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Indiana Democrats, GOP Send Out Unsolicited Absentee Ballot Applications

FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Hoosiers across the state are receiving unsolicited absentee ballot applications in the mail from the Indiana Democratic and Republican parties.

The political parties sending out absentee ballot applications isn’t new – it’s a common way for them to try to drive up voter turnout.

But it’s under a different spotlight this year because of the fierce debate over vote-by-mail. Democrats want it expanded to anyone who wants it – just like during the primary – because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans steadfastly refuse to allow that; they argue the 2020 general election should be a “normal” one.

County clerks around Indiana have received confused phone calls from voters about the applications. But they are legitimate – and, if you qualify for vote-by-mail, you can use the application to request your ballot.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana 2020 Two-Way. Text "elections" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

However, unlike the applications distributed by county clerks, the ones sent out by political parties often don’t go directly to your local election administrator; they typically go through the Indiana Election Division first, meaning it will take more time to get to where it needs to go.

If you want to request a vote-by-mail ballot more quickly, you can do so online at

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.