I-Team 8

Applications for mail-in absentee ballots arriving in some area mailboxes

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Because of the pandemic, Holly Erdmann had planned on voting with a mail-in absentee ballot.

“This is the way I wanted to do it,” Erdmann said Thursday.

She had not yet requested the Hendricks County Clerk’s Office send her an absentee ballot, so she was more than a little surprise when an application for a mail-in absentee ballot showed up in her mailbox.

“When I opened it up these were all attached. There are two different applications for absentee ballots. It asked some questions that I kind of didn’t think would be on a request for an absentee ballot,” Erdmann said.

The applications were mailed from an office in downtown Indianapolis. She assumed that if she had requested a mail-in ballot, it would have come from her county clerk’s office.

With all of the internet chatter about voter fraud and ballot harvesting, she assumed the application was fake. The language on the envelope didn’t help calm her suspicions.

“Almost a scare tactic,” Erdmann said.

I-Team 8 took the mail-in absentee ballot application that Erdmann received to the Hendricks County Clerk’s Office in Danville.

“I have not found any that are fraudulent,” said Hendricks County Clerk Debbie Hoskins.

If Erdmann had filled out the application, it would have been sent to the Indiana Election Division. The state agency in Indianapolis would have in turn sent the application to Hendricks County, which has already received hundreds of the applications.

The clerk said, “We have been delivered large envelopes with a lot of these applications to vote by mail.”

The applications can be sent to voters by any political party or interested group that is willing to pay to the postage and printing cost. Through Wednesday, more than 515,000 mail-in absentee ballots have been sent out statewide for the Nov. 3 election.

Hoskins said, “The best thing they can do is call their county clerk’s office when they receive something like that to find out if it is legit.”

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