Republicans OK plan tightening Indiana mail-in voting rules

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Indiana Statehouse (IL file photo)

Indiana Republicans endorsed a new attempt Wednesday to toughen laws on mail-in voting that opponents argue would unnecessarily add hurdles for people seeking to cast election ballots.

The House elections committee voted 9-4 along party lines to advance the proposal that would require voters submitting a paper application for a mail ballot to include a photocopy of their driver’s license or at least two identification numbers, such as their 10-digit driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Rep. Tim Wesco

Bill sponsor Republican Rep. Tim Wesco of Osceola said the step was aimed at validating who was receiving mail-in ballots by putting identification requirements in line with what people must present when voting in person.

Democrats and voting-rights groups argued that the new requirements could be especially difficult for older voters to complete and that county election workers already must confirm that a person’s signature on the application matches that from their voter registration record.

Other attempts for tougher Indiana mail-in voting rules have failed the last two years in the Republican-dominated Legislature even as former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters stoked false claims that fraud led to his 2020 election defeat.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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