Absentee-vote attempt violates Open Door

The Indianapolis Star; Letter to the Editor — With regard to the recent imbroglio over the vote on the kindergarten issue before the Indiana House: The Open Door Law enacted by the legislature states, “It is the intent of this chapter that the official action of public agencies be conducted and taken openly, unless otherwise expressly provided by statute, in order that the people may be fully informed.”

 

Absentee-vote attempt violates Open Door

The Indianapolis Star
Letter to the Editor

(February 12, 2004) With regard to the recent imbroglio over the vote on the kindergarten issue before the Indiana House:

The Open Door Law enacted by the legislature states, “It is the intent of this chapter that the official action of public agencies be conducted and taken openly, unless otherwise expressly provided by statute, in order that the people may be fully informed.”

The recent attempt to allow an absent member the opportunity to vote does not comport with the statute. Moreover, that attempt appears to be inequitable, for not all the absent members were provided with access to vote as if present, but only one key vote.

In this cybernetic age, an equitable method may be established that protects public access to meetings held on the Internet instead of in the capitol building, but we are not there yet. Until such time, let us ask that our state legislators confine their voting on issues to the time-honored tradition of a roll call vote made by those members present and part of the quorum, not in absentia.

—Marian M. Pearcy President, Indiana Coalition for Open Government