January 8, 2018

Senate Panel Advances No-Excuse Absentee Voting Bill

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Sen. Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) presents his no-excuse absentee voting bill to the Senate Elections Committee. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Sen. Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) presents his no-excuse absentee voting bill to the Senate Elections Committee.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

All Hoosier voters could cast absentee ballots by mail without any excuse under legislation advanced Monday by a Senate panel.

Under current law, a voter must provide a reason they’re voting absentee by mail – for instance, they’ll be out of town on Election Day. The bill from Sen. Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) would eliminate that requirement – anyone could vote absentee by mail.

Elkhart County Clerk Wendy Hudson represents the Indiana Clerks Association. She says no-excuse absentee voting will help increase voter participation. And she says asking for an excuse serves little function beyond filling out a line on a form.

“We don’t monitor it,” Hudson says. “We don’t show up at the person’s door to make sure they’re really out of town. We don’t call their employer to make sure that they’re really working.”

The Senate Elections Committee approved the bill 6-0. The measure now heads to the full Senate.

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