voting

FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Legislation to extend Indiana’s Election Day voting by two hours – to 8 p.m. – got a hearing this week in the House Elections Committee.

Current poll hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Indiana is one of only three states whose polls close that early. It’s also one of only 18 states where polls are open just 12 hours. The Hoosier State also regularly ranks near the bottom of the country for voter turnout.

Rima Shahid leads Women4Change, a nonpartisan advocacy group. She says extending poll hours to 8 p.m. would help Hoosiers.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in Detroit is making it easier for independent candidates to run for statewide office.

Judge Victoria Roberts says the 30,000-signature threshold is too high and doesn't reflect a “compelling state interest.”

She set the bar at 12,000 petition signatures for the 2020 election.

The ruling could immediately affect independent candidates who want to run for U.S. Senate or president.

There are no races next year for Michigan governor, attorney general or secretary of state.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An audit of Michigan’s Bureau of Elections released Friday found discrepancies that allowed an unauthorized user to access the state's voter file and inadequate training of elections officials in over 500 local governments.

The audit by the Office of Auditor General found that 32 counties, 83 cities and 426 townships lack fully accredited clerks nearly two weeks before a general election year begins.

The audit also found that an unauthorized user accessed the state’s file of 7.5 million qualified voters.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Census data shows millennials are expected to be the largest generation in the electorate by the 2020 general election. This growth will continue to come largely through immigration and naturalization.

Turnout among young people in Indiana climbed from 8 percent in 2014 to 23 percent during the 2018 midterm elections, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Democratic group is challenging Michigan’s restrictions on transporting voters to the polls and helping people apply for absentee ballots, asking a federal judge to block enforcement of the laws.

The lawsuit was filed late Tuesday. It is the second voting-related suit brought in two weeks by Priorities USA, a super PAC that plans to spend millions of dollars to mobilize and turn out voters in Michigan.

DANK DEPOT / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Ten communities will decide Tuesday whether they want businesses to be able to sell recreational marijuana. Last November, the state passed a law legalizing recreational marijuana. Since then, the issue has slowly been debated in communities at the ballot box.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Not many cars were parked in the parking lot at Elkhart's North Side Gym. That is just one of the polling sites in the city where residents may vote today in municipal elections.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

In Benton Harbor voters are choosing between incumbent mayor Marcus Muhammad and Ron Singleton. Both are Democrats. 

There are also city commissioners on the ballot in Benton Harbor. 

Naomi Clark says she’s been voting every time she could since she turned 18. She says those who don’t vote, can’t complain.

 

"If someone get in that you don't want in, that you think shouldn't have been in, then you don't have anything to say if you didn't vote," Clark says.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

One of Indiana’s methods to purge voter rolls will remain shut down after a federal appeals court decision Tuesday.

An Indiana law first passed in 2017 allows counties to immediately remove voters from the rolls if they’re flagged by the Interstate Crosscheck System. Crosscheck, created by controversial former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is a multi-state database of voter registrations.

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Indiana's Voter Signature Law

May 17, 2019
Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A government watchdog group is challenging the constitutionality of an Indiana law that allows election officials to throw out voters' absentee ballots if they think the signature on the envelope doesn't match other signatures on file.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday by Common Cause Indiana contends that Indiana's law resulted in the rejection of "several hundred and possibly more than a thousand mail-in absentee ballots" submitted in 2018.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Voters in South Bend and Elkhart are choosing mayoral candidates in contested primaries.

At-large candidates for South Bend Common Council will answer audience questions at a forum tonight at Indiana University South Bend.

 Voters pick three at-large candidates on the primary ballots on May 7th. The event, hosted by the American Democracy Project of IUSB and the South Bend League of Women Voters, is one of several candidate events being held across the area. The forum will be followed by one-on-one networking between candidates and voters. It starts at 6 in Northside Hall at IUSB.