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Bill Pushes State Officials To Examine, Purge Voter Rolls

Election officials plan to thoroughly review and clean up Indiana’s voter rolls on a statewide basis for the first time in seven years.

Electronic Voting

Photo: Stan Jastrzebski / WFIU News

The bill aims to help state officials clear the voter rolls of people who aren't properly classified or aren't eligible to vote.

Legislation passed during the 2013 session requires a statewide mailing to verify and update voter registration information every two years and puts money behind the effort.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson says voters will receive postcards in the mail with their registration info. They mail the cards back with any changes listed. Lawson says the mailing will also remove voters from the rolls.

“If that postcard comes back non-deliverable, then that starts the process where a voter is marked inactive,” Lawson says.  “Then a second mail piece goes out and if that’s still non-deliverable, then the voter is removed from the poll list.”

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne), who serves on the House Elections Committee, says cleaning up the voter rolls is important, but the state should also be doing more to limit issues such as the constant changing of precinct locations.

“Local governments have been pressed and pressured to save money. Then, on the other hand, it can lead to more difficulty for the average voter to know where to go to vote,” he says.

GiaQuinta says Indiana needs to spend more on encouraging people to vote. Lawson says her office works on voter outreach but that candidates and ballot issues are often the biggest factors in voter turnout.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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