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Judge strikes down Indiana's absentee voter signature law

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 16:52:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS – A federal judge struck down one of Indiana’s voting laws this week, which may affect your vote in November’s general election.

Southern District of Indiana Judge Sarah Evans Barker said Indiana’s method of checking voters’ signatures was unconstitutional, since the election workers weren’t trained in verifying signatures. Indiana also didn’t notify the would-be voters that their ballot didn’t count, nor were they given the opportunity to correct the issue.

“Without such procedural safeguards, the signature verification requirement actually threatens to undermine the State's interests in correctly validating the identity of voters casting mail-in absentee ballots,” Barker said in her opinion.

The opinion prohibits Indiana from “rejecting any mail-in absentee ballot on the basis of a signature mismatch without adequate notice and cure procedures to the affected voter.” It also requires the Indiana Secretary of State’s office to notify election workers of the changes.

The Secretary of State’s office declined comment to WRTV about the opinion.

“This victory helps ensure no Hoosier voting by mail will be disenfranchised by Indiana’s flawed signature matching law,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director of Common Cause Indiana, the plaintiff in the case. “Election laws should protect people’s right to vote and the integrity of our election system. Indiana’s signature matching law failed to do either, and wrongly disenfranchised Hoosiers. The court made the right decision to block its enforcement.”