Election Board prepping for General Election
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
The Harrison County Election Board met Friday morning to start preparations for the upcoming General Election, set to take place Tuesday, Nov. 3. Carrie Herthel, administrator of the Harrison County Health Dept., was on hand to advise board members on best strategies and practices for how to handle each polling location during the pandemic.
“The best strategy is to create one directional flow of traffic,” Herthel explained to the board. “Ideally, everyone should be entering from one direction and leaving another. Masks and social distancing are important as well.”
After discussing the amount of workers present at each polling place, the board voted unanimously to add a poll worker, in the inspector role, to each location that doesn’t have each precinct represented by an inspector. This will ensure that there will be an inspector for each precinct at a poll controlling that specific binder of names, and there should be no confusion regarding who is in charge of which precinct set. There will still be one clerk and one judge working from each party at each poll location.
The board also agreed on printing out larger signage signaling where each precinct’s line will be. This is intended to create a smoother process for voters in understanding where they are required to line up in order to receive their ballot.
Currently, Harrison County has close to 900 absentee ballot requests. This number is much higher than normal, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and many people wanting to remain away from the polls on election day. There are many reasons a voter could opt to receive an absentee ballot, including they are 65 or older; they have a reasonable expectation they will be out of the county on election day; and they are confined due to illness or injury. The entire list can be found at www.in.gov/sos/elections/2402.htm. These mail-in absentee ballots must be submitted on or before Oct. 22.
Voters can also opt to vote early and in-person at the Harrison County Court House. Early voting will be available from Oct. 6 to Nov. 2. The office will be open to voting during those dates Tuesday through Friday of the first week and then Monday through Friday after that from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be extended hours offered Oct. 22 and 29 from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and also on Oct. 24 and 31 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
All municipalities are also required to conduct a public test of their voting equipment before each election. A public test is a way to verify the programming of equipment by feeding a set of pre-marked ballots, or a test deck, into the machine and reviewing the results tape that is generated at the end of this process. The test deck will include ballots with votes for all candidates and contests on the ballot. An errorless count is required at the conclusion of the process.
Harrison County will test its equipment Monday beginning at 10 a.m. at the courthouse in downtown Corydon. The public is welcome to view the process.
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5. Anyone interested in registering can go to the Harrison County Clerk’s office at the courthouse or by going online to indianavoters.in.gov. All that is required is a valid Indiana Driver’s License or an Indiana State Identification Card.