Election

Postal Service to take ‘extraordinary efforts’ to find Marion County missing ballots

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Postal workers in the Greater Indiana District said beginning Monday they will take extraordinary measures to find missing ballots.

This comes as the U.S. Postal Service continues its investigation into reports of missing absentee ballots across Marion County.

“We don’t know exactly what happened,” said acting district manager Christie Johnson-Kennedy.

Johnson-Kennedy said the Postal Service is looking closely at all of its processes from printing to inception to find out where there may be possible gaps.

In the meantime, she said if you’re one of the many voters who still doesn’t have your absentee ballot, your local election board can help.

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Election officials said those voters can still cast ballots in person, or request a replacement by filling out form ABS-5. However, some voters tell News 8 they’ve done that and still have not received a new ballot.

Johnson-Kennedy said on top of extra efforts beginning next week, there are already postal workers dedicated to searching for ballots all across the state.

“It is hurtful when we see that people don’t have the confidence in us and we are doing everything we can to make sure that the citizens know, it’s OK; have confidence,” said Johnson-Kennedy.

The post office’s Greater Indiana District in a Friday night email provided details on those “extraordinary measures” both to find ballots and to help voters returned their completed ballots:

“With a record number of people across the country voting by mail, the U.S. Postal Service’s number one priority between now and the November election is the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail.

Consistent with practices in past election cycles, the use of extraordinary measures beyond the normal course of operations is authorized and expected to be executed by local management between October 26 and November 24 to accelerate the delivery of ballots, when the Postal Service is able to identify the mailpiece as a ballot. Indianapolis District postal management will offer drive-by ballot drop service at our downtown location beginning October 31 and through November 3.  We will look at other high traffic locations to determine if there is a need for additional drive by drops.

Personal Protective Equipment and social distancing procedures will be required for both postal employees and customers as we work to provide this service for our community.

We will provide updated information, including hours, as Election Day gets closer.”

Voters who have not received absentee ballots requested more than two weeks ago can request a new ballot by filling out form ABS-5.

Here is the process for Marion County voters:

  • Print and sign the form, and return the signed copy to the Marion County Election Board at elections@indy.gov using the subject line “ABS-5 Request for Ballot Reissue.”
  • You can hand deliver or mail your completed ABS-5 form to 3737 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46201
  • You can fax your completed ABS-5 form to 317-327-4815.
  • You can call the Election Board at 317-327-5100 and press option 1, and then option 1 again to speak with Election Board staff to initiate the process of having your ballot reissued.

You can also vote in person at an early voting location or Election Day vote center. You must submit an affidavit stating you did not receive an absentee ballot.

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