En Español

Election Administration in Indiana

Expand All Collapse All

Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

The primary election for state and federal offices, including the presidency, is May 3, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana May 3, 2016 Primary Election Candidates [link]

Upcoming General Elections

The general election is November 8, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana November 8, 2016 General Election Candidates [link]

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

A primary is required for major political parties (any party whose nominee received more than 10% of the vote in the last election for Secretary of State).

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-10-1-2 [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana Voter Registration Application [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

Mostly open. Techinically, to vote in a primary election for a particular party, a voter must have voted for a majority of that party's candidates at the last general election, or if the voter did not vote in the last general election, they must intend to vote for a majority of that party's candidates in the next general election. (Because voted ballots are kept secret, this rule is not easily enforceable.)

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-10-1-6 [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

What are the state's residency requirements for voters?

To register to vote, a person must live in Indiana and the precinct in which they wish to vote for at least 30 days before Election Day.

For those voters who have a nontraditional residence (those who are currently homeless, mobile or live at a place where the post office does not deliver mail), applicants should list the closest intersection to where you live in the box to the left marked ""Residence Address"", then list the address of a friend or shelter, within your county of residence, who is willing to receive mail for you in the box marked ""Mailing Address."" An individual with a nontraditional residence whose residence is within a precinct, but is not fixed or permanent, lives in that precinct. If the postal service does not deliver mail directly to an individual with a nontraditional residence in the precinct where the individual resides, the individual may use a mailing address within a precinct in the county to complete the registration affidavit. However, if the person uses such an address, the registration affidavit must also state the precinct in which the individual with a nontraditional residence lives

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-13-1 [link]

Indiana Online Voter Registration [link]

Ind. Code § 3-7-37-1 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-5-5-18 [link]

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

A 17-year-old who will be 18 years old by the next general election may register to vote, even if they will still be 17 by the next primary election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-13-2 [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-13-2 [link]

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

Any person convicted of a crime (whether a felony or a misdemeanor) loses the right to vote while they are in prison. Citizens on parole, probation, house arrest, or in a community corrections program do not lose the right to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-13-4, -6 [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

People automatically regain the right to vote after they are released from prison. They will need to re-register to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-13-5, -6 [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

Yes, but only for people who have a valid Indiana driver's license or Indiana identification card for nondrivers. Click here to access the online voter registration application.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-26.7-5, -6 [link]

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

National Mail Voter Registration Form [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

U.S. Department of Justice website [link]

Student-Specific Rules

Does the state have specific rules on students registering to vote or voting?

Students may choose to register and vote at the address where they live while attending school or at another address that they live while not attending school. A voter's registration cannot be challenged on the basis of the voter being a student or because the voter lives in student housing.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-5-4.5-2 [link]

Indiana Election Division: College Students [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

29 days before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-7-13-10, -11 [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

The application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Sec. of State's Website: Voter Registration [link]

How is the deadline enforced for online applications?

The application must be submitted by the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-13-10 [link]

When must a voter make changes to their registration for the changes to be in effect before the person seeks to vote?

29 days before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-7-13-9, -10 [link]

Voter Registration Drives

Does the state require organizations conducting voter registration drives to register?

No.

Are there restrictions on getting voter registration forms?

Only the version of the state and county registration forms published on the state website will be accepted by county officials, along with the federal form. Older versions of the state or county forms will not be accepted for processing.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Sec’y. of State [link]

Does the state require any training in order to conduct voter registration drives?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on who may help others register to vote?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on paying drive workers, or additional rules related to payment?

Indiana law does not address this issue.

Are there restrictions on the voter registration drive offering something of value to a person in exchange for completing a voter registration application?

Federal law states that whoever ""pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years."" At least one federal appellate court has interpreted ""payment"" as ""intended to include forms of pecuniary value offered or given directly to an individual voter, and indicated the value should be based on ""an assessment of the monetary worth of an item from the perspective of the voter receiving the item."" That case held that food vouchers could be ""payment."" Another example is California's Secretary of State's interpretation of the federal law to mean that ""Any type of incentive is considered 'payment,' even things as seemingly innocent as cookies or admission to an entertainment event.""

