DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. (FOX19) - Indiana’s first election to feature widespread mail-in balloting took place Tuesday after coronavirus concerns prompted a four-week delay of the primary.
Despite the push to mail-in ballots, in-person voting reached 12% in Dearborn County.
That is better than expected according to Dearborn County Clerk of Courts Gayle Pennington.
“I didn’t think it would be that heavy due to the increase in absentee balloting,” Pennington said.
The Indiana Secretary of State’s office said it expected to see about ten times more absentee ballots than four years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The process for in-person voting didn’t change but there are new procedures.
“Obviously not on top of each other, you have the distancing as you can see from the line. Everyone’s wearing a mask, which is good,” voter Tom Talbot said.
Most poll workers were wearing personal protective equipment.
Pennington says one noticeable difference in Dearborn County was the age group manning the polls.
“So, what happened, the younger people have stepped up. I mean, it’s awesome the amount of younger people we have working this time,” she said.
Dearborn County has all-new touch screens machines that print out the ballots once the votes are cast.
“We’re providing gloves and masks for our voters when they come in, lots of hand sanitizer, disinfecting every machine in between voters,” Pennington said.
“I just think everyone should come out and vote. You’re registered, come out and vote. It’s necessary especially in a presidential election year,” voter Tom Steuver said.
Along with the race for governor statewide, there are some local contests that are drawing attention in Dearborn County.
Five candidates are vying for three at-large seats on the Dearborn County Council.
And Steve Callahan is retiring after serving eight years as the county coroner. Three people are in the running for his job.