Millions of dollars are going in to making sure the votes of Hoosiers are safe and verifiable. Soon, it will be much easier for you to verify your vote at the polls. “In 60 of our counties, if you vote on an electronic direct-record machine, you can’t actually see the tape. You can’t actually know how your vote is recorded,” Secretary of State Connie Lawson explained Wednesday. Inside a black box is a paper audit trail that’s added to existing electronic voting machines. So how does it work? “This machine allows me to verify my vote. If I hit verify, you can see this tape moves up,” Lawson explained. “I can see on paper exactly how this machine recorded my vote. It gives the voter more confidence that this is done properly.” That little paper isn’t a receipt, so voters can’t take it home. But, that means election officials can audit the results and confirm the vote was counted.Full Article: Paper trails for electronic voting machines coming to Indiana | WISHTV.com.
Articles about voting issues in Indiana.
The Indiana Election Commission recently approved the first voter-verifiable paper audit trail for electronic voting systems — though it’s unclear when Allen County might see the mechanism. The VVPAT, as it is called by election officials, is a security measure that allows voters to independently verify their vote was correctly recorded. In Indiana, almost half the counties use direct record electronic machines. There is a paper trail in the back of the machines, but it is not visible to the voter. As a security measure, paper trails that are visible to the voter are being added to those machines. Lawmakers provided $10 million in the current budget to equip 10% of electronic voting equipment with a VVPAT. Voters will start seeing the equipment at the polls this fall, according to the Secretary of State’s office. By 2029, all voting equipment in the state will be required to have a voter verifiable paper trail.Full Article: 1st paper audit trail for election machines OK'd | Local | The Journal Gazette.
Indiana: Paper trails for electronic voting equipment approved by Election Commission | The Statehouse File
The Indiana Election Commission on Monday approved the state’s first voter electronic voting system with a verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), which will allow voters to confirm that their votes have been correctly recorded. Direct record electronic machines are currently used in almost half the counties of Indiana. With these machines, there is a paper trail located in the back, but not visible to the voters. With the new security measure, voters will now be able to view the paper trails when they are added to the electronic voting equipment. “Adding VVPATs to election equipment will help boost voter confidence and allow us to implement risk limiting audits,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson in a news release. “Together, these practices will show voters at the polls their vote is safe and secure and following up with a post-election audit will confirm their vote was counted.”Full Article: Paper trails for electronic voting equipment approved by Election Commission - TheStatehouseFile.com | TheStatehouseFile.com.
Indiana: House rejects effort to give voters more time to get absentee ballots | Greensburg Daily News
Democrats in the Indiana House tried and failed in their efforts to assure that Hoosiers have more time to apply for an absentee ballot. House Bill 1311, authored by Rep. Thomas Saunders, R-Lewisville, would change the amount of time to apply for an absentee ballot from eight to 12 days before an election because local county clerks had said they needed more time to process them. “We want people’s votes to count,” Saunders said in an interview. An earlier deadline would give voters more time to submit the ballots and clerks more time to count them.Full Article: House rejects effort to give voters more time to get absentee ballots | Local News | greensburgdailynews.com.
The Johnson County Election Board and Commissioners are cutting ties with software vendor that caused system crashes which resulted in thousands of voters waiting in lines for hours during the November 6 election. The Johnson County Commissioners voted Monday to adopt Election Board recommendations that the county terminate its contract with Omaha-based Election Systems and Software. “We just want to ensure that we have a good election,” said Johnson County Clerk Trena McGlaughlin. “We don’t want to have any issues this year. And we want to make everyone happy.” An investigation by Ball State’s VSTOP team, for the Indiana Secretary of State, determined ES&S systems were not properly set up for the high voter turnout the county saw on election day. A system slow-down quickly brought voting to a standstill at multiple voting sites across the county. Thousands of voters were left waiting in line for several hours as election officials and technical advisors struggled to get e-poll books back up to speed.Full Article: Johnson County to change election equipment before May Primary | FOX59.
Indiana: Counties could be required to have paper trail for voting by 2024 | Indianapolis Business Journal
A bill that would require counties using electronic voting systems to also maintain a paper trail is moving forward at the Indiana General Assembly. Senate Bill 570, authored by Columbus Republican Greg Walker, would require counties to have a voter-verifiable paper trail in addition to any electronic system the county uses. Indiana Election Division Co-Director Brad King said a voter-verifiable paper trail would work much the way an ATM generates a paper receipt to reflect a transaction. He said about half of Indiana counties already have such systems. But those who don’t use the systems already could face costly upgrades.Full Article: Counties could be required to have paper trail for voting by 2024 | 2019-02-04 | Indianapolis Business Journal | IBJ.com.
