Howey Politics Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS - Vote by mail in Indianapolis and the 5th CD race became beset with controversy as hundreds of absentee ballot requests were not met.

"I sent a letter to the Marion County Election Board and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, expressing deep concern regarding consistent and widespread reports of Marion County voters who have requested an absentee vote-by-mail ballot but have not yet received one," said Indiana Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, one of 15 GOP candidates seeking the 5th CD nomination.  "I have personally spoken with voters who are concerned their voice will not be heard. The City of Indianapolis has an obligation to ensure voters are not disenfranchised and should act immediately to remedy this issue so all eligible voters have the ability to exercise their Constitutional right safely."

Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge told state officials in a letter Thursday that more than 500 ballots had not been delivered and might not be counted if they don't reach the clerk's office by noon Election Day. She implored the Indiana Election Commission to extend the deadline. “What a shame it will be for voters and candidates if thousands of votes sit in stacks uncounted under these circumstances,” she wrote. “Our election workers will accept hand delivered absentee ballots at our three early voting locations and our 22 election day vote centers.”

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Friday she would not extend the deadline. “Not until after a call with my office, three days before the deadline to request an absentee ballot, did Marion County see fit to shift things into high gear,” Lawson said. “Lack of prior planning and preparation are not sufficient reasons to change deadlines.”