INDIANAPOLIS – Election Day is just over a week away, and officials take several steps to ensure the vote is secure.
“It’s very rare in the United States for there to be any problems with ballots or equipment security,” said Shruti Rana, chair of the Monroe County Election Board.
Rana is quite familiar with the procedures in place to keep elections secure. In addition to her role in Monroe County, she has served as a poll watcher for several elections.
“They’re there to just observe the process, record what’s happening if there’s any problems and just be there as another set of eyes and ears,” Rana said.
Several security measures are in place across Indiana, according to the secretary of state’s office. Voting machines are never connected to the internet, and they’re all publicly tested ahead of the election.
Indiana is also continuing to add printers to its electronic voting machines, according to Rachel Hoffmeyer, deputy secretary of state. Votes are recorded on both the machine and on paper, which can be used to confirm the outcome during an audit or recount.
A state law that went into effect earlier this year requires all electronic voting machines to have paper backups by July 1, 2024.
The U.S. attorney’s office prosecutes federal election-related crimes.
“In terms of discrimination against voters, violations to the Voting Rights Act, intimidation of whether it’s voters or poll workers, or violence against either, or also any concerns about election integrity or election fraud,” explained Zachary Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
Voter fraud and intimidation are extremely rare, Myers said. His office, which covers about two-thirds of the state, has not yet charged anyone with these crimes for this election, according to a spokesperson.
“It is thankfully a fairly rare occurrence,” Myers said. “But when something does happen, it’s very serious and we want to make sure that we are taking all appropriate action.”