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Category: Indiana (page 1 of 3)

The 2008 Election: How Indiana “Hoped to Change” Early Voting Patterns After Obama’s Victory 

By: Evan Fraughinger

 It was late at night on November 4, 2008, and I was watching the election results from my house in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To everyone’s surprise, as Indiana’s results finalized, Barack Obama was declared the winner of the State. This was the first time that a Democratic presidential candidate won Indiana since Johnson’s victory in 1964 and only the second time since World War II. Voter turnout in Indiana’s two largest and most Democratic counties, Marion County and Lake County, largely explained President Obama’s narrow 28,000 vote victory in the traditionally red state. While many Hoosiers celebrated, according to new allegations in a lawsuit filed by Common Cause Indiana and the NAACP, several Republican officials and the Marion County Election Board began planning how to prevent another Democratic upset. 
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Abysmal Voter Turnout and an Electoral Dinosaur: Indiana’s Meaningless Off-Year Municipal Elections

By: Jacob Kipp

All politics is local. That truism (often wrongly attributed to former Rep. Tip O’Neill) has long encouraged politicians to remember the people back home because, ultimately, those people will vote based on the issues that matter to them. But politics is looking a lot less local now. Local concerns have taken a backseat to partisan politics, and local candidates are looking more and more like extensions of their national counterparts. Perhaps these changes can help explain why municipal election voter turnout is plunging across the United States. Indiana, the state with the lowest voter turnout in the country for the 2014 midterm elections, held its most recent off-year municipal elections on November 3.

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The Crossroads of America v. The Lone Star State: Comparison of Indiana and Texas ID Laws

By: Katie Teeters

Voter ID laws are spreading across the country leaving controversies in their wakes. Advocates believe requiring ID is a good way to prevent in-person voter fraud and increase public confidence in the election process, while opponents say that voter ID laws unduly burden the right to vote. Still, a total of 36 states have passed laws requiring a showing of some form of identification in order to vote. This blog post will take a look at voter ID laws and their respective implications in Texas and Indiana.

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Bloated Voter Registration Rolls in Colorado Counties Could Support Implementation of Stricter Voting Requirements

By: Eric Speer

In late August 2015, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving election integrity, found that 10 counties in Colorado have over-inflated voter rolls. Pitkin, Mineral, Hinsdale, San Juan, Ouray, Summit, Dolores, San Miguel, Cheyenne and Boulder Counties were found to have more voters registered than people eligible to vote. This over inflation violates the National Voter Registration Act, which requires “states to keep voter registration lists accurate and current, such as identifying persons who have become ineligible due to having died or moved outside the jurisdiction.”

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Vilified and Disenfranchised: Indiana’s New Law Blocks Sex Offenders from Common Polling Place

By: Jacob Kipp

The public’s sentiment toward sex offenders has long been overwhelmingly negative, fueling an ever-increasing number of legal restrictions. Perhaps the most reviled of all offenders are child molesters, which  have been the target of national registration programs (though such registries are often over-inclusive). Those registries are widely used to restrict sex offenders from being anywhere near schools, parks, or youth centers. But what happens when sex offenders want to exercise their right to vote and are not allowed into their polling place because it happens to be a school?

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16 December Meeting on Alleged Conflict of Interest Too Late for Indiana’s District 22 Voters?

By Staff Writer

Despite allegations to the contrary, District 22 Republican candidate for state representative, Curt Nisly, maintains that his role as the independent contractor responsible for developing the Elkhart County Election Board/Clerk’s website does not create a conflict of interest for him as a political candidate. He denies that the voter information to which he had access during the site development creates a conflict for his candidacy.  One of his opponents, Democrat David Kolbe, alleges that Nisly’s technological expertise and unique access to voter data provided him with an advantage in terms of targeting voters, or at least creates that perception among members of the public.  Continue reading

Apple, Android, and Another Way to Register

By Mark Listes

Indiana has turned to the app store to increase its voter turnout in the 2014 election cycle. The Indiana Secretary of State’s office created and released an app in early 2014 called “Indiana Voters.” The app lets Indiana voters “register to vote or confirm their voter registration, find their polling place, look up candidates on their ballot, track their absentee ballot, and contact local elected officials.” Indiana had only 58% of its population turn out to vote in the 2012 election cycle. Indiana’s Secretary of State hopes that the new app will help the other 42% get to the polls. Continue reading

Indiana Nursing Homes: Hotbeds of Absentee Voters Ripe for the Picking?

