or injury, or the voter expects to be caring for a confined person at a private residence, on Election Day.
    2. The voter is a voter with disabilities and believes their polling place is not accessible to them.
    3. The voter is physically unable to complete the ballot and sign the affidavit on their own.

    Voters voting by traveling board are NOT required to show photo ID and must complete an ABS-Traveling Board application before each election. The application to request a travel board must be received not later than noon (local prevailing time), the day before the Election, or November 2, 2020.

    Important! The county or the state must have the application in their possession by this deadline; any application received after this deadline – even if it’s postmarked before the deadline – cannot be processed.

    Appointments may be limited! Voters interested in the travel board option are encouraged to apply early.

    How to Apply for Travel Board

    Voters can download and print the ABS-Traveling Board form OR call their county election official or the Indiana Election Division at (317) 232-3939 for an application to be mailed to the voter OR visit their county election office or election division to pick-up an application in -person. Remember, the application must be in the possession of election officials by the noon, November 2, 2020 deadline to be processed for the November 2020 election.

    Please include a phone number or email address on the traveling board application! County officials must be able to contact the voter to schedule a mutually agreeable time for the bi-partisan team to deliver the ballot to the voter and provide assistance, when requested. Including a way to contact the individual in the most efficient manner is helpful to everyone. Hoosier voters who are currently registered to vote can file an absentee application to vote by travel board:

    1/ Online at indianavoters.com by logging in to their “my voter portal page” by entering the requested information exactly as it appears on their voter registration record. When on the main landing page, the voter selects the “ABS-Traveling Board” option and enters the information as prompted. After clicking “submit,” a confirmation screen appears that allows the voter to download and retain a copy for their records. There is no need to sign and return the online submission since the system automatically applies the voter’s registration signature to the application.

    2/ By mail or hand-delivery. Physical addresses for the county election boards are found on the back of the ABS-Mail application. Please contact their office directly to determine office hours. And remember, if you take custody of another’s absentee ballot application, you are to deliver it to the election official not later than noon, ten (10) days after receiving it OR the application deadline, whichever comes first.

    3/ By email. This requires the voter to print, sign, and scan or photograph their absentee ballot application and send it to the county official or the Indiana Election Division at elections@indy.gov.

    A voter with disabilities may request that another person sign the voter’s name on their behalf on the application. The person providing the assistance may not be the voter’s employer or union representative and must complete the affidavit of assistance found on the application. If the assistor is the voter’s power of attorney (POA), the POA paperwork should be submitted with the application.

  • MILITARY & OVERSEAS VOTERS
    State and federal law set forth special procedures for military and overseas voters, who are to use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) created by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). The FPCA serves a dual purpose – to allow a military or overseas voter to register to vote in Indiana and request an absentee ballot. More information about these procedures can be found on fvap.org OR Indiana’s 2020 Military and Overseas Voter Guide
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