(INDIANAPOLIS) — Senate Republicans still want to add extra security measures around
The House scrapped most of a Senate-passed bill requiring a Social Security or driver’s license
number when you request an absentee ballot. Instead, the chamber voted to add that requirement
when requesting a ballot online.
Salem Republican Erin Houchin, who authored the original Senate bill, says absentee ballots
need the equivalent of the in-person voter ID law. She says there have been cases of
people requesting and casting absentee ballots in someone else’s name, leaving an unsuspecting
voter to show up at the polls and be told he’s already voted. Houchin concedes those cases have
been rare, but says there needs to be zero tolerance for depriving anyone of the right to vote.
County clerks and state election officials have warned the original version of the bill, which
required the same ID number you used when you registered to vote, could end up
disenfranchising voters who don’t remember whether they used their driver’s license or Social
Security card. Houchin’s proposing incorporating a provision from another bill, requiring clerks to
notify voters if their ballot is rejected and give them the opportunity to fix the issue or cast a
Houchin’s also taking a second swing at another voting issue the House dropped from the
Senate-passed bill: the postponement of last year’s primary, and the expansion of mail-in balloting
in that election to all voters. The four-person Indiana Election Commission approved those
changes at Governor Holcomb’s urging, following negotiations with the state Republican and
Democratic chairmen, to make voting as safe as possible in the early months of the coronavirus
Houchin contends those actions violated Indiana’s constitution. She argues only the legislature
can change the date or procedures of an election.
Houchin’s original bill would have banned the governor or the commission from taking those
actions. She’s now proposing a little bit of leeway, allowing the 16-member Legislative Council to
bless election changes instead of requiring the full House and Senate to approve, provided an
emergency arises within a month of Election Day.
Houchin and House Elections Chairman Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) are still trying to hammer out a
final version before the legislature’s planned adjournment on Thursday.
The bill is potentially the fourth of the session to second-guess some of the emergency actions
taken during the pandemic last year. Legislators have already given themselves the authority, over
Holcomb’s veto, to call themselves into session to review an emergency declaration. A bill
exempting worship services from any emergency health order is awaiting Holcomb’s signature or
veto. And House and Senate Republicans are finalizing a bill requiring county commissioners to
sign off on stricter local health orders.
Congressman Jim Banks: For all the Reasons That We're Impeaching Mayorkas, We Should Be Impeaching Joe Biden
ABC News president Kimberly Godwin: Donald Trump is “as racist as they come”
Delphi Police Warn Parents to Stay Alert After Man Takes Girls into Woods
Bill Passes Senate Allowing Banks to Make Changes to Deposit Accounts Without Obtaining Consent
A new Buc-ee's will be less than 2 hours from Indy
Nationwide AT&T Outage: Users Report 'SOS' Message Instead of Signal Bars
Gun Goes Off at Top Golf in Fishers, Indianapolis Man Arrested
Sunday Morning: Three Shootings Leave Two Dead, Five Injured