US Election 2020: What You Need to Know to Safely Cast Your Vote

August 2020

There has been a good deal of information posted on social media regarding in-person and absentee voting for the upcoming general election, and most of it I found to be utterly confusing or partially inaccurate. To set the record straight, I contacted Boone County Clerk Jessica Fouts to learn more about how registered voters can safely vote amid the pandemic, where they can vote and how early they can vote to avoid long queues at the polls on Nov. 3, 2020.

Voting via Absentee Ballot

Listed on the Boone County Clerk’s Office webpage are the links for all things related to this year’s general election, including the links for absentee mail-in voting applications.

I received some emails from folks wanting to know the election office’s definition of “confined” and if claiming confinement due to COVID-19 is a legitimate reason to apply for absentee or would it be considered voter fraud. Being a high-risk member of the population myself, I thought it prudent to ask, on behalf of these readers, how the election office views the definition of confinement.

“There are 12 reasons listed on the application that qualify someone for absentee voting by mail,” Fouts explained. “Marking ‘confined’ should be because you can’t leave your residence for reasons like being quarantined. People can apply to vote absentee for reasons like being out of the county visiting a family member or being over the age of 65 years.”

The deadline for absentee ballots is Oct. 22, 2020, but be advised that waiting until the 11th hour could be too late. By the time the ballot would be mailed and received, then completed and mailed to Fouts’ office, it may not arrive on or before election day. Ballots received after Nov. 3 will not be counted.

Expect Social Distancing and Safety Protocols at the Polls

In-person voters can expect the same distancing and safety protocols that they experienced at the polls during the primary election with the added requirement of masks so as long as the governor’s mask mandate remains in effect. Fouts stressed that if the mandate is lifted by the governor on or before the election, poll workers cannot force an individual to wear a mask or social distance.

“We will have the plexiglass dividers, marks on the ground [for social distancing] and hand sanitizers like we did for the primary last spring,” Fouts shared. “We will also have masks for the poll workers, but if the governor ends the mandate before Election Day, we can’t require or enforce any of that.”

Fouts added, “If you’re worried about the crowds or about transmission of COVID-19, then I would encourage you to vote early. You can walk into the courtroom on a Tuesday afternoon and be in and out in a matter of minutes.”

Take Advantage of Early Voting

Boone County is offering nine early-voting locations for this general election at least a week before the election on Nov. 3, 2020.

“We have a full month [of early voting] at the courthouse,” Fouts said. “We’re open from Oct. 6 through Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, and then we have a full week of multiple sites in Boone County the last week before election day that include the Whitestown Municipal Building and Zionsville Town Hall.”

Historically, Zionsville Meadows was another polling site, but for obvious reasons related to the nature of the facility being senior care-related and due to COVID-19 preventative measures, the election board is seeking an alternate polling location and will announce that secondary location in Zionsville in early September.

When asked where people can go to download an absentee ballot application or to find the list of days and times polling sites are open in Boone County, Fouts replied, “People can visit the Boone County Clerk’s page, and there is a link on the homepage that says ‘Elections.’ Indianavoters.in.gov is the state website, and people can find election information on that site as well.”

For more information on how to register to vote, how to apply for an absentee mail-in voting application and for all other election-related questions and topics, visit boonecounty.in.gov/Offices/Clerk/Election-Information.

Boone County 2020 General Election Early Voting Dates and Locations

Absentee Voting at the Courthouse

October 6th – October 30th 2020

(M-F) 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, October 24th

Boone County Courthouse                            

Courthouse                                                     

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Whitestown Municipal Building                   

6210 S 700 E Whitestown                             

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Zionsville Town Hall                                     

1100 W Oak St. Zionsville                             

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

October 26th, 27th, 28th

Boone County Courthouse                            

Courthouse                                                     

8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Whitestown Municipal Building                   

6210 S 700 E Whitestown                             

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Zionsville Town Hall                                     

1100 W Oak St. Zionsville                            

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

October 29th & 30th

Boone County Courthouse                            

Courthouse                                                     

8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Zionsville Town Hall                                     

1100 W Oak St.Zionsville                             

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Zionsville Location                                       TO BE DETERMINED                              

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Boone County Senior Services                      

515 Crown Pointe Dr. Lebanon                  

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Whitestown Municipal Building                   

6210 S 700 E Whitestown                             

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Freedom Church                                            

2601 Indianapolis Ave. Lebanon                

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thorntown Public Library                             

124 N Market St. Thorntown                       

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Jamestown Municipal Building                     

421 E Main St. Jamestown                            

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Elizaville Christian Church                           

5745 N 500 E Lebanon                                 

1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 31st

Boone County Courthouse                            

Courthouse                                                     

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Zionsville Town Hall                                     

1100 W Oak St.Zionsville                             

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Whitestown Municipal Building                   

6210 S 700 E Whitestown                             

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

November 4th, 2020

Boone County Courthouse                            

Courthouse                                                     

8 a.m. – noon

www.boonecounty.in.gov              765-482-3510              [email protected] 

Boone County 2020 General Election Vote Center Locations November 5th, 2020

Boone County Courthouse                            

Rotunda in the Courthouse                       

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Zionsville Town Hall                                     

1100 W Oak St.Zionsville                            

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Boone County Senior Services                      

515 Crown Pointe Dr. Lebanon                 

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Freedom Church                                            

2601 Indianapolis Ave. Lebanon               

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Zionsville Location                                       TO BE DETERMINED                              

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Whitestown Municipal Building                   

6210 S 700 E Whitestown                            

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thorntown Public Library                             

124 N Market St. Thorntown                      

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Jamestown Municipal Building                     

421 E Main St. Jamestown                           

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Advance Community Christian Church        

305 N Main St. Advance                              

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Elizaville Christian Church                            

5745 N 500 E Lebanon                                 

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Please feel free to contact the Clerk’s office at the information provided below.    

www.boonecounty.in.gov              765-482-3510              [email protected]