Indiana moves primary election to June 2


Indiana primary voters may go to the polls in early May, but that doesn’t mean that their votes don’t matter. Here’s everything you need to know about the primary. Wochit

Gov. Eric Holcomb says the primary election will be moved from May 5 to June 2.

Holcomb and Secretary of State Connie Lawson and the leaders of the Indiana Republican and Democratic parties made the announcement at 11:30 a.m. today.

All deadlines will be moved forward 28 days for the June 2 primary. For example, overseas ballots will be due 45 days before the primary.

All Hoosiers will have the option to mail in ballots.

“The right of citizens to elect their leaders in a free and open election is one of the cornerstones of America,” Holcomb said.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican like Holcomb, said steps are being taken so that every eligible voter will be given an opportunity to vote but that “it will be a learning process for all of us.”

Lawson said June 2 will provide time for both parties to prepare ahead of their state conventions later in June. She said she can’t speculate whether the June 2 date could be pushed back.

Lawson said steps will be taken to keep poll workers safe, and the state is in contact with the CDC about recommendations.

GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer said Republicans are considering contingency plans for the state convention. He said all options will be on the table.

Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said the party also is talking about alternatives for the state convention June 13.

In all, 23 states, including Indiana, have yet to hold primaries or caucuses. 

Six states have pushed forward their nominating contests. Georgia will vote May 19, Maryland, Ohio and Connecticut June 2, Louisiana June 20 and Kentucky June 23. Wyoming Democrats, scheduled to caucus April 4, now will do so by mail. 

Just a few weeks ago, it looked like Indiana might play a role in selecting the Democratic nominee despite the state’s late primary. But after a muddled contest through the first four states to vote or caucus, former Vice President Joe Biden has emerged as the front-runner. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont remains in the race for now, but his path forward has narrowed. 

Holcomb is uncontested in the Republican primary for governor as he seeks a second term. What once looked like a crowded Democratic primary for governor also has narrowed to one candidate, Woody Myers, a millionaire venture capitalist and former Indiana health commissioner who once made a name for himself defending AIDS victim Ryan White.

While those primary races may be settling, Indiana’s primary will play a role in selecting candidates for Congressional, county and state races. 

Indiana has two open Congressional seats. Rep. Pete Visclosky is retiring in the 1st Congressional District, a Democratic stronghold in northwest Indiana. Rep. Susan Brooks, a Republican, is retiring in the 5th Congressional District in Central Indiana, including parts of Indianapolis and the northern suburbs. Fifteen Republicans and five Democrats are running for the nominations in what many expect will be a battle ground district in November. 

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This story will be updated. 

Call IndyStar reporter Chris Sikich at 317-444-6036. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisSikich.

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