Indiana: Lawmakers move redistricting bill that would leave them in control of maps | Indianapolis Business Journal
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder before the Senate Elections Committee, members of the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting urged lawmakers on Monday to approve new standards for the way they draw maps for the state’s legislative and congressional seats. They held blue-and-gold “All IN for Democracy” picket signs and office clocks raised high, as the coalition members waited more than two hours to voice one central demand: that legislators put an end to what they call partisan gerrymandering. “Gerrymandering is no longer an art. It is a science,” said 17-year-old Christian Omoruyi, a senior at Columbus East High School. “Politicians have surgically manipulated district boundaries to ingratiate themselves with the kulaks of the party machine.”Full Article: Lawmakers move redistricting bill that would leave them in control of maps | 2019-02-04 | Indianapolis Business Journal | IBJ.com.
The Johnson County Clerk’s Office is looking into switching e-pollbook vendors before the May primary, but the clock is ticking. Electronic pollbooks, which poll workers use to check in voters at vote centers and make sure they have the right ballot, failed on Election Day, and the county last week asked its long-time vendor, Election Systems and Software, to cover the costs of purchasing new e-pollbooks from a different vendor while continuing to use ES & S’s voting machines. “We have asked (ES & S) to pay for it, but as of right now, they have not committed to that,” County Clerk Trena McLaughlin said on Thursday. “We’re going to have to do something.” McLaughlin and her staff are now weighing the other options because the county needs new e-pollbooks, she said. Election Systems and Software promised it would make things right with the county after it failed more than 52,000 Johnson County voters in November, but so far has not delivered on that promise.Full Article: County looks to switch e-poll book vendors, but company won’t pay.
Indiana: Election fixes: Officials exploring how to proceed after report says ES&S violated law | Daily Journal
More details about the fixes put in place on Election Day in November when voting technology failed to perform have come to light, and officials are asking the county commissioners to adopt a detailed list of mostly technical and financial suggestions about what to do in the future. Election Systems & Software is still the county’s election vendor, and will be providing services in the municipal elections in May and November of this year, according to its current contract with the county. But whether the county will retain the company for future elections has not been determined.Full Article: Election fixes: Officials exploring how to proceed after report says vendor violated law.
With the primary election less than seven weeks away, county officials will decide in the coming week whether to stick with its long-time election vendor, which broke state election laws and disenfranchised voters in November. The three-member county election board, including newly elected County Clerk Trena McLaughlin, met privately with the three-member Board of Commissioners on Monday to discuss what to do moving forward, after the Secretary of State’s Office released a report that placed all of the blame in last year’s election on Election Systems & Software, a vendor multiple Indiana counties depend on for voting equipment. The company has provided equipment, software and technology for Johnson County elections for nearly two decades. The elected county clerk and an appointed election board manage how elections are conducted in the county, but the commissioners must approve any big ticket expenses.Full Article: County to decide what to do about election vendor in coming week.
Indiana’s governor is asking for $10 million to improve election security. Most of that would upgrade electronic touch screens with what’s called a voter verifiable ballot. That’s essentially a traditional paper ballot in case questions come up later. The $10 million request made by Governor Holcomb is part of a pilot program. It would initially pay for a few counties to use the new system. The hope is that the voter verifiable ballot would eventually be used by all Indiana counties. “This is much needed and is a start as we move towards that upgrade that is going to happen over the next several years,” said Chris Anderson, Elkhart county clerk.Full Article: Indiana's governor asks for $10 million to improve election security | WSBT.
Indiana: Report: ES&S’s Johnson County voting ‘work-around’ violated election law | Indianapolis Star
Technical glitches and computer crashes led to long lines at Johnson County vote centers on Election Day, but the quick fix used to remedy the problem left the county open to fraud. It also violated election law because it cut off information sharing between polling sites, according to a preliminary investigation report released by the Secretary of State’s office. “I want to let the voters of Johnson County know that what happened is unacceptable,” said Johnson County Clerk Trena McLaughlin, who took office on Jan. 1. “The voters deserve more, and we are definitely going to get this issue resolved.”Full Article: Report: ES&S's Johnson County voting 'work-around' violated election law.
A preliminary report investigating computer problems at voting centers across Johnson and other counties resulted from poor preparation and resulted in Indiana election laws being violated. The report was prepared for the Indiana Secretary of State by Ball State’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program, or VSTOP. The 20-page report examines, in great detail, all the things that went wrong on election day, resulting in thousands of Johnson County voters waiting in line for hours on November 6. The VSTOP report claims Johnson County’s election software vendor, ES&S inadequately anticipated server needs on election day, and did not have their systems properly set up to handle the high voter turnout seen around the county. “The situation which occurred in Johnson is unacceptable for any Indiana electronic poll book vendor,” the report states. “The responsibility for what occurred rests on the shoulders of ES&S.”Full Article: FOX59 Exclusive: Scathing report finds Johnson County software vendor violated state election laws | FOX59.
