Though Indiana doesn’t have a statewide election this fall, the new Secretary of State is preparing for 2022’s midterm contest by meeting with all of the state’s county clerks. And she wants to continue to make it simple for Indiana to vote on Indiana’s own terms.
“I no longer call it ‘voting day,’" Secretary of State Holli Sullivan said. "We now have ‘voting season’ in Indiana, where we have at least 28 days for voters to have the opportunity to vote in their counties.”
It’s that in-person voting access that Sullivan is trying to expand before next year. She wants to increase the number of counties using vote centers.
But during last year’s election in a pandemic, many more Hoosiers flocked to absentee ballots as a way to safely cast their vote. Indiana’s 2020 voter turnout was the highest in nearly three decades – and 61 percent of those votes were absentee. That’s about twice as high as recent previous presidential elections.
Though Sullivan has said the 2020 election had no fraud, and Indiana requires voters to choose one of about a dozen reasons for why they need an absentee ballot, she says she’s heard concerns about this way to vote.
“After this listening tour, we probably will have some initiatives around, more security around absentee ballots to increase our voter confidence,” Sullivan said.
Indiana vote-by-mail advocates have lobbied for years to increase the use of such ballots. But this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to hear a case on the issue.
And for Sullivan, that fits with her philosophy.
“I will continue to say I think Hoosiers running Hoosier elections is always the best,” she said.