Here’s what you need to know about Absentee Voting:
To vote absentee-by-mail in Indiana, a voter must be able to personally mark their own ballot and sign their name to the completed ballot security envelope and have a reason to request an absentee vote-by-mail ballot:
- 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).
- You have a disability.
- You are at least 65 years of age.
- You will have official election duties outside of your voting precinct.
- You are scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- 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.
- You are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- You are a participant in the state’s address confidentiality program.
- You are a member of the military or a public safety officer.
- You are a “serious sex offender” as defined in Indiana Code 35-42-4-14(a).
- You are prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls.
A voter applying for an absentee-by-mail ballot does not need to present proof of identification. However, a first time voter in Indiana who registered to vote by mail and did not provide proof of residency will be asked to include that evidence with their absentee balloting materials. This can be a state-issued ID where the address matches their registration, but can also be a bank statement, utility bill, etc.
Finally, a voter does need to file an application before each election for which the individual wants to vote absentee-by-mail.
How to Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot
To vote absentee by mail, a voter must first complete an ABS-Mail (En Espanol) application before each election. The application to request a vote-by-mail ballot must be received not later than 11:59PM, 12-days before the election.
Important! The county or the state must have the application in their possession by this deadline; any application received after this deadline – even if it’s postmarked before the deadline – cannot be processed.
Voters can download and print the ABS-Mail form OR call their county election official or the Indiana Election Division at (317) 232-3939 for an application to be mailed to the voter OR visit their county election office or election division to pick-up an application in-person. Remember, the application must be in the possession of election officials by the deadline to be processed for the election.
Hoosier voters who are currently registered to vote can file an absentee application:
1/ Online at indianavoters.com by logging in to their “my voter portal page” by entering the requested information exactly as it appears on their voter registration record. When on the main landing page, the voter selects the “ABS-Mail (Por Correo)” option and enters the information as prompted. After clicking “submit,” a confirmation screen appears that allows the voter to download and retain a copy for their records. There is no need to sign and return the online submission since the system applies the voter’s registration signature to the application on the back-end.
2/ By mail or hand-delivery. Physical addresses to the county election boards are found on the back of the ABS-Mail application. Please contact their office directly to determine office hours. Remember, if you take custody of another’s absentee ballot application, you are to deliver it to the election official not later than noon, ten (10) days after receiving it OR the application deadline, whichever comes first.
3/ By email. This requires the voter to print, sign, and scan or photograph their absentee ballot application and send it to the county official or the Indiana Election Division at email@example.com.
A voter with disabilities may request that another person sign the voter’s name on their behalf on the application. The person providing the assistance may not be the voter’s employer or union representative and must complete the affidavit of assistance found on the application. If the assistor is the voter’s power of attorney (POA), the POA paperwork should be submitted with the application.
Returning your Absentee-By-Mail Ballot
If your application is reviewed and approved by bi-partisan county election officials, a ballot packet is mailed to you. This packet will include your ballot, the absentee voter bill of rights, and a first class postage pre-paid return security envelope.
The voter must be able to personally mark their own ballot but may have assistance with placing the ballot inside the envelope and sealing it. (Be sure the assistor completes the affidavit of assistance!) The voter should sign the ballot envelope (or make their mark) on the signature line. A voter’s power of attorney (POA) may attest to the voter’s signature but is to enclose their POA with the ballot materials inside the security envelope and complete the affidavit found on the absentee return envelope.
County election officials must receive an absentee-by-mail ballot not later than 6:00 p.m. (local prevailing time) on Election Day. County election officials must have possession of the ballot by this deadline; postmarks – even if dated on or before the date of the election – cannot be considered timely
Finally, pursuant to state law, only the voter, the voter’s attorney-in-fact, a bonded courier, or a member of the voter’s immediate household may hand-deliver a completed absentee ballot to the county election board. Any person other than the voter doing so is to complete the ABS-19 affidavit.
Troubleshooting Absentee-By-Mail Ballot Issues
Before Election Day, a voter who has an absentee application on file can fix most issues by filing an ABS-5 form with county election officials. Examples include spoiling a ballot because the voter made an error, mistakenly signing your name on your spouse’s ballot envelope, forgetting to sign your ballot envelope, or receiving the wrong ballot or a ballot lacking two sets of initials.
However, in the primary election, a voter may not use the ABS-5 to switch parties. Once an absentee application is on file for the election, the party selection cannot be changed. On Election Day, a voter who requested an absentee ballot but never received it in the mail may complete the PRE-5 affidavit at their polling location and vote a regular ballot, if otherwise qualified; OR
A voter may surrender their absentee ballot to the Inspector, who can then issue a regular ballot, if the voter is otherwise qualified; OR
A voter who had their absentee ballot rejected by county officials may appear before the county election board not later than 5PM on Election Day to request an ABS-21 form and then go to their polling place to vote a regular ballot, if otherwise qualified.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR THE FALL ELECTION:
Saturday, September 24, 2022
DEADLINE for county election board to mail absentee ballots to voters who have already filed an approved application with circuit court clerk.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
VOTER REGISTRATION ENDS
DEADLINE at voter registration office’s close of business for a voter to apply to register or transfer registration or at midnight for a voter to complete and submit a voter registration application online.
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
First day that a voter may vote an absentee ballot in the office of the circuit court clerk or satellite office.
Friday, October 14, 2022
End of pre-election campaign finance reporting period.
Thursday, October 20, 2022
First day a confined voter, a voter caring for a confined person at a private residence, or a voter with disabilities may vote an absentee ballot before an absentee voter board at the voter’s residence or place of confinement.
Friday, October 21, 2022
DEADLINE, by noon, to file pre-election campaign finance reports.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
DEADLINE, by 11:59 pm, for the circuit court clerk to receive an absentee ballot application from an applicant requesting delivery of a ballot by mail. Applications may be submitted to the circuit court clerk in person or by mail, fax, email, or online through the Indiana Voter Portal at indianavoters.com.
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Office of the circuit court clerk must be open at least seven (7) hours to permit in-person absentee voting. However, in a county with a population of less than 20,000, the county election board may reduce hours to a minimum of four (4) hours on this date. Vote center counties must also have at least one vote center used on Election Day open for in-person early voting, in addition to the office of the circuit court clerk.
Saturday, November 5, 2022
Office of the circuit court clerk must be open for at least seven (7) hours to permit in-person absentee voting. However, in a county with a population of less than 20,000, the county election board may reduce hours to a minimum of four (4) hours on this date. Vote center counties must also have at least one vote center used on Election Day open for in-person early voting, in addition to the office of the circuit court clerk.
Monday, November 7, 2022
DEADLINE, by noon, for circuit court clerks to receive absentee ballot applications from confined voters or voters caring for a confined person requesting delivery of a ballot by absentee voter board. Applications may be submitted to the circuit court clerk in person or by mail, fax, email, or online through the Indiana Voter Portal at indianavoters.com.
DEADLINE, by noon, for a circuit court clerk to receive Federal Post Card Applications (FPCA) from military/overseas voters or an application from a voter with print disabilities requesting to vote
by email or fax.
DEADLINE, by noon, for a voter to vote an absentee ballot in the office of the circuit court clerk or satellite office.
DEADLINE for a confined voter, a voter caring for a confined person, or a voter with disabilities to vote an absentee ballot before an absentee voter board at the voter’s place of confinement.
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
GENERAL ELECTION DAY
Polls are open 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., prevailing local time.