INDIANAPOLIS — A record number of Hoosiers voted in the November 2020 election. Now that lawmakers are in office, they're proposing a lot of bills based on the unprecedented happenings of 2020.
Senate Bill 194 increases the penalty for obstruction of traffic under certain circumstances which could impact protesters.
Senate Bill 353 would prevent the Indiana Election Commission from instituting, increasing, or expanding vote by mail or absentee vote by mail along with changing the time, place, or manner of holding an election. It would also prohibit the governor from changing, during a declared disaster emergency, the time, place, or manner of holding an election. Governor Holcomb did that for the 2020 primary election because of the pandemic.
These bills and hundreds of others can be found on the General Assembly's page for the bills for the 2021 session. You can click on the bills to see who wrote it and sponsored it. Once you have that information, you can reach out to the lawmakers directly if you'd like to share your opinion with them.
"It's absolutely important that people track their legislators, how they're voting and their records because we put them in office," Katie Blair, ACLU of Indiana's director of advocacy and public policy, said. "We're their bosses. They need to answer to us when they're doing something we don't like. On the flip side, we need to thank them when they do things that keep Hoosiers safe, happy, and healthy."
The ACLU, a non-partisan organization, keeps tracks of certain bills on their website, cutting through the legal lingo that makes up a lot of bills.
"We try to make it to where normal people can understand because even the bills synopsizes are hard to read," Blair said.
Blair said civic engagement and holding elected officials accountable does not stop at the voting booth.