Postal Service to open staffed, outdoor ballot drop-off location downtown

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — If you have to wait until the last minute to mail in your ballots, and you are worried it might not make it, this time you just might be in luck.

The Postal Service has planned another way they hope will help make sure your vote gets counted.

As of Monday, almost 73% of Indiana’s mailed-in ballots had been received.

For weeks, the Postal Service has said if you plan to vote by mail, plan ahead. But Election Day is next week, and some Hoosiers still have not returned their ballots.

“This is an effort for us to be there for any voter who has waited until the last minute, to make sure their vote counts, too,” said Christi Johnson-Kennedy, acting district manager for the Greater Indiana District of the Postal Service.

This Saturday the Postal Service will have a staffed, outdoor ballot drop-off location. It’ll be at the main post office located at 125 W. South St., in downtown Indianapolis.

“As customers drive by, they can hand our employee the ballot. We will put a date stamp on that ballot. We will take them in at the end of the shift. We will sort them, we will tray them, we will prepare them to go to the appropriate election board right on the spot. It’ll be a very quick turnaround,” Johnson-Kennedy said.

Johnson-Kennedy told News 8 the Postal Service has done this for many years with tax returns, but this will be the first time they’ve done this in our area for ballots.

“We’re going to sort it right on the spot and it will be there. On Saturday, they’ll be ready for delivery on Sunday. Obviously we can’t deliver to the election board, but it’ll be staged and ready for delivery first thing Monday morning., Anything we take in Sunday will be staged and ready to be handed off to the election board on Monday morning. Anything we take in on Monday, they’ll have it Tuesday morning. Anything we take in Tuesday, they’re going to have it there before noon,” Johnson-Kennedy said.

Julia Vaughn with Common Cause Indiana told News 8 she feels Hoosiers will use the service.

“I know a lot of people who will rest easier knowing that they can hand-deliver that ballot to the post office and there’s no possibility that it will get lost, that it will be delayed and they can be sure their ballot will be counted on Election Day. I applaud the post office for this. I think it’s a great idea,” Vaughn said.

Staffers will follow social distance guidelines and wear personal protective equipment.

Johnson-Kennedy says Tuesday morning, only Marion County ballots will be accepted.

Your county election officials must receive your ballot by noon on Election Day.

Johnson-Kennedy told News 8 that the hours will be limited and they are still working out the specifics of the ballot drop-off location times.

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