I would like to see our legislature take a comprehensive look at overhauling Indiana’s election laws. Over many years, the Republican and Democrat parties alike have added layer to layer of election law making deciphering this code impossible for election officials, candidates and voters.
At every turn, our legislature continues to create confusing deadlines. Forms are not always current. And there is a real disconnect between information provided the public from a local level to the state.
I believe it is time for Indiana to streamline our elections. I call for:
- Lowering the threshold for ballot access to ensure all viewpoints can be part of the public debate. Indiana’s existing ballot access laws are restrictive and strip voters of choices.
- Maintaining logical district boundaries at every level. The practice of gerrymandering districts from a town level through our U.S. Congressional districts is merely pandering to the entrenched parties’ politics and not serving the voters.
- Affording voters electoral recall as an option. While not intended to undo a fair election, voters should have the ability to petition for the removal of an elected official. A high threshold for petition signatures and percentage required for removal would keep our elected officials in check.
- Providing voters fair and multi-partisan input on interpretation of election law, expanding the Indiana Election Commission to include any political party that has successfully maintained ballot access for one complete election cycle. Allowing the two entrenched parties to rule on each other’s candidates lends itself to increased partisan politics.
- Ensuring that our votes are counted and counted properly. We must move away from the paperless electronic voting systems across the state and insist on a paper trail that can be physically audited.
The events surrounding GOP candidate for Secretary of State speak to the complicated system Indiana legislators have crafted more than to the candidate himself. While we maintain that current election laws must be followed, we believe more strongly that our legislature has been negligent in properly crafting an environment that lends itself to open and transparent elections. We trust that state and local officials will appropriately interpret how Mr. White’s case should be handled. We are less optimistic that our legislature will do the hard work of fixing a system that is overly restrictive, harshly punitive and exhaustively burdensome.
About Mike Wherry
Wherry is an attorney, mechanical engineer and businessman residing in Greenfield, Indiana. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Hawai’i aboard the USS Indianapolis.
Learn more at his Website: http://www.mikewherry.com