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Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - The Indiana General Assembly has worked tirelessly to enact laws aimed at curbing election fraud with bills targeting cheating both at the polls and by absentee ballots.
I support the legislators' efforts to require voters to show photo identification to prove they are who they say they are before voting. I would also support extending that identification requirement to voters who vote by absentee ballot in person at the clerk's office. I applaud the steps taken by the General Assembly to ensure voters have access to the required identification when they otherwise would not and to exclude from the requirement elderly voters who live and vote in licensed care facilities and people who object to being photographed for religions reasons.
Hoosiers have the right to have their ballots counted and to expect that each ballot carry exactly the same weight as every other legally registered voter's ballot -- no matter whether the vote is cast in person or by absentee ballot. That is why I also support measures to address fraud in absentee voting - a problem encountered in several counties in recent elections.
Senate Bill 15 requires an absentee voter's bill of rights and strengthens protections in the absentee voting process. If it is passed, applicants will swear or affirm under the penalties of perjury all of the information set forth in the application is true. The bill also establishes penalties for electioneering in the presence of someone with an absentee ballot. This is an important safeguard to be sure an absentee voter can vote in private without feeling pressured to vote for a candidate or party standing at her door while she completes her ballot.
An important goal of election reform is to make sure no legally cast vote is diluted or cancelled out by someone attempting to defraud the system. By addressing fraud both at the polls and through the absentee process, our legislators are working to see to it that every Hoosier's vote counts the same come election time.