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Indiana Has Mediocre Performance For Election Integrity And Security

Attorney Bill Groth, center, discusses his election security presentation as Butler Professor Greg Shufeldt, left, looks on.

Attorney Bill Groth, center, discusses his election security presentation as Butler Professor Greg Shufeldt, left, looks on. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana doesn’t have good grades when it comes to election integrity and security.

That’s what a Butler political scientist told Hoosiers Thursday during a panel organized by the citizen advocacy group Common Cause Indiana.

Two recent studies – one by Pew Research, the other from Harvard – put Indiana in the bottom half of states for election integrity. Butler Professor Greg Shufeldt says those studies considered, for instance, voter turnout, waiting times at the polls, mail-in ballots rejected, and campaign finance systems.

“Indiana doesn’t have a grade right now that they would want on their academic transcript,” Shufeldt says.

One troubling part is election security. Shufeldt says the type of electronic voting machine in a majority of Indiana counties – direct record machines, or DREs – poses a threat to voter confidence.

Those machines don’t come with a paper trail – and Indianapolis attorney Bill Groth says the state’s new devices that add a paper trail have other problems.

“They’re susceptible to the introduction of malware and adding a printer to a DRE adds another component that can fail on Election Day,” Groth says.

A Congressional report estimates replacing Indiana’s paperless voting machines would cost about $23 million.

The state currently has about $2.3 billion in reserves.

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

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