Zody statement on primary election announcement

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody issued the following statement after the major political parties reached an agreement regarding the May 5 primary election.

“This is an unprecedented time for our state and nation. Hoosier Democrats believe that holding the election on May 5 and expanding the right to vote through mail-in options was the appropriate decision. However, it has become clear the window for that to happen is quickly closing and we must first be concerned about the health and safety of the public. 

“Accordingly, Hoosier Democrats have reached an agreement with our Republican counterparts to move the May 5 primary to June 2. Republicans have agreed to join a bipartisan petition to the Election Commission for an unprecedented expansion of vote by mail for the primary election. That includes petitioning the Indiana Election Commission to: move to no-fault absentee voting; develop an email option to submit an application to vote by mail; allow any ballots already in motion for the May primary to be counted in June; expand options for how ballots are transported and who may serve on a traveling board; and keep the absentee window open now through the June election.

“Both agreements will require the unanimous approval of the Indiana Election Commission, which is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans.

“This is about ensuring the safety of Hoosier voters and election workers. There’s no assurance the pandemic threat will pass by June 2 and the Trump administration is projecting a timetable of 18 months or longer. To that end, we believe a primary election conducted almost completely by mail is the safest option and Hoosier Democrats will continue to work toward that goal.

“This agreement will lead to a historic expansion of Hoosiers’ voting rights. We fully expect every Hoosier that wants to vote by mail in the June 2 primary, to be able. It will bring down barriers to the ballot box and throw open the door to freer, fairer elections in the Hoosier state.”