Indiana officials work to educate voters about election security
INDIANAPOLIS – During her tour of Indiana’s 92 counties, Secretary of State Holli Sullivan (R-Indiana) said she was working to educate voters about the election security measures in place by the state.
There are no statewide races in Indiana in November and only a few local elections in the state. Yet nearly a year after the November 2020 elections, local officials say they regularly receive messages from voters questioning the security of the elections.
“I just want voters to have confidence in our voting machines, in our elections,” said Beth Sheller, Election Administrator for Hamilton County.
Sheller said she makes an effort to respond to every call or email she receives from voters inquiring about election security.
“I don’t mind giving people information on how we protect our machines, how we get them up and running on election day and keep them safe,” Sheller said.
Secretary Sullivan said her office was planning a campaign for next year to increase voter confidence in the election.
“We do a lot in Indiana before the voters vote to make sure the whole electoral process is secure,” she said.
These security measures include public testing of voting material and certification of that material by an independent group, Sullivan said. Voting machines are not connected to the Internet, she added.
Since there are no statewide elections this year, Sullivan said, his office is focusing its efforts on reviewing voters lists by sending postcards to voters to verify addresses.
“It is an incredibly important role that our office has as well as your county clerks in ensuring that our voters list is maintained and updated,” said Sullivan.
In the last session, the state legislature made some changes to the electoral law regarding postal voting, including creating a protocol for counties to verify signatures on these ballots.
Political experts say that at present there is no clear evidence that electoral security issues have an impact on voter turnout. But some fear this will change.
“There’s a fear that this kind of lack of confidence in the system will make people feel the same way, that their vote won’t matter, so why bother going to the polls?” Explained Elizabeth Bennion, professor of political science at Indiana University in South Bend.
Any other change to election security procedures would come from the state legislature, Sullivan said.
If you have questions about election security, you can contact your local election office, Sheller said.
You can also find more information on the state website and through the Bowen Center for Public Affairs.
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