Indiana law also provides that it is a Level 6 felony to knowingly pay or offer to pay, or accept payment for registering to vote. Indiana’s voter registration drive guide states that prohibited benefits and rewards would include “balloons, candy, school credits, etc.”

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-14-2-1 [link]

United States v. Garcia, 719 F.2d 99, 102-103 (5th Cir. 1983) [link]

Ind. Sec’y of State, Conducting a Voter Registration Drive, p. 1 [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10307(c) [link]

California Secretary of State's Guide to Voter Registration Drives, p. 11 [link]

Must the registration drive worker sign the completed voter registration application, and must the drive or canvasser place other information on applications?

The Indiana form requires a person who receives a completed application from an applicant to state on the application the name and residence address of the person and the date on which the person received the application from the applicant, with this statement being certified to by the person under the penalties for perjury. Indiana law states that without this information (including the signature of the certifying person), a completed registration application received from the applicant by another individual is considered incomplete. However, applications may not be rejected solely for lacking this information if the application is otherwise complete. However, the county voter registration office must, not later than three days after receipt of the application, provide notice of the failure to properly complete the application to the county election board for appropriate action under Indiana Code Section 3–6–5–31.

Indiana voter registration forms include a receipt requirement, see question C below.

Any version of the Indiana voter registration form approved before August 1, 2013 may not be used or accepted by a county voter registration officer. Groups who wish to use federal forms should communicate with election officials regarding requirements for providing canvassers’ information.

If the voter is unable to execute an original registration application, the voter may have another person assist with executing the application. If the voter is unable to sign the application, the person assisting the voter may write the voter’s name in the space provided for the voter’s signature. Unless the voter is physically unable to do so, the voter must also make the voter’s mark in the space provided for the voter’s signature. A person assisting the voter with the execution of the application must write their own name and residence address in the space indicated for that purpose.

If the person subscribes the name of another person to an affidavit of registration or application for an absentee ballot, failure to write on it the person's own name and address as an attesting witness is a Level 6 Felony.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-34-1.5 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-7-32-7 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-14-2-3 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-7-34-4.5 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-7-31-5 [link]

Does the state have a rule requiring a receipt or other tracking information to be provided to the applicant?

Indiana voter registration forms must require that a person receiving a completed application give to the applicant a receipt stating the name and residence address of the person and the date on which the person took custody of the application. Any Indiana form that does not comply with this requirement may not be used or accepted by a county voter registration officer.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana Voter Registration Form [link]

Ind. Code § 3-7-31-5 [link]

Are there restrictions on copying completed voter registration applications prior to submitting them to the election official, or other restrictions on data entry or disclosure?

Indiana law does not address this issue.

Is there a time limit for voter registration groups to submit the voter registration applications they collect?

Yes. A person (other than exempted government workers) receiving a completed application must file the application with the appropriate county voter registration office or the election division no later than 12:00 p.m. on the 10th day after the person who initially received the completed application from the voter registration applicant received the application, or the state’s deadline for filing the application with the county voter registration office, whichever occurs first. The 10-day filing requirement applies to the delivery of a mail registration form whether prescribed by the United State Election Assistance Commission (federal form) or the election division. This ten-day requirement does not apply to members of the applicant’s household or the applicant’s attorney-in-fact.

In addition, if a person receiving a completed application has reason to believe the application is materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent, the person must deliver the application to the appropriate county election board by the relevant deadline, along with a statement sworn or affirmed to under the penalties for perjury setting forth the reasons why the person believes the application may be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-32-8 [link]

What are the consequences for failing to submit applications on time?

A county voter registration office may not reject the application solely on the ground that an individual who received the application from the applicant failed to comply with the deadline for persons receiving completed applications from applicants (see question D above). However, the county voter registration office must, not later than three days after receipt of the application, provide notice of the apparent violation to the county election board for appropriate action under IC 3-6-5-31.

