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Bill Would Block Future Election Changes By Governor, Election Commission

Indiana Statehouse

Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Election Commission pushed back Indiana's 2020 primary election from May to June and expanded vote-by-mail to anyone who wanted it. (Brandon Smith, IPB News)

Indiana’s governor and Election Commission would be blocked from ever again changing how and when an election is conducted under a bill passed by a Senate committee Monday.

The measure is a reaction to the 2020 Indiana primary election, conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Election Commission pushed back that primary, from May to June, and expanded vote-by-mail to anyone who wanted it.

State Election Division co-counsel Matthew Kochevar noted that was done with broad support.

“A bipartisan commission, appointed by the governor, had buy-in from two of the major political parties, felt was needed to protect voters,” Kochevar said.

Proposed legislation would bar that from happening again. Instead, only the legislature could make such changes.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.

Indiana Attorney General’s office legislative director Jared Bond said it’s about preserving the General Assembly’s authority.

“The United States Constitution – Article 1, Section 4 – is very clear that state legislatures are to provide the time, place and manner of holding elections,” Bond said.

The bill is expected to go to the full Senate.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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