Judge denies bid to expand voting by mail in Indiana

A federal judge has denied a bid to require the Indiana Election Commission make voting by mail available to all registered voters this November

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 9:03 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has denied a bid to require the Indiana Election Commission make voting by mail available to all registered voters this November.

The lawsuit is among several challenging Indiana’s election protocols during the pandemic. Indiana requires voters to have an accepted and specific reason to use an absentee ballot.

Friday's decision comes as organizations and lawmakers nationwide are trying to expand voting by mail to limit Election Day crowds and curb the virus' spread.

U.S. District Court Judge J.P. Hanlon said in a 19-page ruling that there’s no constitutional right to vote by mail, saying mail-in absentee voting is available as a convenience, according to The (Northwest Indiana) Times.

“Plaintiffs have not alleged or shown that the state — through either defendants’ actions or Indiana’s laws — has absolutely prevented them from voting,” Hanlon said.

The judge added that while coronavirus “undisputedly presents new and serious challenges, Plaintiffs have not explained why those challenges trigger constitutional protections when the challenges of working mothers, medical personnel, and those working two jobs do not.”

A message left Sunday for Indiana Vote by Mail, a nonprofit that helped bring the lawsuit, wasn't immediately returned.

The Indiana Election Commission deadlocked earlier this month on whether to let all residents vote by mail.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 110759

Reported Deaths: 3503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20645758
Lake10172317
Elkhart6321108
St. Joseph600797
Allen5921200
Hamilton4646109
Vanderburgh327129
Hendricks2638121
Monroe236836
Johnson2250122
Tippecanoe218413
Clark210156
Porter203344
Cass19279
Delaware184261
Vigo175722
Madison156575
LaPorte135637
Floyd130061
Howard127063
Kosciusko118717
Bartholomew114557
Warrick111935
Marshall98024
Boone94446
Dubois94018
Hancock90042
Noble87632
Grant86733
Henry75424
Wayne73714
Jackson7319
Morgan69438
Shelby66329
Daviess63927
LaGrange62911
Dearborn62128
Clinton59112
Harrison55624
Putnam5209
Montgomery50221
Lawrence50028
White47814
Knox4769
Gibson4644
Decatur45339
DeKalb44211
Miami4223
Fayette41713
Greene41535
Jasper3802
Steuben3647
Scott35310
Sullivan32812
Jennings30812
Posey2940
Franklin29325
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll26913
Wabash2608
Washington2571
Starke2487
Wells2472
Whitley2476
Adams2403
Jefferson2403
Fulton2302
Huntington2173
Spencer2154
Tipton21522
Randolph2067
Perry20213
Newton17011
Jay1680
Owen1641
Martin1590
Rush1494
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Fountain1152
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Brown1013
Parke932
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