Election legislation roundup: Indiana General Assembly

As of April 9, members of the Indiana General Assembly, which includes the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana State Senate, have passed four bills related to election administration since the beginning of the year. Of those four bills, legislators passed one during the week of April 3-9. Republicans sponsored the bill. The bill is:   

  • IN HB1334: Absentee voting, Reps. Michael Aylesworth (R), Randall Frye (R), Michael Speedy (R), and Timothy Wesco (R) and Sens. Daniel Dernulc (R), Jon Ford (R), Tyler Johnson (R), Eric Koch (R), Jeff Raatz (R), and Linda Rogers (R).
    • As introduced on Jan. 12, 2023, this bill:
      • Requires county election boards to have a process for voters to resolve issues with their absentee ballot applications.
      • Prohibits the government from sending an absentee ballot application to an individual who has not requested it.
      • Requires absentee ballot applications to ask for either the voter’s drivers license number, identification card number, or voter registration number and the last four digits of their Social Security Number. For an online application, only one of the former four numbers is required.
      • Requires a voter voting by mail due to location absence (from county, precinct, confinement, home care for dependent, work, or religious obligations) to have that issue during the time they could vote absentee before the board in addition to on election day.

Of the four bills passed this year, one has been enacted. This is two fewer than this point a year ago. A bipartisan group of legislators sponsored the bill. The bill is: 

  • IN SB0106: Local powers concerning elections, Reps. Patricia Boy (D), Cherrish Pryor (D), Robert Cherry (R), and Timothy Wesco (R) and Sens. J.D. Ford (D), Liz Brown (R), James Buck (R), Jon Ford (R), Aaron Freeman (R), and Greg Walker (R).
    • As introduced, this bill clarifies a jurisdiction does not have the power to adopt an ordinance, a resolution, or an order concerning elections unless the power to do so is expressly granted by statute. This bill also voids an ordinance, a resolution, or an order concerning an election before Jan. 1, 2023, unless the jurisdiction was explicitly granted by statute.

From April 3-9, legislators passed 25 bills related to election administration nationally. As of April 9, South Dakota legislators have passed the most bills this year with 18, while legislators in 24 states have passed none. The state with the most enacted bills is South Dakota with 16, while 29 states have enacted none.

The Indiana General Assembly is scheduled to be in session from Jan. 9 to April 27 this year. In 2022, Indiana legislators passed three election-related bills, two in the state House and one in the state Senate. All three bills were enacted into law. Indiana is a Republican trifecta, meaning Republicans control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.

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