Monroe County election board debriefs on day at the polls, provisional ballots to be reviewed June 12

Thursday afternoon, two days after the June 2 primary election, Monroe County’s election board reviewed how things went on Election Day, under the accommodations made to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

They also reviewed the accommodations that were made as required under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which includes ADA compliance.

For this election at least, the seven polling sites got good marks from disabilities activist Randy Paul. Cones with disability placards were set up to mark off parking spaces closest to whichever entrance that was being used for polling.  And temporary ramps were installed in some locations, like a low curb at Grandview Elementary School.

According to the unofficial cumulative results, 26,791 (27.53 percent) of 97,325 registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday. That’s fewer, numerically and percentage-wise, than for the 2016 primary, when 38,326 (35.32 percent) of 108,517 registered voters turned out. Continue reading “Monroe County election board debriefs on day at the polls, provisional ballots to be reviewed June 12”

Alea iacta est: June 2, 2020 election Monroe County results, when served

Here’s where The Square Beacon will post incremental results from the June 2, 2020 primary election, as they become available directly from the Monroe County clerk’s office, in reverse chronological order.

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When the polls closed at 6 p.m. there were still 18 people standing in line to vote outside Bloomington city hall. They were, of course, allowed to vote.

At 7 p.m. Monroe County clerk Nicole Brown sent out an email saying 7,041 voters turned out on Election Day and 1,981 turned out for in-person voting between May 26 and June 1.

The game plan here is to dump the incremental results from the county clerk into a shared Google Sheet. For realtime changes to the sheet, here a direct link to the sheet: [June 2, 2020 primary results Google Sheet] [Updated: 12:12 p.m on June 3. Here’s a .pdf of unofficial election results from June 2, 2020] The sheet is embedded in this page below, which has a delay of something like five minutes compared to the most recent edit. Try refreshing the page.

Final unofficial results are not expected on June 2. It’s not clear if any incremental results will be available, but if they are, here’s where The Square Beacon will post them.

Updated at 8:37 p.m on June 2. The county election board has recessed and will resume tomorrow at 8 a.m. According to Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne, no preliminary counts will be done tonight, and they’re wrapping up now so that everybody can be fresh in the morning. The added benefit is that any partial preliminary results won’t tease the public overnight, she said. Counting currently is estimated to be done by around 2 p.m. Continue reading “Alea iacta est: June 2, 2020 election Monroe County results, when served”

Election Day June 2, 2020: Polls open “without incident”

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Bloomington city hall a few minutes after 6 a.m. when the polls opened. The half dozen or so voters who were standing in line by the cones, which designate appropriate physical distancing for COVID-19 considerations for voters standing in line. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)

A few minutes after 6 a.m. this morning the word came from the precinct inspector standing at the door to Bloomington’s city hall: “The polls are open.”

A half dozen or so voters were standing in line before the polls opened, spaced out by orange cones to maintain adequate physical distance to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

An email from Nicole Browne sent at 7 a.m. sharp said that all polls had opened “without incident.” Continue reading “Election Day June 2, 2020: Polls open “without incident””

If you still have your ballot, please hand-deliver, says Monroe County election official

 

On Wednesday, Monroe County election board member Carolyn VandeWiel passed along a kind of public service announcement to The Square Beacon:

If you still have your absentee ballot, don’t drop it in the mail.

Please hand-deliver it to Election Central.

Election Central is at the corner of 7th and Madison Streets in downtown Bloomington. Continue reading “If you still have your ballot, please hand-deliver, says Monroe County election official”

Column | On voting: Wear a mask for civic task

In-person early voting in Monroe County starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Election Central in downtown Bloomington.

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“When you do a civic task, like vote in person, wear a mask.”

The week of early in-person voting, leading up to election day on June 2, will take place in the middle of a declared health emergency. It was enacted to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Here’s a word of encouragement to those who want to perform their civic duty of voting in person: Please wear a face covering.

Put on a mask.

As of Sunday, Monroe County has seen 160 confirmed cases and 10 deaths due to COVID-19. Statewide, about 32,000 cases are confirmed and 1,800 people have died from the disease. Continue reading “Column | On voting: Wear a mask for civic task”

Monroe County June 2 primary election update: 18K absentee ballots sent so far; early in-person voting starts Tuesday

According to Monroe County election supervisor Karen Wheeler, 17,997 absentee ballots had been sent out to voters as of Friday and 6,517 of them received by her office.

