Holcomb Assures Hoosiers Voting In-Person Is Safe, Despite COVID-19 Surge

Oct 30, 2020

Indiana sent counties enough PPE to ensure every poll worker has masks, face shields, gloves and sanitizing equipment.
Credit (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb insists Hoosiers are safe at polling places across the state amid the ongoing pandemic. That’s despite a record new number of COVID-19 cases, long lines at the polls and some county clerks who refuse to follow Holcomb’s mask-wearing order.

Indiana sent counties enough PPE to ensure every poll worker has masks, face shields, gloves and sanitizing equipment. There’s also enough masks to provide them to voters who show up to the polls without one.

But many polling places aren’t requiring voters to have a mask and at least one clerk – in Fountain County – refuses to require their employees to mask up.

READ MORE: Can I Vote By Mail? Here's What You Need To Know For Indiana's Elections

Indiana Public Broadcasting is a partner with ProPublica's Electionland, a nationwide media collaboration to track voting problems and election integrity. If you have experienced or witnessed any problems when casting your ballot, text the word "vote" to 81380 to share your experience.

Still, Holcomb insists voting is safe, if Hoosiers take precautions.

“Well, they should be concerned and they should mask up and they should physically distance,” Holcomb said.

And with more than 1 million votes cast in-person, Holcomb said there haven’t been COVID-19 outbreaks at the polls.

“We’ve been doing tracing on this," Holcomb said. "I haven’t seen any reports come across my desk that are tracing back to lines.”

Republicans refused to expand vote-by-mail for this year’s general election.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.