Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Underwriter Message

Elections committee considers bill to identify more people who might not be eligible to vote

Four people are lined up at voting machines, casting ballots in the 2022 elections.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Federal law requires states to contact voters through the mail twice and then wait two federal election cycles before removing them from the voter rolls.

Indiana House Republicans want to identify more people who might not be eligible to vote with legislation considered by a House committee this week.

The bill, HB 1264, takes aim at cleaning up voter rolls in multiple ways. It allows the state to compare information from credit agencies against voter registration records, in an effort to find out if someone has moved.

Brad King, Republican co-director of the Indiana Election Division, said that credit bureau data will be the most accurate info possible.

“In my belief, in my heart of hearts, Indiana’s elections are secure,” King said. “But there is always room for improvement.”

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 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana.

But Matthew Kochevar, Democratic co-general counsel of the election division, said it’s not even clear what information the credit agencies would send.

“How accurate is their data?” Kochevar said. “We want to make sure we have accurate information if we’re ever comparing it to do voter list maintenance.”

The bill would also require the state’s voter registration system to flag people’s addresses that appear to be nonresidential, like a business address. It would then require counties to investigate if the voter actually lives at the address on file.

No voter could be removed from the rolls without first being notified, multiple times, through the mail. And even then, two federal election cycles would have to pass without them voting to be removed.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Tags
Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.