By: Staff Writer

A quick glance at the calendar shows another Election Day fast approaching.  Television commercials, radio advertisements, and yard signs provide constant reminders of a day that will come and go for many Americans–except maybe the candidates who might win just enough of the scant few votes cast to claim their seats on local councils and boards, on state legislatures, and even in Congress.  Despite the apathy of the typical citizen when it comes to non-Presidential elections, one group stands out as at least slightly more proactive and civic-minded than average.  This group consists of absentee voters–some of whom voted this year as early as the 15th of September.  While many people are aware of this practice that allows citizens to vote without having to visit a polling place on the day of the election, most people know little about all the different absentee-like options available in the 50 states.

Indiana provides two versions of absentee voting to citizens–the traditional “no-excuse” mail-in absentee ballot and the newer, seemingly oxymoronic, “in-person” absentee method.  Importantly, Indiana’s photo ID laws do not apply to absentee-by-mail voters.  With two different methods available, it seems many citizens would take advantage of the convenience and ease of the process.  But who votes absentee anyway?  Luckily, I happen to know of at least one group of about 60 people in a small northern Indiana town who would not miss this opportunity to cast a ballot.  These citizens are residents of one of the 511 nursing homes in the state of Indiana–a state with 4.4 million registered voters as of 2012.  And while 60 out of 4.4 million may seem insignificant, it is helpful to remember that, especially in smaller races, the difference between winning and losing may depend on a number not far off from 60 votes.  This fact combined with Gallup estimates showing older voters accounted for 36% of the electorate in 2012 (the largest generational group) provides sufficient incentive for local politicians to make at least one campaign stop at the nearest nursing facility.  It turns out that is exactly what Indiana District 22 GOP candidate Curt Nisly did.

 

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Slating In Judicial Elections: Fair or Foul? Case To Proceed In Federal Court

by Henry Alderfer, Contributor

Marion County. It is the hometown of the Indianapolis Colts, the author of this post, and a recent voter ID suit brought before the Supreme Court of the United States.  Last fall, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Common Cause brought a suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging the way Marion Superior Court judges are elected is unconstitutional. Continue reading

Voting at Gunpoint: Should Colorado Allow Firearms at Polling Places?

by Pamela Kalinowski

In July 2011, the Indiana state legislature passed a law that allows citizens to openly carry firearms at all polling places except for schools and courthouses. This law has been praised as a protective measure of a citizen’s right to bear arms and exercise self-defense. For many states, this kind of law would present enough difficult policy questions all on its own, but it raises
particularly charged issues for Colorado, a state that has found itself a consistent subject of both the election and gun debates.

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Two of the most deadly, high-profile shootings in U.S. history have occurred in Colorado–the Columbine and Aurora shootings, the most recent of which occurred this past summer–and have sparked renewed gun control debates. Even more recently, Colorado’s active Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, was involved in a controversialvoter purge” when his office “sent letters to nearly 4,000 people questioning their citizenship as part of a plan to have them voluntarily withdraw or confirm their eligibility to vote” (Huffington Post). Colorado democrats claimed that Secretary Gessler attempted to intimidate or disenfranchise voters, thousands of whom proved to be state citizens. With recent events concerning both gun control and voter intimidation, should Colorado adopt an Indiana-like law and guarantee citizens the right to openly carry firearms at polling places across the state, overriding any local laws that prohibit the practice? Continue reading

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