STATE HOUSE–The Indiana primary election has been postponed from May 5 to June 2. Gov. Eric Holcomb made the announcement Friday morning.
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.
“It should only be done it times of emergency,” he said. “And by definition now we find ourselves in that situation.”
Holcomb said he believes it is not feasible to conduct the election because of the requirements of social distancing, whether that is still in effect by May 5, or not. He says the work to make the election happen will be disrupted by the restrictions.
“While many pieces are still in motion, election season is already upon us,” said Sec. of State Connie Lawson, who noted that if the election were to be held May 5, counties would have to make a mad dash to get it done during the restrictions.
Lawson is asking for the option for all Hoosiers to be able to vote absentee, mail ballots, for the primary.
The state Republican and Democratic Party chairs endorsed the move, which still requires approval next week from the Indiana Election Commission. Indiana will be the seventh state, along with Puerto Rico, to move its primary because of the outbreak.
Lawson says to be prepared for the vote count to take longer than usual, with
the larger volume of absentee ballots.
Indiana is picking nominees for nine state Senate seats, 35 Indiana House seats, and all nine
congressional districts. If the Democratic presidential contest is still in progress, Indiana will be the third-largest delegate prize available. With Ohio and Maryland also moving their primaries, June 2 is now the second-biggest date on the nominating calendar, trailing only Super Tuesday.