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Election Law @ Moritz Home Page

Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


2008 Key Questions for Key States

Indiana

The complete research by Election Law @ Moritz for Indiana can be found below.

Institutional Arrangements

State Chief Election Authorities

Elected individual (R)

Chief election authority: Secretary of State. Code Ann. § 3-6-3.7-1.

Method of selection: Elected. Const. Art. 6, § 1.

Current officer: Todd Rokita. Voter ID case will be justices’ most divisive in years, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 25, 2007. (Last updated 1/1/08)

State High Court Composition

Unknown affiliation/appointed

Method of selection: Gubernatorial appointment. Const. Art. 7, § 2.

Justices: Randall T. Shepard (R), Brent E. Dickson (appointed by R), Frank Sullivan, Jr. (appointed by D), Theodore R. Boehm (appointed by D), Robert D. Rucker (appointed by D) (Last Updated 12/20/07)

Sources:

  • Week in review, Journal – Gazette (Ft. Wayne), July 22, 2007.
  • The Indiana Supremes State’s top court places more emphasis on constitutional law, Journal – Gazette (Ft. Wayne), December 19, 2004.  

Local Administrator Training

Periodic pre-election training/voluntary

The Secretary of State's office holds a meeting before each general or municipal election to instruct county election officials on their duties. IC 3-6-4.2-14. However, the code does not specify any consequences for not attending.

Who tallies precinct results?

Local election authority - partisanship constrained

County election boards total the precinct results for the county.  County election boards are composed of the circuit court clerk and two persons appointed by the clerk from nominations submitted by the county party chairpersons. IC 3-6-5-2. The circuit court clerk is elected.  Const. Art. 6, § 2.  Circuit court judges decide disputes among county election board members over how to count a precinct’s tally in the aggregate count and that determination is final.  IC 3-12-4-16, 3-12-4-17.

Who counts provisional ballots?

Local election authority - bipartisan

County election boards determine whether to count provisional ballots. IC 3-11.7-5-2. County election boards are composed of the circuit court clerk and one person appointed by the clerk from each of the two major political parties. IC 3-6-5-2. Provisional ballots must be counted by noon 10 days after the election. IC 3-11.7-5-1.

Who performs state canvass?

Special canvassing commission - appointed/bipartisan

The Election Division of the Secretary of State’s office canvasses county returns.  IC 3-12-5-7.  The Election Division is headed by two individuals appointed by the governor.  IC 3-6-4.2-3, 3-6-4.2-3.2.  Both political parties must be represented.

Local Administrator

County board - bipartisan

Indiana elections are run by county election boards. County election boards are composed of the circuit court clerk and two persons appointed by the clerk from nominations submitted by the county party chairpersons. IC 3-6-5-2. The circuit court clerk is elected. Ind. Const. Art. 6, § 2.

Lake and Tippecanoe counties each have a combined Board of Elections and Registration consisting of the circuit court clerk, two Democrats and two Republicans appointed by their respective county party chairpersons. IC 3-6-5.2-4. The director is appointed from the two members of the party whose candidate for Secretary of State received the most votes in the last election and the assistant director must be of the other party. IC 3-6-5.2-7.

Local Administrators' Party Affiliation

Unknown affiliation/appointed

County Population Administrator/Affiliation Selection Voting technology
Marion County 863,596 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S Model 100 OS
Lake County 490,844 Bipartisan board Appointed MicroVote MV464 touchscreen
Allen County 342,168 Bipartisan board Appointed MicroVote MV464 touchscreen
St. Joseph County 266,431 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S Model 100 OS
Hamilton County 231,760 Bipartisan board Appointed MicroVote MV464 touchscreen
Elkhart County 191,768 Bipartisan board Appointed Diebold Accuvote OS
Vanderburgh County 173,157 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S iVotronic touchscreen
Porter County 154,961 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S Model 100 OS
Tippecanoe County 152,042 Bipartisan board Appointed Diebold Accuvote TS touchscreen
Madison County 130,602 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S iVotronic touchscreen
Total 2,997,329 (48.1% of total pop.)

