The Journal Gazette
Sunday, March 15, 2020 1:00 am

Vote by mail to minimize virus risks

Beth Dlug

The Allen County Election Board looks forward to the first batch of 2020 presidential primary ballots being sent out this Friday.

As we prepare for this election, we are also monitoring the COVID-19 situation and making plans to prevent the spread of the virus during voting in this important election.

At this time, we recommend that voters who are at increased risk for severe illness consider voting by mail instead of going to an early-voting facility or their polling location on Election Day.

Voters 60 and older and those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and weakened immune systems can find applications for mail ballots on our website at at the “Vote by Mail” link, by emailing us at or calling us at 449-7329.

Act early. The United States Post Office advises that first-class mail turnaround is at least three to five days, and the mailed absentee application deadline is April 23.

After we receive the application, we will mail the official ballot. The ballot must be marked and returned to the Election Board by noon on Election Day, May 5, either by mail or dropped off at our office by the voter or a member of the voter's household.

The pandemic has proven to be a unique and unprecedented challenge for election officials across the state. The Election Board will continue to work with the Allen County Department of Health, Indiana Secretary of State's office, and our vendor and polling location partners as we make preparations for early voting beginning April 7, satellite voting on April 27 and on Election Day.

As events unfold, we will modify and initiate contingency plans designed to mitigate risks to voters and poll workers while ensuring we provide fair and accurate election services.

Beth Dlug is director of elections for Allen County.

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