I-Team 8

How to correctly fill out your absentee ballot

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One million Hoosiers are expected to vote in the general election with mail-in absentee ballots. Several Indiana counties are finding ballot errors being made by both the voter and the election board.

Absentee ballots will arrive in the mail in slightly larger envelopes; many counties are using manila envelopes. All mail-in absentee ballots are well marked and if you asked for the ballot it should be no surprise that one was delivered to your house.

Inside you will find the ballot, the ballot card, a return envelope and the state secrecy sleeve or what is also called the write-in ballot sleeve.

Let’s start with the ballot and ballot card.  If you are voting for President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden, you will want to find the corresponding number on the ballot and fill in that circle. Many county clerks suggest a pencil in the event you mark the wrong number. Once you have completed the ballot and double checked it you can use a pen.  

On the back side of the ballot card at the bottom there is a county seal and two initials, the card must have all three when it arrives in your mailbox. If any one of the three are missing contact your county clerk for a replacement.

I-team 8 called all of the surrounding county clerks Thursday morning and found Hamilton County has had 20 ballot cards go out to voters with missing initials. Boone, Johnson and Hendricks counties all had less than 10.

Once you have your ballot completed, place it in the state secrecy sleeve, here again, this must have a county stamp and two initials, if either are missing, call your county clerk and request another ballot.

The ballot and sleeve go into the absentee security envelope. Three things you must do is make sure the envelope is for the general election, the date of the election should be listed as Nov. 3, 2020 and you must sign your signature. Make sure you sign it properly because the county clerk’s office has to compare this signature with the one on your mail-in absentee ballot application.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct.  22. Mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day in order to count.