Republicans back bill for tighter Indiana mail voting rules

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Voter ID
IL file photo

Indiana voters would have to submit more identification information to obtain mail-in election ballots under a bill Republicans are advancing through the state Legislature.

The Indiana House voted 64-27 along party lines Wednesday in favor of a bill that would require voters submitting a paper application for a mail ballot to include a photocopy of a government-issued identification card or at least two ID numbers, such as their 10-digit driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

Bill sponsor Republican Rep. Tim Wesco of Osceola said the step was aimed at increasing voter confidence in elections by putting identification requirements for mail-in ballots in line with those for in-person voting.

Democrats argued that the additional requirements may disenfranchise some people, especially older voters who find it difficult to navigate the additional requirements. Voting-rights groups maintain the ID requirements aren’t necessary because county election workers already must confirm that a person’s signature on the application matches that from their voter registration record.

House members voted Tuesday to remove provisions that would have prohibited a spouse or other family member from requesting a mail ballot application for a voter and ban any portion of the application form being highlighted.

The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

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