The Grant County Election Board held a meeting at the end of August in order to get public input regarding the implementation of vote centers, which were to be placed all around the county and open to all Grant County residents, no matter where they happen to reside.
There have now been eleven vote centers approved for the 2020 General Election.
Part of the argument for these vote centers is that, if someone happens to live in Van Buren or Matthews but works in Marion, that person would have the option of choosing a vote center closest to their workplace in Marion. The idea is to make voting a more convenient task by offering the ability to vote at any of the eleven centers. These vote center options will hopefully also allow Grant County residents who work during the day more of an opportunity to cast their vote before the time the polls close at 6:00PM
(As a reminder, if you have not yet registered to vote in this year’s election, you can still do so through October 5th at https://ch27.tv/register-to-vote)
If you are a Grant County resident, these are the places you will be able to vote on election day, November 3rd, 2020, from 6:00AM until 6:00PM:
- Grant County YMCA
123 Sutter Way, Marion
- Calvary Social Brethren Church
304 N Miller Ave, Marion
- St. Paul Baptist Church
1204 W 14th St, Marion
- Lakeview Wesleyan Church
5316 S Western Ave, Marion
- Eastview Wesleyan Church
414 N 10th St, Gas City
- Westview Wesleyan Church
130 W 6th St, Jonesboro
- “THE SHELTER” at the Playacres Park
300 E Madison St, Fairmont
- Upland Community Church
439 W Berry Ave, Upland
- Liberty Baptist Church
517 Church St, Sweetser
- Swayzee Church of the Nazarene
2560 S 800 W, Swayzee
- Van Buren United Methodist Church
105 S 2nd St, Van Buren
(Update: This list was updated at 1:30PM on 9/22/20, because the original list given to us by the Clerk’s office was incorrect. We originally had Swayzee United Methodist Church as a vote center, but that was incorrect. Swayzee United Methodist Church is NOT a vote center this year. We have also added the Van Buren location to the list, as it had been left out of the original list we received.)
The Grant County Election Board has also designated locations, dates, and times for early in-person voting.
Starting on October 6th, Grant County residents can vote early by going to the Courthouse, Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM until 4:00PM. This option will be available through November 2nd. (Voting on November 2nd will close at 12:00PM.)
There will also be two Saturdays before election day designated as early voting days: October 24th and October 31st. On those two Saturdays, you can vote early at either the Courthouse or Westview Wesleyan Church from 8:00AM until 3:00PM.
If you are unable to get to the Courthouse for early voting, or if you are unable to get to a vote center on election day, you have a few options.
First, Marion’s bus services will help you get to a voting location both on and before election day. According to the service, you can request these rides by calling ahead of time.
Marion Transit will provide service on a call-ahead basis to voters who need transportation on and around Election Day this year. The general election takes place on November 3rd, 2020. The goal of Marion Transit is to provide service to each and every citizen in need of transportation while they continue to operate under special protocol. Marion Transit continues health precautions until further notice by providing service only to residents who call from 24 hours up to a week in advance. To schedule service with Marion Transit for your specific need, call 765-668-4445. Thank you.
Second, if you can’t get to a vote center or the Courthouse in any way, the Traveling Absentee Board may be the best option for you. Here is how you can take advantage of this option in the state of Indiana:
Absentee voting by travel board is an option for some voters to have a bi-partisan team deliver the voter’s ballot and assist the person with completing their ballot during the 19-day period before the election. In order to vote absentee-by-traveling board, one of the following must apply:
1. The voter expects to be confined, due to illness or injury, or the voter expects to be caring for a confined person at a private residence, on Election Day.
2. The voter is a voter with disabilities and believes their polling place is not accessible to them.
3. The voter is physically unable to complete the ballot and sign the affidavit on their own.
Voters voting by traveling board are NOT required to show photo ID and must complete an ABS-Traveling Board application before each election. The application to request a travel board must be received not later than noon (local prevailing time), the day before the Election, or November 2, 2020.
If you wish to apply for help via the Traveling Absentee Board, you can download and print the application here: ABS –Travel Board: Application for Travel Absentee Ballot
If you are unable to get the application for the Traveling Absentee Board online, you can call the Indiana Election Division at (317) 232-3939, or the Grant County Elections Board at (765) 664-9880, and request that an application be mailed to you.
Of course, voting absentee by mail is also an option that many people around the state will take advantage of this year, especially if a person is at a higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. In the state of Indiana, a person must fill out an application in order to get their mail-in absentee ballot, and they must meet at least one of the following conditions in order to qualify:
1. You have a specific, reasonable expectation that you will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open (6 am until 6 pm).
2. You have a disability.
3. You are at least 65 years of age.
4. You will have official election duties outside of your voting precinct.
5. You are scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
6. You will be confined due to illness or injury or you will be caring for an individual confined due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
7. You are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
8. You are a participant in the state’s address confidentiality program.
9. You are a member of the military or a public safety officer.
10. You are a “serious sex offender” as defined in Indiana Code 35-42-4-14(a).
11. You are prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls.
Unfortunately, concerns about COVID-19 will not be a valid excuse in order to get a mail-in ballot in the state of Indiana (even though it is considered acceptable in other states this fall).
You can find your application for an absentee mail-in ballot here (to download, print, and mail in): ABS-MAIL: Application for Absentee Ballot
This application for an absentee mail-in ballot must be received by the Clerk’s Office by noon on October 22nd. You can turn the application in by either sending it in the mail to the address provided, or you can hand it in in-person at the Clerk’s Office. If you cannot download and print your application online, you may also get a copy of the application at the Clerk’s Office.
If you are approved for an absentee mail-in ballot, it will be sent to you at the address you have provided on the application. The state started sending out mail-in ballots to voters on September 19th.
The mail-in ballot should be sent back as soon as possible and must be received by the Grant County Clerk’s Office by no later than noon on election day, November 3rd, in order to be counted. Nevertheless, the earlier you submit your ballot, the more rest assured you can be that your vote will be counted.
If you have any questions about voting this fall, we at Channel 27 News would love to help, as best we can. If you have a question, feel free to message or email our editor-in-chief, Chaylee N. Brock. You can contact her through Facebook Messenger at https://www.facebook.com/chaylee.brock.33 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact the Grant County Election Board at (765) 664-9880, or the Grant County Clerk’s Office at (765) 668-8121, and they will help answer whatever questions you may have. The Indiana Election Division can also be reached at (317) 232-3939.
Happy election season, everyone! Let’s make our voices heard this year!