Adjusted voting rules show true bipartisanship

The COVID-19 public health crisis has touched every facet of Hoosiers’ lives in recent weeks, including significant changes to the way our state and counties will administer our upcoming primary election.

The Indiana Citizen Education Foundation, which operates The Indiana Citizen voter-engagement platform (www.indianacitizen.org), believes strongly that the key to sustaining our democracy is to make certain every eligible voter is able to vote and is fully informed when casting his or her ballot.

That is why we were extremely pleased to see Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the Indiana Election Commission and the chairs of Indiana’s major political parties come together to propose and enact changes to protect every eligible Hoosier’s right to vote, including delaying the primary election to June 2, allowing every voter to request an absentee ballot and extending registration deadlines to May 4. Their recommendations were enacted unanimously by the Indiana Election Commission, ably led by Paul Okeson and Anthony Long. There will certainly be additional costs the state and counties incur by implementing these pro-voter changes.

Fortunately, the federal government appears poised to offer financial support for states that have had to delay elections. Tucked away in the massive stimulus package — Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act — is a provision that provides $400 million in funding to help states “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 federal election cycle.”

The Indiana Citizen is ready to assist in any way we can, including helping state and county officials spread the word about the changes to voting procedures this year.

The Indiana Citizen also stands prepared to help in developing a strategy that secures these federal grant funds for use in Indiana.

In endorsing the recent changes, state party chairmen Kyle Hupfer and John Zody succinctly and elegantly stated, “Maintaining the integrity of our elections and preserving a citizen’s right to vote, even under difficult circumstances, is the bedrock of our republic.”

We couldn’t agree more, and we are ready to help for the good of our Hoosier democracy.

— Bill Moreau, Co-founder and president

Indiana Citizen Education Foundation

Reader Poll Results

Recently, at Tribstar.com, we asked readers:

Do you intend to support local restaurants by placing carry-out orders while dine-in restrictions remain in place?

Total Votes — 177

Yes — 121

No — 26

Not sure — 10

New Reader Poll

Grade Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s leadership during the COVID-19 crisis:

To vote, visit www.tribstar.com.

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