Indiana Senate backs GOP bill tightening mail voter rules

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A Republican-backed proposal that would require Indiana voters to submit more identification information to obtain mail-in ballots was endorsed Monday by the state Senate despite objections from opponents that it would make voting more difficult for many people.

Senators voted 36-12 in favor of the bill, which would require voters submitting a paper application for a mail ballot to include a photocopy of a government-issued identification card or at least two ID numbers, such as their 10-digit driver’s license or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Supporters say the measure is aimed at increasing voter confidence in elections by putting Indiana’s ID requirements for mail-in ballots in line with those for in-person voting.

Opponents counter that the additional requirements might disenfranchise some people, especially older voters who could find it difficult to navigate the additional requirements and those who aren’t able to print a copy at home of their driver’s license or other photo ID.

“This bill is truly about making it more difficult for voters to vote.” said Democratic Sen. J.D. Ford of Indianapolis.

“We should be tearing down those barriers, not adding them,” Ford said. “We already rank at the bottom when it comes to voter turnout, and this bill will just continue to exacerbate that problem.”

Bill sponsor Sen. Eric Koch, a Republican from Bedford, said he believes Indiana’s elections are “safe and secure” but cited scattered criminal cases of absentee voting fraud from across the state over the past decade.

The House approved a similar version of the bill in February. Both chambers will have to agree on an identical version by late April to send it to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Previous attempts at enacting tougher mail-in voting rules failed the last two years in the Republican-dominated Legislature, even as former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters stoked false claims that fraud led to his 2020 election defeat.

Voting rights groups maintain that stricter ID requirements aren’t necessary because county election workers already must confirm that a person’s signature on an application matches their voter registration record.

Some who testified before lawmakers in support of the bill argued that the current signature matching process is not stringent enough and that voters are “screaming” for tighter rules around mail voting.

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12 thoughts on “Indiana Senate backs GOP bill tightening mail voter rules

  1. No sane voter is “screaming” for more hoops and theatrics to vote by mail, which is already incredibly limited and difficult. There is absolutely zero case where a driver’s license number or the last-4 of an SSN would prevent fraud.

  2. “scattered cases over the last decade”. This is what we are busy fixing with our legislative efforts? I just can’t get past the party of ‘smaller government’ wanting to add processes and procedures for half a million people (because they won’t allow mail-in voting for all), in order to prevent claimed fraud, that is empirically shown to be less than a fraction of a percentage of overall voting – like three millionths of a percent. Is there nothing better to spend that time and focus on? Maybe you could hop on board with an infrastructure committee? Maybe healthcare? If this is seriously anything more than a dog whistle for our esteemed Senators’ constituency, what do YOU know about voter fraud, that we don’t?

    1. One political party consistently wins after hours, surging ahead at 3 am, time and time again, even while behind throughout the day as the votes are getting counted. Every. Single. Time.

    2. Lauren still in school majoring in Object Permanence. How are the adults supposed to have intelligent conversations when ^^^this^^^ is the main objection from “one political party”?

    3. Those basement journalists didn’t tell you how the Arizona audit turned out, did they Lauren?

      Find me the fraud. Besides what happens at the Villages. Place is a den of electoral fraud.

    4. That late surge is because mail in votes don’t get tabulated until late. There is no conspiracy. There are only busy people that realized they had better things to do than stand in line and planned ahead.

    5. The Dem Party that fought all ID requirements from the very beginning.

      Dems always complaining about the undue hardships on their voting constituents. The reality is that the Dems have very low confidence and
      expectations of their voters.
      That Dem voters are not capable of obtaining or carrying Identification on
      them.

      Yet Republican voters have to jump through the same hoops to ensure the
      integrity of the process. Yet miraculously R voters are more capable.
      Hmmm, why is that??

    6. Because as pointed out elsewhere, there is no fraud.

      I mean, why not just abolish almost all mail in voting and make election day a federal holiday so everyone can vote in person? That’s because the real issue has never been mail in voting or voter fraud, it’s been about making voting easy for their voters and their voters alone.

      Someone will have to remind me the last change to voting that Republicans proposed that actually made voting easier for all voters.

    7. Lol…again, Dems have very low expectations of their voting constituents and want no rules or processes.
      Dems don’t even want Voter ID.

    8. I don’t think you know enough about voting procedures to comment on them, Keith.

      Republicans like to blame fraud for losing elections when maybe they should buy a mirror.

      You can’t just run around claiming there’s fraud in every election without producing some proof.

      Unless the real issue is that … you don’t think everyone should have the right to vote, especially “those” people.

      And, again. I’m all for dramatically reducing mail-in voting (don’t forget the troops). Just make Election Day a federal holiday as part of it. Yet Republicans are on the record fighting such an idea. Wonder why? Why are they afraid of making it easy to vote?

      “They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again”

  3. Our legislators need to focus on solving real problems for the citizens of Indiana and not the non-existent ones they are working on. There is no issue with voting. There is, however, a huge issue with education (bottom 10 among states). There is a major issue with our health care (bottom 20). We have the 6th highest infant mortality rate. Our water and air rank in the bottom quarter of states. We rank #17 for per capita gun deaths and #17 for drug deaths. It’s time to pay attention to what matters and not culture wars BS. If our legislators want to waste their time working on non-priority issues, our state will never rise about the real problems.

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