Tight Auditor’s Race Featured in Pulaski County Primary

Pulaski County voters have narrowed down their list of candidates heading into November’s General Election. The tightest race of Tuesday’s primary was for county auditor. Incumbent Republican Laura Wheeler narrowly defeated challenger Tim Hoffa Jr. by a margin of 50.49-percent-to-49.51-percent or just 17 votes. Hoffa had led throughout the early returns, before Wheeler took the lead with the final vote center counted.

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Indiana Secretary of State Opposes Extending Deadline to Return Mail-In Ballots

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson is not in favor of extending the deadline for mail-in ballots to make it back to county clerk’s offices, in spite of concerns that thousands of votes could go uncounted. “There are 92 counties in this state, and we cannot change deadlines because somebody is too busy or whether it’s lack of preparation of getting the work done,” Lawson said during state officials’ COVID-19 press conference Friday. “So deadlines are there for security and accountability.”

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Indiana Distributing PPE for Poll Workers, Preparing for Large Number of Mail-In Ballots

Indiana’s primary election is coming up on June 2, and the state continues working to safely hold an election during a global pandemic. During state officials’ COVID-19 press conference Friday, Secretary of State Connie Lawson said her office has used federal CARES Act money to get personal protective equipment for poll workers and election staff in all 92 counties.

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Knox City Council to Consider Loans between City Funds to Prepare for COVID-19 Impact

The Knox City Council will take steps tonight to prepare for COVID-19’s impact on the city’s finances. Council members will consider temporary loans of $150,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax Fund to the General Fund and $35,000 from the Rainy Day Fund to the Motor Vehicle Highway Fund. Mayor Dennis Estok told the board of works Friday that MVH is expected to take a big hit.

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Indiana May Consider Holding Primary Election Entirely by Mail-In Ballot

The COVID-19 pandemic has left plans for this year’s primary election still up in the air. The Starke County Election Board has come up with a plan to combine polling places due to the public health emergency. But Clerk Bernadette Welter-Manuel says she’s hesitant to publicize it, since there’s a chance the state may do away with in-person voting entirely for the primary and require residents to vote by mail.

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Pulaski County to Take Absentee Ballot Requests by Facebook Message

The Pulaski County Clerk’s Office is accepting absentee ballot requests through its Facebook page. Any voter can choose to vote by mail in this year’s primary by filling out a request form and turning it in to county election officials by May 21 at 11:59 p.m. local time. Request forms can be found on the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office website.

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Pulaski County Election Board Finalizing Plans for Early Primary Voting

The Pulaski County Election Board is finalizing plans for early primary voting. Clerk JoLynn Behny explains, “Early voting will start in Pulaski County at the Justice Center on April 7. And the two Saturdays before [Election Day], we’ll be open, and then the two Saturdays before the election, we’ll have early voting set up in Francesville, as well.”

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Pulaski County Election Board to Implement Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail for Early Voting

Voting machines in Indiana will have to be able to give voters a printout of their choices by the end of 2029, but some Pulaski County voters will get to try it out during this year’s elections. The state has given the county 20 of the “voter verifiable paper audit trail” printers. That isn’t enough to equip all of the machines on Election Day, but Clerk JoLynn Behny says the election board has decided to roll them out for early voting.

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