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

Indiana lawmakers aim to protect election workers, volunteers at polling places

A election worker sits at a table at a polling place, working with a tablet. The man is Black, wearing glasses, a mask and an orange polo shirt with white stripes.
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
/
IPB News
Current law makes it a Level 6 felony to obstruct, interfere with or injure an election officer while they’re on the job.

Legislation headed to the full Senate aims to protect poll workers while they’re doing their jobs by making a slight expansion to existing law.

Current law makes it a Level 6 felony to obstruct, interfere with or injure an election officer while they’re on the job. But that law doesn’t necessarily cover everyone who’s working or volunteering at the polling place.

SB 170, unanimously approved by a Senate committee, makes sure all those people are included. Indiana Clerks Association President Nicole Browne said that protection is necessary.

“Current and experienced poll workers are experiencing concerns for their personal safety and well-being at a time when we are preparing for what is likely to be history’s biggest election to date,” Browne said.

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 and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.

Level 6 felonies carry a sentence of between six months and two-and-a-half years, along with a fine of up to $10,000.

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.