Source for voting machines: http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/hava/pdf/CountyVotingSystems.pdf

Voter Registration

Registration Deadline

29 days before election

The deadline to register or transfer a registration to a new address is the 29th day before any election. IC 3-7-13-11. Third parties are permitted to deliver registration forms to the circuit court clerk or Board of Registration. IC 3-7-22-9. Mail registration applications will be accepted if post-marked by the 29th day prior to an election. IC 3-7-33-4.

Indiana does not have election day registration.

Notice of Registration Error

Yes

Where registration forms are not “fully or properly” completed, county registration officials must make one attempt by mail and one by phone to obtain the necessary information. IC 3-7-34-2.

Opportunity to Correct after Registration Deadline

Depends

The code permits, but does not explicitly require, local officials to update incomplete or incorrect applications with proper information any time before final certification of the voter list, which must occur at least 10 days before the election. IC 3-7-34-4.

HAVA matching standards

Unclear

It is unclear from communications received from the Indiana Secretary of State's office exactly what matching standard is used.  However, a representative of the Secretary provided the following information:

"Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) - When a voter provides either his/her BMV-issued driver's license number or state identification number, this information is verified by SVRS via a real-time interface to BMV's driver's license system.   The SVRS will provide the user with a result of the verification prior to the user completing either the new voter registration or voter record update process in the system.  Specifically, the SVRS will provide the user with a match showing a subset of BMV's information for the voter or the SVRS will return an error with either finding a driver's license or state identification number match.

"Department of Health (DOH) - The SVRS maintains a table containing a list of all death notices maintained by the Department of Health.   This list is refreshed on a daily basis via a system interface between the IN Department of Health and SVRS.   All new voter registrations are verified against this list to determine whether there's a potential match.   If there's a potential match, the SVRS presents the user with a confidential factor of the match as well as a subset of information on-file by DOH, so the user can further determine whether a match truly exists.  Additionally, existing voter registration records are routinely checked against this DOH death list to identify voters who have recently passed away. 

"Department of Corrections (DOC) - The SVRS maintains a table containing a list of all incarceration notices maintained by the Department of Corrections.   This list is refreshed on a daily basis via a system interface between the IN Department of Corrections and SVRS.   All new voter registrations are verified against this list to determine whether there's a potential match.   If there's a potential match, the SVRS presents the user with a confidential factor of the match as well as a subset of information on-file by DOC, so the user can further determine whether a match truly exists.  Additionally, existing voter registration records are routinely checked against this DOC incarceration list to identify voters who have recently passed away. 

"Social Security Administration (SSA) - When a voter provides only the last 4 digits of his/her social security number, the SVRS will verify this information real-time against the Social Security Administration's database.  The SVRS will provide the user with a result of the verification prior to completing the voter registration or voter record update process in the system.  Specifically, the SVRS will provide the user with a verified message or return an error stating the last 4 digits of the SSN could not be found in the SSA database. "

Source:  Email, Indiana Secretary of State's office.

Will the inability to verify social security number or driver's license number prevent registration?

Unclear

Unclear.

Emails and phone conversations with the Indiana Secretary of State's office suggested that Indiana does not reject voter registration applications in the case of an inability to match.  However, the issue was not entirely clear.  Assuming that Indiana does not reject applications, it is unclear whether there is any consequence to the voter at all when the matching process results in failure.

 

Challenges

Pre-election challenges

N/A

Indiana does not have pre-election day challenges, only election-day challenges.

Election day challenges

Successfully challenged voter must cast a provisional ballot

Challengers are allowed in the polls on election day and may challenge a voter by signing an affidavit containing the reason for the challenge and the source of the challenger's belief that a person is voting illegally. IC 3-6-7-1, 3-11-8-20, 3-11-8-21. Challenged voters must affirm in an affidavit their registration and eligibility and cast a provisional ballot. IC 3-11-8-22.1. Challengers and other precinct officials are specifically barred from and subject to prosecution for challenging voters based on their status as a student, their political party or their support for a particular candidate or position. IC 3-5-4.5.

