WABASH COUNTY – Early voting in Wabash County and the rest of Indiana began on Tuesday. The Paper of Wabash reports that the Wabash County Clerk’s Office has mailed out 1,688 absentee ballots as of September 30, which is 1,304 more than in 2016. One of the main reasons for the increase in absentee ballots is COVID-19. This year, due to the virus, the three nursing homes in the county can not be used as polling locations as has been done in the past. Residents of these nursing homes will need to vote by absentee ballot. Many residents over the age of 65 are also voting by absentee ballot due to their concerns about COVID-19, according to Clerk Lori Draper.
One concern for many absentee voters was the Indiana law that required all ballots to be received by noon on election day; however, last week federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled in a case brought by Common Cause Indiana that all absentee ballots must be counted as long as they have been postmarked before November 4 and received before November 14. This should allay concerns by some that ballots would not be counted due to postal service delays.
Early voting hours at the Wabash County Clerk’s office are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 4 pm and ending at noon, Monday, November 2. On Saturday, October 24, in addition to the clerk’s office, voting will also be available at Town Life Center, 603 Bond St., North Manchester, and Woodland United Methodist Church, 150 N. 2nd St., Somerset.
On Saturday, October 31 voting will also be available at the clerk’s office as well as Town Life Center, 603 Bond St., North Manchester and LaFontaine/Liberty Township Fire Department, 12 S. Wabash St., LaFontaine.