A person who recklessly destroys or fails to file or deliver to the proper officer a registration affidavit or form of registration after the affidavit or form has been executed commits a Class A misdemeanor.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-33-5.5 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-14-2-5 [link]

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-7-13-10, -11 [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

If a voter moved to a new address within the same precinct, they may update their registration address at their polling place on Election Day. Similarly, if a voter moved to a new address that is in a different precinct but within the same county and the same Congressional district, the voter may update their registration address at the polling place on Election Day. Such a voter may vote at their old polling place, but if they moved outside of a municipality, they cannot vote in that municipality's municipal elections. The voter will be given a regular ballot unless they are challenged as ineligible to vote in the precinct, in which event they will be given a provisional ballot.

Voters who move but do not fall into either of the above categories must update their registration record with their new address by the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-7-39-7, -8 [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-10-12-3.4, -5 [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

Yes, voters may update their registration record with their new name at the polling place on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-41-2(b) [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2006, Determinations Under Section 203, 76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Does the state have any other rules about providing election materials in languages other than English?

The county election board may choose to print general election ballot instructions in languages other than English.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-2-8 [link]

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

State law also allows a voter who requires assistance due to inability to read or write to request assistance from two Election Judges if the voter is voting at a polling place on Election Day or two absentee voter board members if the voter is casting an absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-9-2, -3 [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to due to blindness or disability may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

State law also allows a voter who requires assistance due to a disability to request assistance from two Election Judges if the voter is voting at a polling place on Election Day or two absentee voter board members if the voter is casting an absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-9-2, -3 [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Persons with disabilities and their caretakers (if they are confined to a private residence) can vote an absentee ballot by mail. Additionally, voters with disabilities whose polling places are inaccessible can schedule a time for the voter absentee board to visit the voter where they live or are receiving care, and the board members will deliver to the voter an absentee ballot that the voter can mark and return to them during the visit.

Indiana does not disqualify people by reason of mental incapacity.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-10-24(a)(4), -25 [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-24 [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Yes, Indiana has in-person absentee voting. Unlike absentee voting by mail, any person can vote an absentee ballot in person without an excuse.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-26 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-1 [link]

Where does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

In-person absentee voting takes place in the office of the circuit court clerk. Additionally, a county elections board can pass a resolution that allows the clerk to establish satellite offices where absentee in-person voting can also take place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-10-26, -26.3 [link]

When does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

In-person absentee voting begins 29 days before Election Day and ends at 12:00 p.m. on the day before Election Day, except for absent military voters, who may vote an absentee ballot in person until 12:00 p.m. on Election Day itself. In-person absentee voting must be available for at least 7 hours on each of the two Saturdays before Election Day, except that counties with less than 20,000 people living in them may make it available for only 4 hours on each of the two Saturdays before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-26 [link]

What official chooses early voting/absentee in-person voting locations?

State law requires that in-person absentee voting take place in the office of the circuit court clerk. Additionally, a county elections board can pass a resolution that allows the circuit court clerk to establish satellite offices where absentee in-person voting can also take place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-10-26, -26.3 [link]

Are lists of early voters/absentee in-person voters published? How?

Yes. Whenever a voter requests an absentee ballot or casts an absentee ballot, that information is noted in the statewide voter registration list. Copies of this list can be requested by the public, and information from the list can be published by reporters in news broadcasts or newspapers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-7-26.4-8, -11 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-17 [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

No, a voter can vote an absentee ballot by mail only for one of the following reasons:

  • The voter has a specific, reasonable expectation that they will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire time the polls are open
  • The voter is scheduled to work at their regular place of employment during the entire time the polls are open on Election Day
  • The voter is prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls
  • The voter has a disability
  • The voter is elderly
  • The voter will be confined due to illness or injury, or will be caring for another person who is confined due to illness or injury, during the entire time that the polls are open on Election Day
  • The voter is prevented from voting due to observance of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire time the polls are open on Election Day
  • The voter moved out of their precinct within 30 days before Election Day
  • The voter is a member of the military or a public safety officer
  • The voter is a participant in the state's address confidentiality program
  • The voter is a serious sex offender
  • The voter will have election duties outside of their voting precinct, including working as an election official, watcher, challenger, or pollbook holder
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-24 [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

