Advocates push for mail-in voting for Indiana primary and general elections

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VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State leaders have made some changes to the June primary by allowing voters to cast their ballot by mail, if they choose.

There are usually restrictions that allow absentee voting for certain reasons.

“That was if you’re too ill to go to the polls, if you’re over 65, if you have a disability and can’t get there, if you’re scheduled to work on election day, if you’re in the military, if you have no way to get to the polls. For any of those reasons, you can request an absentee ballot and get it. This year, the state’s dropping all those,” said Former State Representative Clyde Kersey.

“It seems reasonable to put this in to place for the primary and for the general election this year and then reassess where we are. What have they learned from this? Is this feasible?” said League of Women Voters of Indiana Co-President Linda Hanson.

During his time as a representative, Kersey wrote a piece of legislation proposing for Indiana to become one of the few states that vote by mail. He said it didn’t get far because of election security concerns.

Kersey argued mail-in ballots is one of the safer ways to vote.

“In this system you always have a paper back-up. You always have a paper trail because a paper ballot is sent in it’s counted and it’s kept. The chances of it being hacked are a whole lot less if the votes are counted in one voting center rather than around the state,” he said.

In addition to paper back-up is signature verification.

“When you send in an application you sign it and that’s in comparison with a signature they have on file. The same thing happens if you send in your absentee ballot,” said Hanson.

Both Hanson and Kersey hope state leaders will consider extending mail-in ballots.

” It seems as if sending an absentee ballot to everyone who is registered would be one way to ensure that we reduce the workload in the election offices, make sure that everything is verified and that it is safe for health and the security of the election,” Hanson said.

All voters who want to cast a ballot by mail must turn in their application to their county election officials by May 21st.

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