Proposed legislation would allow Indiana residents to register to vote on Election Day. Sen. Timothy Lanane, D-Anderson, has filed the bill for the legislative session beginning Jan. 3, and it has drawn mixed reactions in Northwest Indiana along party lines. “Once again, I am filing a proposal to allow for same-day voter registration in Indiana. Requiring Hoosiers to register to vote 29 days before an election is an unnecessary obstacle for people to exercise their constitutional right to vote,”Full Article: Election Day voter registration proposed in Indiana - Post-Tribune.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson wants to figure out what went wrong on Election Day in Johnson County. Problems with voter check-in led to long lines and waits for voters. Lawson is investigating issues with the electronic poll books provided by Election Systems and Software. Susie Misiniec hoped her last election after eight years as Johnson County clerk would go smoothly. “Everything was going great until about 9:45 (a.m.),” said Misiniec. “Then we started experiencing a slow down and it just kept slowing down with our electronic poll books. We had so many people that were voting and that slowed that entire process of issuing a ballot. So, it was really overwhelming to all of us. We were really unhappy that that happened.” The voting machines worked fine. But computer tablets used to check in voters and issue ballots suffered data transmission problems. Voters waited up to three hours in line.Full Article: Indiana Secretary of State investigates Johnson County's Election Day voting delays | 13 WTHR Indianapolis.
Indianapolis attorney Robbin Stewart was raised to value the right to vote. In his home state of Delaware, Stewart watched his mother work as a citizen lobbyist to protect the environment, and he got his first taste of political activism when as a 10-year-old he joined the campaign of a man running for state representative. He earned his J.D. degree in 1993 at the University of Missouri School of Law and then completed an LLM on state constitutions and voting rights at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. However, since 2005, when Indiana started requiring voters to show their picture before casting a ballot, Stewart has had trouble. He wants to vote, but he does not want to show his photo ID.Full Article: Multiple Indiana voting laws on trial in federal court | 2018-12-12 | The Indiana Lawyer.
Indiana: Late absentee ballots, early voting errors and lack of staff among red flags preceding ‘chaos’ of Porter County election | Chicago Tribune
Sundae Schoon, the Republican director in Porter County’s voter registration office, started worrying about how the county’s midterm general election was being handled in late September. “There was such an influx of (requests for) absentee ballots coming in,” she said, adding there were only two people in Clerk Karen Martin’s office to handle them. By the Saturday before the Nov. 6 election, her concerns grew deeper, because the suitcases for precinct inspectors weren’t ready to be picked up. Many inspectors pick up the supplies that day if they can’t get them the day before the election. She began to wonder. “If that’s not ready, what else isn’t?” she said, adding she called David Bengs, president of the election board, about the suitcases and he directed her to do whatever needed to be done to get them ready.Full Article: Late absentee ballots, early voting errors and lack of staff among red flags preceding 'chaos' of Porter County election - Post-Tribune.
Indiana: Porter County voting results released 3 days after election; officials call for clerk’s resignation | Chicago Tribune
In light of a lengthy list of election woes for Porter County’s midterm election, including a preliminary tally of results that wasn’t complete until Friday, the Porter County Board of Commissioners and two members of the County Council are asking for the immediate resignation of Clerk Karen Martin. Commissioners made their request after election board officials announced the results were online during a sometimes heated news conference. “Under normal circumstances, the board of commissioners would have never suggested anything like that. I think Karen’s conduct after Tuesday night is what convinced us that something had to be done,” said Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North. “Being MIA at a time when her leadership was at its highest need – short of someone taking my legs from me, I would have been there. I would have had to be there. It was unfortunate but it needed to be said.”Full Article: Porter County voting results released 3 days after election; officials call for clerk's resignation - Post-Tribune.
The commissioners in a northwestern Indiana county plagued by a mix of Election Day problems asked the FBI on Wednesday to investigate what they called “scores of alleged violations of Indiana Election Law” reported following Tuesday’s election. Porter County has released no election results, and officials did not begin counting votes until Wednesday morning, more than 15 hours after the first polling places closed. The delay was holding up final election results in three state legislative races, those for House districts 4 and 19 and Senate District 7. The commissioners’ office said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon that the commissioners had asked the FBI to investigate the alleged election violations reported “by poll workers, voters and the public.” The commissioners’ statement did not specify what those alleged violations involved.Full Article: FBI asked to investigate Porter County's trouble with counting votes.
After waiting a half-hour in line Saturday afternoon on the first of eight days of early voting at the Pay Less Super Market in West Lafayette, Sundeep Rao couldn’t figure out why every time he touched the screen for a candidate labeled “D” for Democrat, an X went into the box next to one with an “R” for Republican. Rao, an information technology director from West Lafayette, was familiar enough with older touch screen technology to back out of the incorrect choice, only to find that it took two or three tries to uncheck one box and position his finger in such a way to make his choice the right way. He said he hadn’t experienced that problem in previous elections, but once he figured out the pattern, he made his way through the ballot. A few voting booths over, he heard Robin Pickett, his wife, muttering under her breath about having the same problem.Full Article: Early voters complain faulty machines switch votes at WL Pay Less site.