EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — During Tuesday’s June primary, many voters showed up at Washington Square Mall and across Indiana to cast their ballots the traditional way.
The primary was originally scheduled for May 5 but was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the mall, Eyewitness News saw most voters wearing masks and some also wearing gloves. All polling staff were required to wear masks and gloves, and they practiced social distancing whenever possible. Hand sanitizer was also available.
Currently, Indiana state law does not require masks or other personal protective gear in order to vote, and citizens can’t be turned away from voting if they show up without it as long as they meet the necessary requirements to vote and are carrying a government or state issued photo ID.
Dave Schwambach says he and his wife considered voting by absentee ballot, but still decided to vote in person.
“It was different. They have marked it out with social distancing like all of our stores and businesses, the essential businesses, but they’ve laid it out very easy to just come and vote,” Schwambach said.
Election officials allowed for more voting by mail in the primary, but the process didn’t go smoothly for everyone.
Dana Howard Bauer says she had trouble getting an absentee ballot. She tried twice, but never had one mailed to her, so she chose to vote in person.
“I called the election board and they said it must have been received late, but I just never got it. I even sent in the request two weeks in advance,” Bauer said.
Bauer says she has never missed an election and wouldn’t miss one now, even with the virus. Bauer says it was unusual to have to socially distance apart from other voters, because she enjoys being close and chatting with others while waiting.
The mall’s election inspector says the turnout was higher than anticipated. Around 5:30 p.m., voting machines had counted over 1,030 votes.
(This story was originally published on June 2, 2020)