Indiana Senate bill could restrict absentee voting for Hoosiers


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INDIANAPOLIS––A voting rights bill is drawing fierce debate among Indiana legislators.

“I authored Senate Bill 353 to increase election security,” said Republican State Senator Erin Houchin.

The bill prohibits a person from providing an absentee ballot without a driver’s license number or last four digits of voter’s social security number.

“What we’re trying to do here is saying no matter how you apply for a ballot to vote, you must supply some kind of form of identification,” said State Senator Houchin.

While Republicans argue this will ensure safer elections, Democrats say the new state requirement would discourage some Hoosiers from voting.

“I am super concerned about our seniors,” said Myla Eldridge, Vice Chair for Indiana Democratic Party.

She says the requirement shouldn’t be necessary to participate in democracy.

“Hoosiers should not have to be election law experts in order to vote in a free and fair election,” Eldridge said.

Senate Bill 353 also prohibits the Indiana Election Commission from instituting, increasing, or expanding vote by mail or changing the time, place or manner of holding an election.

“The common sense guardrails proposed in 353 would further protect Indiana from voter fraud and ensure authority to implement changes lies exclusively with you,” said Attorney General Todd Rokita.

“Across the state of Indiana, election administrators do everything they can to make sure the election process is secure, safe, fair and free,” Eldridge said.

Session will resume on Thursday, where further debate and voting on amendments is expected. 

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