A pair of bills working their way through the Indiana Senate could spell trouble for some voters, Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey contends. Senate Bill 535, authored by Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, and Senate Bill 466, authored by Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon, are two of the more problematic bills at this time, Coffey said. SB 535 would require absentee voters to include their voter ID number on their ballots. Coffey testified against the bill and said no one spoke on its behalf. She said since most people do not know their voter ID number, the state would have to mail that number privately to every voter, which could cost about $3 million, she estimated. The ID numbers are not available online and were recently removed from voter registration postcards due to privacy issues. “Our biggest concern is it will discourage people from voting if that’s the only way they can cast a ballot,” she said.
Students who pay out-of-state tuition in Indiana might not have the chance to vote come election time. State lawmakers are considering a bill that might cost some Purdue students a little more than some extra cash for their education. In fact, if passed the bill could end up costing some students their vote. “The thing that has raised so much attention, not just in Indiana but across the nation, has been the effort to tie eligibility for voter registration to the university’s billing process,” West Lafayette City Councilman Eddie VanBogaert said. VanBogaert, a Purdue graduate originally from Illinois, said under House Bill 1311, students who pay out-of-state tuition would no longer be able to vote in Indiana. VanBogaert said this is something he doesn’t agree with. “I’ve seen first hand how this billing process isn’t an appropriate stand-point for being able to determine someone’s eligibility to exercise a really fundamental right,” VanBogaert said.
Senate Bill 357 would get rid of electronic voting machines by the end of 2015, and its proposal caught Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey’s eye and her ire. All of those relatively new and expensive electronic voting machines Tippecanoe County taxpayers bought to avoid an incident similar to Florida’s 2000 presidential election would have to be scrapped under the bill, Coffey said. “I have concerns to the cost to change all our equipment to comply with that legislation,” Coffey said. … The bill’s author, state Sen. Mike Delph, said the bill isn’t going anywhere. Its sole purpose was to stir up a debate about electronic voting machines and election integrity. “I’m concerned that election outcomes could be manipulated,” Delph said Thursday afternoon during a telephone interview.