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Indiana Has Mediocre Performance For Election Integrity And Security

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.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.