Gov. Holcomb opposes expansion of mail-in voting

(Photo supplied/State Of Indiana) Governor Eric Holcomb, delivering his 4th annual State of the State address on Jan. 14, 2020.

Governor Holcomb’s opposing an expansion of mail-in voting for the November election. But his reasons are different from President Trump’s.

Holcomb says there are plenty of safeguards against what Trump has claimed without evidence would be massive fraud with mail-in voting. Holcomb says he’s not supporting no-fault absentee voting because he says it’s not necessary. He says the criteria for allowing absentee voting already cover thousands of Hoosiers, and says those who aren’t covered have four weeks to vote early.

A third of Indiana voters cast absentee ballots in 2016. In this year’s primary in June, when any voter could vote by mail, half the votes were cast that way. Holcomb notes the state was still under lockdown when the deadlines to get ready for the primary began arriving, and expanded mail-in balloting was needed to ensure people could cast their votes. He says polling places are fully equipped with cleaning supplies and protective gear, and adds there’s been no instance of a coronavirus infection traced to primary voting.

And Holcomb argues Hoosiers are entitled to know on Election Night who the winners are. He says a flood of absentee ballots could prevent that. Election officials had warned Hoosiers not to expect primary results right away, but most winners were settled on Election Night after all.

33 states already had no-fault absentee voting, and nine others have expanded it for the pandemic. Indiana is one of seven states which still haven’t done so, along with New York, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas.

A federal judge is considering a lawsuit to force the state to expand absentee voting. Holcomb says he’ll reexamine the issue after that ruling comes down.

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