Judge Denies Vote-By-Mail Expansion In Indiana

Aug 22, 2020

Voters wait in a line outside Perry Meridian High school to vote in the Indiana primary in Indianapolis, Tuesday, June 2, 2020 after coronavirus concerns prompted officials to delay the primary from its original May 5 date. Voters waited up to two hours to cast their ballots. Nearly 550,000 voters requested mail-in ballots, more than 10 times the number of those ballots cast during the 2016 primary.
Credit (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

A federal judge won’t force Indiana to expand vote-by-mail for this fall’s election. A group of Hoosier voters filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Election Commission after Republican commission members refused to allow any Hoosier who wanted to vote by mail to cast a ballot that way for the 2020 general election. The commission did expand vote-by-mail for the June primary, due to the pandemic. Judge James Patrick Hanlon ruled that while the Constitution guarantees the right to vote, it does not guarantee the right to vote by mail. And he says the voters who filed the lawsuit couldn’t prove that they would be blocked from voting at all if vote-by-mail wasn’t expanded. That makes it unlikely the system will change this year. Governor Eric Holcomb has steadfastly refused to expand vote-by-mail again for the general election; he argues in-person voting will be safe enough for most Hoosiers. Indiana is one of seven states without expanded vote-by-mail this fall.