ANOTHER VIEWPOINT: No need for ‘election security’ bill

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Kokomo Tribune

The Indiana Senate has amended House Bill 1116, eliminating some of the more egregious problems with a bill meant to increase restrictions on absentee voting.

To make absentee voting more difficult is all but guaranteeing our voter participation drops even more, which is bad news for a state that ranks 46th in the nation for voter participation.

Instead, we should do everything we can to increase voter participation so that our elections most accurately reflect the will of the people.

The Republican focus on election integrity is fueled by former President Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was rigged in favor of now-President Biden.

Despite Trump’s best efforts, scant evidence has turned up of significant voter fraud or any major problems in election security.

It is unwise to place additional obstacles in the paths of voters when the claim of election security problems are dubious at best.

The Senate Election Committee has removed the clause that Hoosiers requesting an absentee ballot attest, under penalty of perjury, that they cannot show up to a polling place for the four weeks of early voting offered in their county.

Not only does this clause needlessly threaten people who are trying to vote, it would be a logistical nightmare to enforce.

The amended bill still would require Hoosiers to provide a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number when requesting an absentee ballot. This may be a reasonable requirement if there were credible evidence that our system is rife with fraud, which there is not.

The bill also places a burden on county clerks, who would be required to institute a voter verifiable paper audit trail by the 2024 election.

We applaud the state Senate for striking down some of the stronger requirements in the bill, but House Bill 1116 needs to die. Given where we stand in voter participation numbers, we expect our leaders to focus on increasing voter turnout rather than placing more obstacles in voters’ paths.