The following deadlines apply:

  • For most voters who submit their application by mail, fax, e-mail, or personal delivery to the circuit court clerk's office, the application must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the 8th day before Election Day. (However, a voter can apply for and vote an absentee ballot in person at the circuit court clerk's office until noon on the day before Election Day.)
  • For voters who are confined due to an illness or injury or because they are caring for someone who has an illness or injury, the application must be received by noon on the day before Election Day either by mail, fax, e-mail, personal delivery, or submission during a visit of the absentee voter board to the residence
  • For military and overseas voters, the application must be received by noon on the day before Election Day if they requested that they receive their ballot by fax or e-mail.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-3 [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

A voter can download an absentee ballot application here in English or here in Spanish, obtain an application in person at the circuit court clerk's office, or request that the clerk send them an application by mail, fax, or e-mail. The voter must then complete and sign the application and submit it to the clerk either in person, by mail, by fax, or by e-mail.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-4 [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

Yes, a voter can scan their completed and signed absentee ballot application and then e-mail it to the circuit court clerk.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-4(a)(4) [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-5.1 [link]

Indiana Application for Absentee Ballot by Mail Only (English) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

Any person may request or turn in an absentee ballot application for a voter. However, once a person receives a completed absentee ballot application from a voter, the person must ensure that the application is received by the proper county court clerk within 10 days or by the 8th day before Election Day, whichever comes first. Additionally, the person must sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, at the time they submit the application. The affidavit must include the person's name, home address, mailing address, daytime and evening phone numbers (if any), a statement that the person has complied with state law governing absentee ballot applications, the date (or dates) that the absentee ballot applications attached to the affidavit were received by the person, and a statement that the person does not know or have reason to believe that the application was not properly completed or was completed by someone who is ineligible to vote or ineligible to cast an absentee ballot by mail.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-2(g)-(h) [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

The county election board must receive the absentee in time to deliver it to the precinct election board of the voter's precinct before the polls close on Election Day. Generally, this means that absentee ballots should be received by 12:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana 2016 Military and Overseas Voters' Guide, p. 3 [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-4-3, -14 [link]

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

Yes. A voter's absentee ballot can be returned only by the voter personally, a member of the voter's household, or the voter's attorney-in-fact.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-1(6)(c) [link]

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

The county election board may, by a unanimous vote, allow a voter to receive and vote an absentee ballot after the absentee ballot application deadline if the person has been hospitalized, suffered an injury, or experienced another emergency that prevents the voter from voting in person at their polling place on Election Day. At the board's discretion considering the time left before the election, these absentee ballots may be mailed to the voter or delivered to the voter in person, and the board may decide whether to require the voter to return the absentee ballot by mail or in person.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-1(b)-(d) [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Yes. Whenever a voter requests an absentee ballot or casts an absentee ballot, that information is noted in the statewide voter registration list. Copies of this list can be requested by the public, and information from the list can be published by reporters in news broadcasts or newspapers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-17 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-7-26.4-8, -11 [link]

Presidential-only ballots

Under federal law, any registered voter who moves out of the state after the 30th day before a Presidential election may vote for President and Vice President either in person at the voter’s previous state of residence or using an absentee ballot from the voter’s previous state of residence.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

52 U.S.C. § 10502(e) [link]

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

The following voters qualify as military voter:

  • A member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, if they are absent from their home due to active service
  • A member of the Merchant Marine who is absent from theit home because of their service
  • A member of the Indiana National Guard deployed or on assignment outside of the state
  • A spouse or dependent of one of the above members who is absent from their home because of the member's service

The following voters qualify as overseas voters:

  • A military voter who is outside of the United States on Election Day due to active duty or service
  • A person who now lives outside of the United States, and Indiana was the last place where they lived before moving out of the country
  • A person who lives outside the United States and, but for the location of their home, would be qualified to vote in Indiana, which was the last place where they lived before moving out of the country
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-5-2-1.5, -34.5, -49.3 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-6 [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

Military and overseas voters can apply using a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) or the state's regular absentee ballot application (for details on the regular absentee ballot application process, see the section above on Absentee Voting by Mail).

