New Indiana Election Law Worries Candidates

Aug 19, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
A new Indiana election law has some politicians worried.

Indiana politicians are trying to determine what impact a new state law will have on elections.

Election reform was signed into law last spring and went into effect on July 1, but the Indiana Courier-Journal reports some candidates are only learning about its provisions now. Of particular concern: a stipulation that removes the names of all candidates who are running in uncontested races from ballots.

State Rep. Kathy Richardson, a Republican from Noblesville, told the Courier-Journal the change will make elections more efficient and save the state money. But some candidates worry voters will be confused when they turn up at their polling place and don't see the name of their candidate on the ballot. Others think fewer voters will turn out once they learn they can't cast a vote for candidates running uncontested.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski has not been challenged in his bid for another term. He said he is not a fan of the new law.

"It feels funny to me, not just as a mayor but as a citizen," he told WLFI-18, a local Lafayette media outlet.

Roswarski also said the new law could discourage unchallenged candidates from communicating their policy plans with constituents.

A 2005 Indiana election law requiring voters to present a photo ID faced years of legal challenges but was upheld by the state supreme court in 2010.