Pfaff proposal would make it easier for Hoosiers to vote
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute) has filed legislation that makes it easier for Hoosiers to vote.
House Bill 1256 would extend polling hours to 8 p.m. and allow Hoosiers to register to vote up until noon on Election Day.
“Indiana has traditionally had poor voter turnout to the point that it was celebrated when we reached over 50 percent in 2018,” Pfaff said. “We should always be striving to do better as a state.”
Under current law, voter registration ends about a month before Election Day. It is during that month that people become interested in the election only to find out they are too late to register. The registration process can seem intimidating to first-time voters. Having an election officer assist in that process on Election Day can encourage first-time voters to turn out.
“In the 16 states that have already adopted same-day voter registration, turnout increases,” Pfaff said. “It is time for Indiana to join them.”
The bill allows Hoosiers to register to vote up until noon on the day of election.
In order to register at the polls, a voter must complete a registration form and an affirmation that he/she has not already voted in the election and provide acceptable proof of residence. Acceptable documents proving residence include a photo ID or a current bill, check or government document with the name and address of the applicant and a statement.
Indiana is one of two states in the U.S. that closes its polls at 6 p.m.
“Most Hoosiers work during the day,” Pfaff said. “They want to go home and feed their kids. By the time dinner is over, the polls are closed and they’ve missed their opportunity to vote.
“All Hoosiers deserve an equal opportunity to take advantage of their right to vote.”