Nappanee man gets mail-in ballot, but says he shouldn’t have

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 6:39 PM EDT
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We’re digging deeper into the voting process ahead of the 2020 election. It is an election year with many states making changes to keep people safe.

Could those changes cause confusion for voters and those tasked with tallying the votes?

“Asked how to get a ballot for the general election and they said I had to fill out an application,” Steven Huey says. “I filled out the application, I made a connotation on that application that the reason I did not want to vote in person was because fear of the coronavirus."

A reasonable selection in the middle of a pandemic, but he had to write it in because out of the 12 options for absentee mail-in voting there is no option to select COVID-19 in Indiana.

“And yet I received a ballot in the mail," Huey says.

Huey mentions that he meets none of the requirements to mail-in. The closest is being 65 or older, and he’s 64.

16 News Now went to to Elkhart County Clerk to learn why Huey still got a ballot. It turns out he still checked a box, and then made a change.

“He checked off that he was confined to his home, his residence, or healthcare facility, and after that he wrote in due to COVID," Christopher Anderson says. He is the Clerk of the Circuit Court in Elkhart County.

Huey does not appear confined to his home as the interview with him was conducted outside on the sidewalk near his home. Applications like his that might have been rejected are hard to catch.

“We have no way to police that. This weekend I mailed 7,800 ballots. I expect that in all reality to increase dramatically over the next six weeks too, I’m looking at14 or 15 absentee by ballots in all reality.”

The clerk says his focus is on making votes count, and he says they will, but with long hours ahead in a strange election year.

“Logistically it is......I can’t say nightmare, but it is a difficult logistical situation to work with and work yourself through," Anderson adds.

With a limited staff Elkhart County is going to be processing somewhere in the vicinity of 15,000 mail-in votes. The last presidential election they say the county saw just over 3,000.

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