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Judge Denies Attempt To Force Indiana To Expand Vote-By-Mail

Justin Hicks
IPB News

A federal judge won’t force Indiana to expand vote-by-mail for this fall’s election.

A group of Hoosier voters filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Election Commission after Republican commission members refused to allow any Hoosier who wanted to vote by mail to cast a ballot that way for the 2020 general election.

The commission did expand vote-by-mail for the June primary, due to the pandemic.

READ MORE: Here Are The 11 Reasons You're Allowed To Vote By Mail In Indiana

Judge James Patrick Hanlon ruled that while the Constitution guarantees the right to vote, it does not guarantee the right to vote by mail. And he says the voters who filed the lawsuit couldn’t prove that they would be blocked from voting at all if vote-by-mail wasn’t expanded.

That makes it unlikely the system will change this year. Gov. Eric Holcomb has steadfastly refused to expand vote-by-mail again for the general election; he argues in-person voting will be safe enough for most Hoosiers.

Indiana is one of seven states without expanded vote-by-mail this fall.

Contact reporter Brandon at 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.