Provisional Ballots

Provisional ballot - name not in poll book

Ballot will count if voter was registered and eligible and properly filled out paperwork

Provisional ballots are counted if the voter 1) properly executed an affidavit on election day, 2) was qualified to vote in that precinct, 3) provided proper ID, and 4) was properly registered to vote. IC 3-11.7-5-2. In determining whether these conditions are present, officials will look at information provided by the provisional voter, as well as information contained in state and local registration records. Furthermore, if the voter indicated on the provisional ballot paperwork that he or she registered with the state motor vehicles department or other voter registration agency, officials shall contact the registration agency to see whether the registration was filed. However, if the agency does not respond, the provisional ballot will not count.

Provisional ballot - voter cast ballot in wrong precinct

Ballot will not be counted

Provisional ballots will not count if cast in the wrong precinct.  IC 3-11.7-5-2.

Provisional Ballot Casting Rate - 2006

0-.25 percent of ballots cast at polls

0.13%

Provisional Ballot Counting Rate - 2006

40-50 percent

44.6%

Early and Absentee Voting

Convenience Voting

Early voting and "excuse" absentee voting

Indiana early voting begins 29 days before each election. IC 3-11-4-1.

Absentee voting is permitted only with an excuse. IC 3-11-10-24.  Ballot applications may be submitted starting 90 days before the election and ending on midnight the 8th day before the election (noon on the day before the election for applications completed in-person).  IC 3-11-4-3.  To count, completed ballots must be received before noon on election day.  IC 3-11.5-4-3, 3-11.5-4-7.

Voting Technology

Voting Technology

Mixed

County Population Administrator/Affiliation Selection Voting technology
Marion County 863,596 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S Model 100 OS
Lake County 490,844 Bipartisan board Appointed MicroVote MV464 touchscreen
Allen County 342,168 Bipartisan board Appointed MicroVote MV464 touchscreen
St. Joseph County 266,431 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S Model 100 OS
Hamilton County 231,760 Bipartisan board Appointed MicroVote MV464 touchscreen
Elkhart County 191,768 Bipartisan board Appointed Diebold Accuvote OS
Vanderburgh County 173,157 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S iVotronic touchscreen
Porter County 154,961 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S Model 100 OS
Tippecanoe County 152,042 Bipartisan board Appointed Diebold Accuvote TS touchscreen
Madison County 130,602 Bipartisan board Appointed ES&S iVotronic touchscreen
Total 2,997,329 (48.1% of total pop.)

Source for voting machines: http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/hava/pdf/CountyVotingSystems.pdf

Does state law require a VVPAT?

No

Indiana only uses optical scan voting systems. IC 3-11-15-13.7, 3-11-15-20. 

Polling Place Operations

Who are poll workers?

Appointed by local administrator/some minority party representation

County elections boards appoint poll workers from nominations made by the county political party chairpersons. Each polling location has a head poll worker and other poll workers. The head poll worker comes from the party that received the most votes in that county for Secretary of State in the last election. IC 3-6-6-1, 3-6-6-8. The rest of the poll workers are appointed on an evenly bipartisan basis.

Other precinct officers include poll clerks, assistant poll clerks and election sheriffs, but county election boards may decide by unanimous resolution not to appoint these officers. IC 3-6-6-38. When appointed, these additional officers are appointed in bipartisan pairs.

Poll worker training

Prior to each election

Training for precinct officers is conducted by the county election boards before each election. IC 3-6-6-40. Boards must require head poll workers to attend training but have discretion as to requiring the other poll workers to attend. Where counties have mandated training, officials may waive the requirement if the poll workers cannot attend training for good cause. The Secretary of State provides extensive training materials (see here) to the counties, but there is no requirement in the election code that the counties use them.

