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Bill Would Block Future Election Changes By Governor, Election Commissioner

FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith
IPB News

Indiana’s governor and Election Commission would be blocked from ever again changing how and when an election is conducted under a bill passed by a Senate committee Monday.

The measure is a reaction to the 2020 Indiana primary election, conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Election Commission pushed back that primary, from May to June, and expanded vote-by-mail to anyone who wanted it.

State Election Division co-counsel Matthew Kochevar noted that was done with broad support.

“A bipartisan commission, appointed by the governor, had buy-in from two of the major political parties, felt was needed to protect voters,” Kochevar said.

Proposed legislation would bar that from happening again. Instead, only the legislature could make such changes.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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Indiana Attorney General’s office legislative director Jared Bond said it’s about preserving the General Assembly’s authority.

“The United States Constitution – Article 1, Section 4 – is very clear that state legislatures are to provide the time, place and manner of holding elections,” Bond said.

The bill is expected to go to the full Senate.

Contact reporter 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.