Teacher explains process of voting in June 2 primary

Twilleager notes procedure for casting absentee ballot


Cathedran file photo

In her classroom on the second floor of Kelly Hall, social studies teacher Mrs. Jill Twilleager visits with former student Stephen Vukovits ’17.

Ava Amos, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Voters would have been on their way to the polls on May 5 casting their votes for the primary election; however, COVID-19 had other plans. With voting moved to June 2 due to the virus, more students – if they registered to vote before the May 4 deadline — now have the opportunity to cast their first vote.

Social studies teacher Mrs. Jill Twilleager, who also is the faculty moderator of the State champion We the People team, provided information on how to request and cast an absentee ballot for students who may not want to go to the polls on Election Day.

For those who don’t know, an absentee ballot is a vote cast by someone who is unable or unwilling to go to the official polling station. “You can go to indianavoters.in.gov or you can go to the Indiana government site and you request a ballot. You have to fill out an application in order to request the absentee ballot,” Twilleager said.

If someone has already requested an absentee ballot for the original election date of May 5, then they are already set for the June election. However, if one hasn’t requested a ballot, then the local election board of their county must receive the application by May 21 before midnight. When voting in the primary elections, voters aren’t voting for the president; rather, they are choosing who the candidates are going to be for the general election on Nov 3. “You’re choosing the Republican and the Democratic candidates who will then be competing against each other when the general election comes in November. And in the state of Indiana, Indiana is what we call an open primary, which means that you do not have to have yourself deemed a Republican or a Democrat prior to going to the polls.

“But when you get there you will have to claim one of the two parties, Republican or Democrat, and you will only be given one of the ballots. Ballots aren’t just by office, but they’re by parties. If you ask for a republican ballot then you will only be looking at the Republican candidates that are running for that office, same for Democrats,” Twilleager said.

When the absentee ballot form is pulled up on the site, at the bottom of the application the website will give the exact address for each county to send it to. “You’re sending them to your county clerk office. The clerk’s office is the one (that’s local) that processes ballots and voter registration,” Twilleager said.

In Indiana you really do not have to have a specified reason as to why you need an absentee ballot.”

— Mrs. Jill Twilleager

She added, “In Indiana you really do not have to have a specified reason as to why you need an absentee ballot. So you don’t actually have to be absent from the area on the day of the election (to request a ballot). Like right now with COVID-19, if people do not feel comfortable to go to the polls in June, that’s enough of a reason.”

Twilleager wanted seniors to know that since many of them will no longer be in Indiana come election time in November, it’s important for them to know that they will need to apply for an absentee ballot if it will be difficult for them to travel back to their homes in November.

College students also have the option of changing their home address on their voter registration and casting their ballot where they are living in November. For example, a student t Indiana University in Bloomington may keep their registration address at their home and vote absentee in November or change it to their college address and vote at a precinct in Bloomington on Election Day.