Polling hours extension

Unclear

The state Election Commission may extend the time for election officials to perform their duties if a natural disaster or other emergency makes it impossible or unreasonable for the duty to be performed as otherwise specified in the election code. IC 3-6-4.1-17. Based on the language, this probably includes the abilility to suspend or delay elections. It is less clear whether this would allow selective extension of polling hours.

The state Election Commission, by unanimous vote, may adopt emergency rules "to implement a court order requiring the commission, the election division, or an election board or official to administer an election in a manner not authorized by this title." IC 3-6-4.1-16.

In 2006 in Delaware County, officials extended voting by three hours after voting machines failed to work properly. Computer glitches, breakdowns mar vote in several US states, Agence France Presse English Wire, November 8, 2006. In the 2008 presidential primary, a judge ordered polls in Porter County to be kept open due to ballot shortages. Record Voting, Ballot Shortages in Indiana, cbsnews.com, May 7, 2008 (available at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/07/politics/main4077297.shtml).

Poll hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. IC 3-11-8-8.

Voters standing in line at the close of polls may vote. IC 3-11-8-11.

 

Polling place closing times - local times

6:00 PM local time

Polling place closing times - local times

6:00 PM local time

Polling place closing times - by Eastern time zone

7:00 PM Eastern time

Most polls in Indiana close at 6:00 PM Eastern time.

Ballot Security

Voter ID requirements

Photo ID required

Indiana requires that all voters provide proof of identification to vote. IC 3-11-8-25.1. The voter’s identification must satisfy all of the following: 1) the document must show the name of the individual that matches the name on the voter registration record; 2) the document must show a photograph of the individual; 3) the document must include an expiration date that has not expired or expired after the date of the most recent general election; 4) the document was issued by the US or the state of Indiana. IC 3-5-2-40.5.

There is one additional ID requirement that applies only to voters who are voting in an Indiana federal election for the first time, who registered to vote by mail, who did not produce ID at the point of registration, and whose identities were not verified in the statewide voter registration database by comparing the information against social security or state motor vehicles databases. These voters must show a current and valid photo ID or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows the name and address of the voter. IC 3-11-8-25.2. This is in addition to the regular photo ID required by IC 3-11-8-25.1. It seems clear that following the ordinary voter ID requirement should satisfy the additional requirement as well, making this additional ID requirement moot for most voters.

Consequences of failure to present ID

Voters must cast provisional ballot

Voters who are required to show ID and do not have it may cast a provisional ballot. ICA 48A.8(4).

Follow-up required of voter

Voter must return with ID or affidavit of indigency/religious objection

To ensure that their provisional ballots count, voters have until noon 10 days following the election to provide proof of identification to the circuit court clerk or county election board and execute an affidavit affirming that the voter is the same individual who voted on election day. As an alternative, the voter can affirm that he or she is prevented from obtaining ID due to indigence or a religious objection. IC 3-11.7-5-1, 3-11.7-5-2.5. The provisional ballot will count.

Emergency Preparedness

Natural Disasters or Emergencies

Election-specific emergency provision

The state Election Commission, by unanimous vote, may adopt emergency rules "to implement a court order requiring the commission, the election division, or an election board or official to administer an election in a manner not authorized by this title."  IC 3-6-4.1-16.

The state Election Commission may also extend the time for election officials to perform their duties if a natural disaster or other emergency makes it impossible or unreasonable for the duty to be performed as otherwise specified in the election code.  IC 3-6-4.1-17.  Based on the language, this probably includes the abilility to suspend or delay elections.

Ballot Shortages

Poll workers may create makeshift ballots

Poll workers may print ballots in the event that ballots are not present at the opening of polls. IC 3-11-3-28. No provisions were found addressing ballot shortages occurring later in the day.

In the 2008 Presidential primary, multiple counties in Indiana experienced shortages and local officials printed more ballots that would later have to be counted by hand. Record Voting, Ballot Shortages in Indiana, AP, May 7, 2008.

