CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Counties across Indiana are preparing for the upcoming General Election this fall. Clay County leaders are getting ready right now. Clay County Election Clerk Anola Gallion spoke to News 10 on what they learned from the primary and what's ahead for November.
Election officials in Clay County are thinking outside the ballot box. Gallion says the county saw eight and a half times the amount of absentee by mail ballots this past primary than what they had in the 2016 primary.
She says the office has already received several dozens of absentee ballot applications. Workers plan to use many of the same practices for the General Election as they did in the primary. Gallion says they worked well and residents in the county are used to the process.
She says the state of Indiana has been great about providing personal protective equipment for all poll workers. One big strategy they found that keeps all voters safe is having separate entrance and exit doors at all voting locations.
Gallion says the primary provided a great basis to be prepared for the General Election.
"Because of that experience, we're ahead for this election. We've ordered extra supplies, and we already have some envelopes with some stamps already on them and ready to go," Gallion said, "Each ballot takes about four to five minutes to assemble with all the pieces that have to go into it."
Gallion also spoke on how preparing to vote just got a whole lot easier. Many people around the Wabash Valley have expressed an interest in voting absentee. It's important to note that Indiana has yet to decide if you can vote absentee without an excuse for the General Election. However, Gallion spoke about how you can request your absentee ballot online making your life, and her life, much, much easier.
Gallion says all you have to do is go to www.indianavoters.com. It will take you to a page where you can log in to your voter portal and register to vote. You can also request your absentee ballot application.
It lets you fill out your application right there online and get the ballot sent directly to your home. You can also have a member of the traveling board bring your ballot to you. The traveling board is a bipartisan team that can assist you if need be. For instance, if you have vision ailments, they can read the ballot aloud to you.
Gallion says out of 18,000 registered voters in Clay County, 5,000 voted absentee in the primary election--A very large percentage. She says this online application can make this process much easier for you and her and her team.
"You never have to print or mail anything and it goes straight to the county clerk in the county that you're registered to vote in," Gallion said, "It makes the process ten times faster than us mailing you an application, then you mail it back, and then we have to key it all I manually. Now, it will pop right up immediately and is right there finished for us."
One thing Gallion wanted to make clear was this: If you do request an absentee by mail ballot, you have to sign the outside of your envelope for your vote to count. She's hoping this online process will make the election in November go much smoother amid the COVID-19 pandemic.