Update: The Indiana Election Commission met on March 23 and enacted no-fault absentee voting. A victory for voters in these uncertain times! More on absentee voting and new primary deadlines here.

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest.

Due to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19, Hoosier voters will likely encounter a variety of barriers to the ballot. These barriers must be addressed upfront by introducing sound, vigorous and responsible government action.

The ACLU of Indiana believes that any voter should be allowed to vote absentee for any reason, and regardless of reason that voter should be able to cast that ballot either in-person or by mail.  That is why we support updating Indiana policies to allow no-excuse absentee voting.

Additionally, the ACLU of Indiana has identified other policy changes that could remove barriers for Hoosier voters during these uncertain times.

  1. Indiana should consider extending the absentee ballot application deadline to the November general election. Currently, the ballot request deadline in Indiana is 12 days. Most states are 7 days or less.  
  1. Voters should have an opportunity to request an absentee ballot by web portal, email or by phone. Finding a stamp and requesting an absentee ballot before Election Day could be a barrier for many voters.
  1. Indiana should extend the deadline for returning an absentee ballot. Our state currently requires ballots to be returned by Election Day. The ACLU of Indiana recommends changing that requirement so that all ballots postmarked before or during Election Day are counted. 

As Indiana works to keep communities safe and strong, during these difficult times, we hope government officials will also do everything they can to ensure every Hoosier has the means to execute their fundamental right to vote.