HB 1365: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/house/1365

An incredibly large bill (115 pages), with various reforms to election law in Indiana. One change we saw of concern is making any Anomaly Report confidential except at the discretion of the Secretary of State.

Bill Abstract: Various elections matters. Repeals obsolete dates and application provisions. Updates statutes setting schedules for upcoming elections. Amends the definition of “de minimis change” and “electronic poll book”. Requires the entry of filing information concerning all candidates into the statewide voter registration system. Requires accurate presentation of a candidate’s name containing a pronunciation symbol, such as an accent mark. Provides that the precinct judge performs the duties of a precinct election sheriff when the position of the election sheriff has been omitted by a county election board or when a county vote center plan does not specify who performs those duties. Provides that, with certain exceptions, an individual must be a citizen of the United States to be permitted in the polls during an election. Gives the secretary of state the ability to grant exceptions to individuals. Describes the process by which the name of an Indiana resident who has been imprisoned for conviction of a crime in another state is removed from the voter registration list. Provides that a person is disqualified from assuming or being a candidate for an elected office if the person is a nonjudicial court employee who would violate Rule 4.6 of the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct by being the candidate of a political party for nomination or election to an elected office or a political party office. Requires retention of electronic poll book information for the same retention period as other election records. Requires ballot proofs to be made available for inspection 74 days before the date of the election by county political party officials and school corporations before the county prints ballots. Provides that an absentee voter board is authorized to use an electronic poll book when visiting a voter with an illness or injury or a voter who is caring for a confined person at a private residence. Specifies procedures for the return of an electronic poll book or a voting system from the polls of the precinct or from the vote centers after the close of the polls on election day (other than the ballots and other paper documents returned by the inspector and judge of the opposite political party). Permits a county election board to authorize the use of absentee ballots by voters when a state disaster emergency is declared or a county disaster emergency is declared within 11 days of an election. Requires that an absentee ballot application requesting that an absentee ballot be sent by mail or by traveling board, and submitted to a county using the statewide voter registration system, must include a telephone number to contact the applicant. Specifies the requirements for the timing and security of the bipartisan initialing of absentee ballots. Specifies the procedure for an absentee board member or the circuit court clerk’s office when a voter leaves the clerk’s office or satellite office, or declines to return to the booth, without casting an absentee ballot. Requires a voting system to contain features to ensure that unauthorized software has not been installed on the equipment, and to permit the electronic adjudication of voter intent on ballots cast using the voting system. Requires the Voting System Technical Oversight Program to conduct random audits of voting systems and electronic poll books in odd-numbered years. Clarifies standards and procedures concerning determinations made regarding provisional ballots and federal write-in ballots. Repeals the current statute concerning the referral of a disputed ballot to a judge when a recount or contest has not been filed. Extends the deadline for filling a post-primary candidate vacancy from noon on June 30 to noon on July 3 and after July 3 in case of a successful challenge to a candidate nominated by party convention. Amends procedures for candidate filings to fill ballot vacancies in certain cases. Specifies the procedure requiring the reporting of problems experienced with voting systems or electronic poll books. Defines “anomaly”. Increases the amount of time a voter has to vote in a primary election from three minutes to five minutes. Increases the time a voter has to vote in a general, municipal, or special election from two minutes to four minutes. Requires the absentee ballot application form to enable the applicant to provide the applicant’s electronic mail address. Provides that an applicant’s failure to provide an electronic mail address is not a reason for denial of the absentee ballot application. Provides that if an application for an absentee ballot is denied, the county election board must provide the voter in writing with the reasons for the denial of the application. (Under current law, only absent uniformed services voters or overseas voters are required to be provided with notice of denial of an absentee ballot application.) Requires voting systems to be returned to the county election board after the close of the polls on election day. Redefines “ballot label” to include the digital image of the ballot on the screen of an electronic voting system or the interface of the marking device used with an optical scan voting system. Requires election certification documents to be filed only through the statewide voter registration system. Requires ballots to have precinct numbers or designations. Makes changes to the formatting of nonpartisan judicial offices on the ballot. Adds requirements for testing of voting systems before an election. Adds requirements for disposing of voting system units. Provides that any electronic device used to create a ballot file or program a voting system, or used with election management software, may not be connected to the Internet. Requires a precinct election officer, in the case of a voter who casts a provisional ballot, or an absentee voter board, in the case of a voter who casts an absentee ballot that is treated as a provisional ballot, to provide both orally and in writing an explanation of the steps the voter must take in order to have the voter’s ballot counted. Requires the election division to prescribe the form of the explanation. Requires the circuit court clerk to notify a voter who casts a provisional ballot not later than three days after election day concerning: (1) the reasons that the voter’s ballot is being treated as a provisional ballot; (2) what actions, if any, that the voter must take in order to have the voter’s ballot counted; (3) the deadline by which the voter must act to have the voter’s ballot counted; and (4) certain contact information that the provisional voter may use to find out about the provisional voter’s ballot. Requires that the notice be sent by first class United States mail or given by another method that the circuit court clerk determines will provide actual notice to the voter. Requires that the notice must be in a form prescribed by the election division. Makes technical changes. Makes conforming amendments.