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Absentee ballot deadlines in Indiana confusing to some voters

Ballots must reach election offices on Nov. 3
Posted at 4:03 PM, Oct 09, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Some voters decided to vote in person instead of by mail after multiple changes to the deadline in Indiana.

Gregory Pettigrew tried to obtain an absentee ballot for this election, but after it did not arrive, he decided he would just go vote in person.

"I'll just go in and early vote and get it over with that way my vote is already in, it's counted and I know that I did it and it's all good,” Pettigrew said.

He also felt the changes to the deadlines were confusing and he was not feeling secure about when would be the correct time to put his ballot in the mail.

A federal court stayed a decision to extend the deadline for mail in ballots to reach their destination as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. However, that decision was appealed on Thursday but Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

Now, the original deadline is back in place. Mail in ballots must reach election offices by noon on Nov. 3.

"That's something we anticipated. That the requirement to hand deliver their ballots would be noon on election day,” said Russell Hollis, deputy director of the Marion County Clerk’s Office.

Hollis said the change does not impact the election office very much because they cannot start counting absentee ballots until election day anyways.

“They are never final until we certify the election so whether its 2020 or 2016 or any other year, the results that you see on election night are not the certified official results," Hollis said. "It will be several days before we count all the absentee ballots."