Election Day voter registration and expanded voting by mail should be considered by next year’s Indiana General Assembly, a panel of lawmakers decided Thursday. The committee’s chairman Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, said he already is drafting legislation for the upcoming legislative session that would allow Hoosiers to mail in absentee ballots without having to provide an excuse required under current law. Hoosiers currently have to send in an application eight days before election day in order to receive an absentee ballot. On that application, they have to choose one of the 11 specific reasons available to vote absentee, such as working during the full 12 hours the polls are open or being away from the county during that same time period. Already, the state doesn’t check a person’s excuse to make sure it’s valid.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 other states don’t allow no-excuse absentee voting. A few states send ballots by mail to every citizen.
The majority of studies on Election Day voter registration found that such policies increase turnout, according to the Government Accountability Office. Studies over whether no-excuse absentee voting increase turnout were less conclusive, with some studies showing improvement in turnout and other showing no effect.
Full Article: Lawmakers push for same-day voter registration.