Listen Live

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Marion County Election Board may rent the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium or Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the upcoming general election.

The board is preparing for a crush of mail-in ballots and needs help to accommodate social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. The board also anticipates a huge turnout for the general election that is just 80 days away.

Marion County voters could cast their votes for president and in other races Nov. 3 at the Convention Center, officials said.

The phone in the Marion County Clerk’s Office didn’t stop ringing Monday as the demand for absentee ballots has ramped up early. So far, the office has received 15,000 requests for absentee ballots. During a typical general election, the office may process 25,000, but the early demand speaks volumes.

“To have 15,000 at this point, that is a large volume,” said Russell Hollis of the Marion County Clerk’s Office.

The pandemic is driving the demand for absentee ballots. Some voters and election officials are concerned whether the U.S. Postal Service can handle the volume.

“There is some concern, so what we are encouraging voters to do is to flatten the curve, and what I mean by ‘flatten the curve’ is apply for an absentee ballot today, that way you are not positioning yourself to receive a ballot during the rush,” Hollis said.

The Election Board will set up drop boxes for ballots at designated locations. Indiana election law requires a signed affidavit by the voter when the ballot is dropped off.

“We are allowing voters to hand-deliver their absentee ballots to all of our Election Day voting center locations, our early-voting locations and our election board offices,” Hollis said.

The ballots for the general election have not been printed yet. Candidates could still be added or dropped in some races.

The county’s Election Board is also anticipating a huge turnout for in-person voting, so they’re looking at spaces such as the Convention Center or Lucas Oil Stadium to accommodate the surge in voters.

“The Election Board staff has reached out to all of those locations and they are in discussions with having those locations serve as Election Day vote centers,” Hollis said.

The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 22, and the last day to register to vote is Oct. 5. You can go online to register to vote if you have a valid state ID or driver’s license. Indiana does not have a process to vote online.

Also, the Election Board needs about 1,000 people to work the polls and help with the count.