State Rep. Pat Boy fights to make elections more voter-friendly

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Pat Boy (D-Michigan City) yesterday offered several amendments to House Bill 1365 that would have increased accessibility and ease of mind at the polls.

The bill currently states that election officials must undergo training that includes “best practice in answering voters' questions on how to vote,” which unintentionally leaves the door open for election officials to tell voters which candidates they should vote for. Boy offered an amendment to clarify that election officials should be instructed on how to answer “voters' questions on how to use the voting machine.”

“Saying 'how to vote' has bad connotations,” Boy explained.

“Sometimes we write legislation thinking that it is solving a problem, but later realize its unintended consequences. In something as important as our election process, we need to make sure we are being clear and deliberate so that we avoid as many of these potential problems as possible.”

This amendment was defeated by a vote of 25-61.

Additionally, Boy offered an amendment that would have prevented a voter's registration from being cancelled due to being registered in another state without first attempting to verify that the voter had in fact moved. Currently Indiana law allows this cancellation to take place without confirming the voter's signature – as their name could simply be matching with someone of another state – or notifying the voter in any way.

“Removing a registered voter without notifying them or allowing them to correct an error is in direct violation of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993,” Boy said.

“It makes no sense to me that we would allow the Indiana Code to continue to violate federal law and disenfranchise voters. Voters need to be confident in the election process.”

The amendment was defeated by a vote of 26-65.

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