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home : most recent : statewide implications August 16, 2017

4/18/2017 7:24:00 PM
EDITORIAL: Baby steps on election reform


Indiana’s election system has problems. It’s not voter-friendly in a number of ways, including its registration process. The result has been disappointing voter turnout in recent years.

Indiana’s voter turnout was the 11th worst in the nation in 2016 and the worst in 2014.

It’s proving difficult to make changes in the process, largely due to the one-party rule in the statehouse. While there is widespread acknowledgement that the system is broken, there’s not much motivation for reform when it has helped one political party take complete control of the state government apparatus.

Fortunately, lawmakers such as Terre Haute’s Clyde Kersey have not given up. A reform measure sponsored by Kersey aimed at improving voter turnout cleared the Indiana House last week and awaits the signature of Gov. Eric Holcomb.

House Bill 1178 requires Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles employees to ask each person conducting business at the local license branch if they would like to register to vote. If the answer is yes, the employee must provide the proper forms to register, then provide additional information on how to file the paperwork with the county voter registration office.

It’s a minor improvement, but it is progress.

“Does this legislation cure what ails Indiana’s broken election system? Not even close,” Kersey said in a news release. “But, considering the usual intransigence that comes from the majority party when it comes to election reform, I am pleased whenever we can take any steps to get more people to vote. I just wish we weren’t taking baby steps.”

We commend Kersey for his persistence. It’s a worthy cause and we encourage him to press on. We also urge Gov. Holcomb to sign this bill.

2017 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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