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[r29] Column: Clarification on Secretary of State mailer
Start Date: 6/5/2014 All Day
End Date: 6/5/2014
Entry Description
Clarification on Secretary of State mailer

In the past couple of weeks, many of you have asked why the Secretary of State would be sending out a card about Election Day and voting information right after the primary. In Indiana, our Election Division falls under the Secretary of State’s office. The office is responsible for providing information and guidance regarding new laws that affect Hoosier voters. 

In the Legislature, the Elections and Apportionment Committee is responsible for reviewing and debating legislation that affects the election process. Every year, lawmakers work together to pass legislation that will improve and update Indiana’s Election Code.
One issue that continues to be a concern is the maintenance of Indiana’s voter lists. According to the Pew Research Center, there are approximately 24 million voter registrations in the United States, one of every eight, that are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate. Voter list maintenance is mandatory, pursuant of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and to improve the overall integrity of the election process, it is important for states to keep accurate records. As people move across the country or individuals pass away, voter lists need to reflect these variances, which can be a very challenging task for some of Indiana’s counties. 
    
Counties are normally tasked with updating these lists, but with limited resources available, this can be an extremely burdensome and time consuming process for them. Additionally, during each election cycle, counties did not necessarily have enough information to contact the voter’s previous county of residence to have the former voter registration record removed, so without the maintenance taking place, the old voter information was left intact. 
    
During last year’s legislative session, the General Assembly worked to address this issue by passing a law to update Indiana’s voter list along with appropriating dollars in the budget to pay for the program. The law authorized a statewide mailer to be sent to active voters during even numbered years in order to do the following: remove the burden of voter list maintenance impacting cash-strapped counties, bring Indiana into better compliance with federal law and improve the overall integrity of Indiana’s election process.
    
The first mailing will notify active voters about Election Day and encourage Hoosiers to visit www.Indianavoters.com for additional election information. Voters do not need to respond to this mailing, but if the card was not received and returned to the post office as ‘undeliverable,’ a second mailing will be forwarded and sent out. 
    
This mailing will allow a voter to update their registration information by filling out and returning the attached card. After the second mailing is sent, voters have until July 24 to update their information. If they do not respond by the July date, they will be placed on the inactive list. Being on the inactive list does not mean that an individual cannot vote; it simply means that the voter did not update or confirm their information. Hoosiers can still register online, at their voter registration office or the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. But if you have an Indiana Driver's license and access to the internet, www.Indianavoters.com is the easiest way to register or to update your current registration.
 
Cleaning up the voting rolls is such an important part of the process, and at a time when resources are limited, the cost savings to the county is very important. Not only will this process create more accurate rolls, but also helps maintain current precincts without adding new ones, which is where much of the cost comes from though additional machines, workers and supplies that are needed for new precincts.


Members of our community have already begun receiving these mailers, and I thought it might be helpful to share this information with you and explain the whole process. If you have additional questions or are looking for more information, you can contact the Secretary of State’s office or visit www.in.gov/sos/elections/. You can also contact the local voter registration office at 317-776-9632 or visit www.hamiltoncounty.in.gov.

-30-

Representative Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville)

Contact Information:
Name: Ben Gavelek
Phone: 317-232-9831
Email: ben.gavelek@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Law & Justice
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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