The bill, passed on April 11, will require applicants to submit either a copy of their Indiana driver’s license or voter identification number when they apply for a mail-in ballot. If the information submitted does not match what is contained in the voter’s record those applicants will face delays in ballot access, and potential disenfranchisement. Opponents, including Common Cause Indiana Executive Director Julia Vaughn, have expressed concerns about H.B. 1334 decreasing access to the ballot box. In addition to the hurdles that mostly elderly or disabled Hoosiers who vote by mail will face, the new barriers will inevitably overwhelm county election administrators. If signed into law, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2023.
Though Gov. Holcomb is expected to sign the bill, the letter asks that he veto the bill, acknowledging that H.B. 1334 “would also violate the United States Constitution, which prohibits voting restrictions that place unjustified burdens on the fundamental right to vote.”
“With one stroke of a pen, Gov. Holcomb can take a stand against partisan leaders and remove these increased hurdles to voting,” said Vaughn. “The right to vote is a cornerstone of American democracy, with democracy thriving when everyone is included. We hope Gov. Holcomb upholds that cornerstone by vetoing this bill created to make voting by mail more difficult.”
“Requiring additional fields of identification in absentee ballot applications would pose unnecessary additional barriers for marginalized communities,” said Ami Gandhi, Director of Voting Rights and Civic Empowerment at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. “Let’s be clear: This bill would actually reduce election integrity by restricting access.”
Barbara Bolling-Williams, State President of the Indiana State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, agreed, saying, “Exposing personal data will lead to further apprehension from our seniors, who are most vulnerable to identity theft, to decide not to vote.”