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Monroe County’s Election Central at the corner of 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington on May 23, 2020 (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)

When The Square Beacon touched base with Wheeler on Saturday morning, she said about 5,000 more ballots still need to be sent out. That will make about 23,000 total absentee ballots for this year’s primary election. Election day is June 2.

A lot of voters waited until close to the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot. The deadline for turning in ballot applications was Thursday, May 21. The voted ballots themselves have to reach the clerk’s office by noon on primary election day, June 2. Voters who receive their ballots later next week, and are concerned that their mailed ballot might not arrive in time, can turn in their ballots in person at Election Central.

The roughly 1,300 ballots that have been processed every day for the last week is about twice the number Wheeler had previously described as the office’s maximum daily capacity. She said previously she’d be looking to recruit county employees who had been ordered to stay home from work during the COVID-19 health emergency.

On Saturday, she said about 20 people were working inside the Election Central building at 7th and  Madison streets. They’ll need to work Sunday, Monday, and probably Tuesday, too, Wheeler figured.

“It’s been intense,” Wheeler said. Continue reading “Monroe County June 2 primary election update: 18K absentee ballots sent so far; early in-person voting starts Tuesday”

Monroe County gets masks, sanitizer from state for election workers as more than 4.3K people have already voted by mail

Secretary of state Connie Lawson said on Friday that the state received the personal protection equipment (PPE) that it had ordered for election workers, using $7.5 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act  funding.

National Guard troops had started delivering masks, sanitizer, gloves and microfiber towels to all 92 counties the previous day, and were continuing  deliveries “as I speak,” Lawson said.

Lawson said that her office had tapped Indiana sources of PPE who did not supply PPE to medical providers—to make sure her office was not depriving health care workers of needed equipment. Lawson made her remarks during Indiana governor Eric Holcomb’s regular press conference on Friday.

Monroe County’s election supervisor Karen Wheeler confirmed to the Square Beacon Friday afternoon that the National Guard had dropped off two pallets of PPE material earlier that morning.  The pallets were not completely full, but had lots of the equipment, she said. She called it “rather impressive.” Continue reading “Monroe County gets masks, sanitizer from state for election workers as more than 4.3K people have already voted by mail”

Monroe County’s election board: Balloting by mail helps flatten voter curve for June 2 primary; but don’t expect same-day results

A mass mailing to every voter in Monroe County was due to go out at the end of this past week. That means sometime next week all voters should receive an absentee ballot application for the June 2 primary.

The mailing will also include a list of the seven polling locations that will be used for in-person voting.

Voting will be conducted during the COVID-19 public health emergency, which has been extended by Indiana’s governor Eric Holcomb.

The key part of Monroe County’s strategy remains getting as many people as possible to vote by mail. No-excuse absentee voting was made possible for this election by a special order of the state’s election commission. Continue reading “Monroe County’s election board: Balloting by mail helps flatten voter curve for June 2 primary; but don’t expect same-day results”

Election commission to decide: Will Indiana adopt only-by-mail voting for June 2 primary?

The COVID-19 pandemic means voting by mail is the safest option for casting a ballot in the June 2 primary, some elected officials are saying. Democratic Party leaders are pushing the vote-by-mail option in the upcoming primary.

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Vote by mail (no-excuse absentee voting) has already been approved as an option for the June 2 primary election in Indiana. On April 22, the state’s election commission will meet and possibly consider a mail-only election.

They’re calling on Indiana’s governor, Eric Holcomb, and the state’s election commission, to order that applications for ballots to be sent to all registered voters.

Holcomb has encouraged voters to use the no-excuse absentee voter option that was created for this year’s primary by the state’s election commission, at a March 25 special meeting.

Even under the no-excuse absentee option, voters have to request that they receive a ballot through an application process. The application form is available online for downloading, but that doesn’t make it accessible to all voters.

On Thursday last week, at his daily press briefing, Holcomb was asked if he would go as far as to support a complete vote-by-mail election structure. That could include sending all registered voters an application for a ballot.

Holcomb didn’t reject the idea out of hand, saying, “This has come up, obviously, and in discussions with the state election commission… [R]ight now I’m waiting for them to make a specific recommendation on how we can safely and securely carry out, not just our June 2,  but our November election.” Continue reading “Election commission to decide: Will Indiana adopt only-by-mail voting for June 2 primary?”