An effort is underway to ensure polling places are open and adequately staffed. The Indiana Supreme Court Justices unanimously agreed the legal community should support that effort. The Court is encouraging lawyers to consider whether they can volunteer at the polls. Read the September 9 letter from the Justices.
CLE and Pro Bono Hours
Continuing Legal Education credit and pro bono hours can be applied to the volunteerism.
You may report up to one hour of attendance for your county poll worker training course on the Indiana Courts Portal, using course number 266686. Attendance may be reported beginning October 1. If you have questions, contact the Indiana Supreme Court Office of Admissions and Continuing Education.
Additionally, the hours you spend working at a polling site may be reported when you complete your 2021 annual registration (as 2020 pro bono hours) under Rule 6.7 of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct.
How to Volunteer
Judge and Lawyer Ethics
Judicial officers cannot serve as poll workers to avoid any potential conflict should they be called upon to rule on any lawsuits about election contests. Court staff are also prohibited from serving under the Judicial Code of Conduct.
Any lawyer who is actively involved in a campaign (candidate, campaign chairperson, campaign treasurer, etc.) needs to be aware of statutory laws about their presence in the polling place and possible criminal implications. If a lawyer is serving as a legal advisor to a campaign or a ballot issue, then the lawyer should be aware of possible conflict of interest.
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission plays an advisory role to lawyers. The Commission will provide ethical guidance through formal written advisory opinions and informal individual guidance. Both are aimed to prevent ethical mishaps and enhance the overall professionalism of the Indiana Bar. To request informal individual guidance, use the Indiana Court's Portal. The informal guidance directed to an individual lawyer will be confidential, based on a given set of facts, and will never be published. See instructions and find the guidance request form.