FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Covid-19s impact on elections has raised concerns about whether your vote will count in 2020. There were concerns about USPS mail delivery delays and households receiving multiple ballots for people who don’t even live there, but election and political officals say there's little to worry about when voting in Allen County, that includes absentee voting.
Director of Elections in Allen County Beth Dlug says both a Republican and Democrat are working together to count votes, so intentionally defrauding the voting system would be hard to accomplish here locally.
"It would take quite a bit to do something on a widespread scale fraud," Dlug said. "It would require people to work in collusion with each other, especially people from different parties because of this bipartisan nature of how we handle things."
Dlug says when talking about mail-in voting fraud, the biggest thing to look for is ballot harvesting, which is when someone drops off a ballot for someone else not in their household. Unlike in other states, that’s illegal in Indiana and they check the ID of people handing in ballots.
The envelopes used for mailing purposes don’t contain any personal information and the envelopes that do contain personal information are put inside the mailing envelope for extra security.
Chairman of the Allen County Republican Party Steve Shine has no concerns about voter fraud this year, especially because mail-in voting is limited to certain people in Indiana.
Shine said, "There has been nothing in Allen County that has ever given us any suspicion or reason to believe that our votes are not safe, whether that's done through the electronic voting machine or whether it's done through absentee balloting."
Allen County Democratic Chairwoman Misti Meehan feels the same, but believes mail-in voting is safe and should be allowed.
"Everything that the Allen County Election Board does is on the up-and-up. Every time they have to do anything where there's teams and Democrats and Republicans they are always present," Meehan explained. "I just don't have a lot of concerns in Allen County that perhaps a lot of the rest of the country or perhaps other parts of the state are facing."
Other security concerns like hacking voting machines don’t concern Shine or Meehan either.
Dlug says now that we’re out of lock down, the Allen County Election Board hasn’t pushed for no excuse absentee voting, and believes what they did during the primary will help keep everyone safe.
"All of the safeguards that we put into place which we intend to continue to use for the general election we believe that that will keep our voters and their workers safe," Dlug said.
If you are someone who is eligible and choosing to voting by mail, you’re encouraged to apply for your ballot and return it as soon as possible.
Shine said county Republican HQ will be adding safeguards for people who need rides to the polls on election day. Meehan says Democratic HQ won’t be driving people to the polls to protect everyone from covid-19, but if you are “prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls,” you are eligible to vote by mail.