More Than 2,300 Absentee Ballots Mailed Out For Upcoming General Election

(BEDFORD) – Lawrence County Clerk Billie Tumey reports more than 2,300 absentee ballots have been mailed since last week.

Tumey appeared before the Lawrence County Council Tuesday night requesting an additional $22,600 for this year’s election.

The money is an additional request and transfer for this year’s election. It is not known at this time whether the county will be reimbursed through the CARES Act.

There are two teams working on mailing out the ballots. The two were originally assigned to work only 3 to possibly 4 days of week, but because of the large number of requests for absentee ballots, the two have been working five days a week.

Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge Nathan Nikirk requested an additional appropriation of $5,000 for postage. His request was approved. His request was due to the result of additional mailings during the COVID-19 pandemic when hearing were canceled due to a ruling by the Indiana State Supreme Court. It is not known whether the county will be reimbursed through the CARES Act.

Lawrence County IT Director Scott Nikirk was not in attendance when the Lawrence County Council approved his request for $71,533 for data processing. Lawrence County Council Member Jim Edwards expressed concerns over the department heads not being in attendance for their requests.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp’s request to hire another attorney was approved following the departure of an attorney from his office.

Lawrence County Probation Officer Joe Diebert’s request to appropriate the $10,000 grant they received from Hoosier Uplands for Problem Solving Court to provide counseling services was approved.

Lawrence County Highway Director David Holmes’ request was approved for his upfront costs of $50,000 for sign replacement in District 1. This money will be reimbursed through a grant the county received.

Auditor Jody Edwards’ request for additional appropriation for phone and related hardware for zoom meetings and work at home during COVID-19 was approved.

Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham’s request to hire a new police officer following the retirement of Jordan Wheelock was approved. Wheelock has been with the department for 10 years. The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department is now short an officer. There is one officer currently at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and two more officers will be going after this officer completes his training.

Branham reports there are a total of 153 inmates at the jail which include:

  • 124 – Males
  • 29 – Females
  • 9 – Department of Correction holds
  • 1 – Parole hole
  • 3 – Level 6 felons

The Council approved Shawswick Township Fire Department to receive public safety funds for Guthrie Township.