Indiana doesn’t have good grades when it comes to election integrity and security.
That’s what a Butler political scientist told Hoosiers Thursday during a panel organized by the citizen advocacy group Common Cause Indiana.
Two recent studies – one by Pew Research, the other from Harvard – put Indiana in the bottom half of states for election integrity. Butler Professor Greg Shufeldt says those studies considered, for instance, voter turnout, waiting times at the polls, mail-in ballots rejected, and campaign finance systems.
“Indiana doesn’t have a grade right now that they would want on their academic transcript,” Shufeldt says.
One troubling part is election security. Shufeldt says the type of electronic voting machine in a majority of Indiana counties – direct record machines, or DREs – poses a threat to voter confidence.
Those machines don’t come with a paper trail – and Indianapolis attorney Bill Groth says the state’s new devices that add a paper trail have other problems.
“They’re susceptible to the introduction of malware and adding a printer to a DRE adds another component that can fail on Election Day,” Groth says.
A Congressional report estimates replacing Indiana’s paperless voting machines would cost about $23 million.
The state currently has about $2.3 billion in reserves.