What if touchscreens break down?

Poll workers can create makeshift ballots

Precinct boards are authorized by law to print ballots when needed. IC 3-11-3-28. Indiana law explicitly allows local officials to use paper ballots in addition to other voting systems if they see a need. IC 3-11-3-3.

Indiana's Secretary of State has a 2008 Election Day Handbook posted online that lays out instructions for use of paper ballots during an emergency repair of a computerized voting system (see here, p. 27).

Post-Election Processes

State certification deadline

Fourth week in November

The election division tabulates the votes cast for president no later than noon of the last Tuesday in November. IC 3-12-5-7.  The Secretary of State certifies the results immediately following the election division’s tabulation.  

Election contest deadline

Unclear whether contest could be permitted under state law

Election contests are creatures of statute, and Indiana law does not specifically authorize contests of presidential elections (although contests of presidential primaries are authorized). IC 3-12-11-2. This suggests that contests of presidential general elections are not permitted in Indiana. If the contest were permitted, it would have to be filed no later than 14 days after election day. Note that this deadline actually occurs earlier than the time when official statewide results must be certified. Official results need not be certified until noon on the last Tuesday in November. IC 3-12-5-7.

Local count deadline

Within 7 days of the election

The county boards must complete their canvass by noon on the Monday following the election. The circuit court clerk must also prepare a certified statement of the vote count by this time and hand deliver it or send it via certified mail to the Secretary of State. IC 3-12-5-6.

NOTES: Precincts count their ballots and deliver their tallies to the county election boards for aggregation after the polls close. IC 3-12-2-1 et seq., 3-12-3-1 et seq., 3-12-3.5-1 et seq.

Audit type

None

Indiana election law does not provide for audits.

Audit scope

No audits authorized

No authorization for audits of voting machine accuracy was found.

Candidate-requested recounts

Upon request

Candidates have the right to a recount and have 14 days from the election to file a petition with the election division for a recount or to contest an election. IC 3-12-11-1, 3-12-11-2. Note that this deadline actually occurs before the time when official statewide results must be certified.  Official results need not be certified until noon on the last Tuesday in November.  IC 3-12-5-7.

If the candidate does not request a recount or contest, state party chairpersons have 17 days from an election for federal or statewide office to request a recount or to contest an election. For legislative offices, county party chairpersons also have 17 days to request recounts or contest elections.

Administrative Recounts

Not explicitly authorized

No black-letter law was found authorizing administrative recounts.

However, local trial court court judges decide disputes among county election board members over how to count a precinct’s tally. IC 3-12-4-16, 3-12-4-17. It is possible that a member of the county election board could cause a recount to occur by persuading this judge that it is necessary for a correct count.

Automatic Recounts

None

Indiana does not have automatic recounts.

Defintion of a vote

Concrete standard

Indiana law allows any voting mark that touches the square to the left of the candidates to be counted as a vote. IC 3-12-1-5, 3-12-1-9. A ballot that uses a number, symbol or initials to indicate the voter’s choice will not be counted. IC 3-12-1-10. This standard establishes definitive criteria on what constitutes a vote.

What Court Would Hear a Presidential Contest?

Other

An election contest petition should be filed with the election division of the executive branch. Ind. Code Ann. § 3-12-11-2. Election contests are heard by the state recount commission. Ind. Code Ann. § 3-12-11-17. Except as otherwise provided, “the secretary of state and the designee of the state chairman of each of the major political parties of the state shall serve as members of the state recount commission.” Ind. Code Ann. § 3-12-10-2.1.

Who Performs Presidential recounts?

Bipartisan

Recounts are conducted by the State Recount Commission or persons designated by it. I.C. 3-12-11-17. In Presidential elections, the state recount commission consists of the Secretary of State and two persons designated by the major political parties of the state. I.C. 3-12-10-2.1. The Secretary of State is elected. Ind. Const. Art. 6, § 1.