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-4-4, -5.7 [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

If a military or overseas voter indicates on their absentee ballot application that they would like their absentee ballot to be sent them by fax or e-mail, then their application must be received by noon on the day before Election Day. Otherwise, the application must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the 8th day before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-3 [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

A ballot that is returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received no later than 10 days after Election Day.

A ballot that is returned by fax or e-mail must be received in time for the county election board to deliver it to the precinct election board of the voter's precinct before the polls close on Election Day. Generally, this means that the ballots should be received by 12:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana 2016 Military and Overseas Voters' Guide, p. 3 [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

If a military or overseas voter made a timely application for an absentee ballot but has not received the ballot, they may use a federal write-in absentee ballot (FWAB) to vote for any primary election candidate and any candidate, political party, or public question in a general, municipal, or special election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-12.5 [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

Voters cast their ballot in the polling place assigned to their precinct. In some counties, voters may also have the option to vote at a centralized voter center. Voters should contact their circuit court clerk to learn whether their county has created any voter centers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-5-2-39 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-18.1-3 [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-8 [link]

In the Voting Booth

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

Voters can bring children under the age of 18 into the voting booth.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-11-8 [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 1904-01-01)

FindLaw Voting Rights [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering during early voting/absentee in-person voting?

People cannot campaign inside of an office where in-person absentee voting is occuring.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-14-3-16 [link]

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering on Election Day?

Campaigning is prohibited on Election Day at a polling place or in the area or on the pathway that extends 50 feet from the entrance to the polls.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-5-2-10 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-14-3-16 [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-14-3-16 [link]

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-6-10-5.5 (media watchers) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-8-4 (political party and independent candidate watchers) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-7-5 (challengers and pollbook holders) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-9-13 (primary, school board, and precinct committee candidate watchers) [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

There are three different types of observers: "challengers," "pollbook holders," and "watchers."

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-6-10-5.5 (media watchers) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-8-4 (political party and independent candidate watchers) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-7-5 (challengers and pollbook holders) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-9-13 (primary, school board, and precinct committee candidate watchers) [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

The following entites may appoint challengers and may also appoint pollbook holders:

  • Each political party and independent candidate can appoint, in writing, one challenger and one pollbook holder per precinct where that party or candidate is on the ballot.
  • If a public question is on the ballot, the county election board may appoint challengers and pollbook holders if it receives a petition, signed by a number of voters equal to at least 2% of the votes cast in the previous Secretary of State election, from the chair of a political action committee organized to support or oppose the public question.

Challengers (but not pollbook holders) must be at least 18 years old and cannot be candidates, except for unopposed candidates for precinct committeeman or state convention delegate.

The following entites may appoint watchers:

  • The state chairman of a political party may appoint one watcher to each precinct where the party has a candidate on the ballot
  • The county chairman of a political party may appoint one watcher to each precinct where the party has a candidate on the ballot
  • An independent candidate may appoint one watcher to each precinct where the candidate is on the ballot
  • If a public question is on the ballot, the county election board may appoint challengers and pollbook holders if it receives a petition, signed by a number of voters equal to at least 2% of the votes cast in the previous Secretary of State election, from the chair of a political action committee organized to support or oppose the public question.
  • A group of at least 26% of the candidates running in a county primary election or a municipal primary election, not including candidates for delegates to the state convention or candidates for precinct committeemen, may appoint one watcher per precinct where the candidates appear on the ballot
  • A group of at least 26% of the candidates running for precinct committeemen and appearing on the ballot during a primary election may appoint one watcher per precinct where the candidates appear on the ballot
  • Any candidate or group of candidates running for school board may appoint one watcher per precinct where the candidates appear on the ballot
  • Any of the following media entities may appoint one watcher for each precinct: (1) each daily, weekly, semiweekly, or triweekly newspaper of general circulation in the county where an election is held; (2) each news service operating in the county where an election is held; (3) each radio or television station operating in the county where an election is held.

Watchers appointed by a state or county political party chairman, an independent candidate, or a county election board must be registered voters in the county where they are appointed, and they cannot be candidates on the ballot, except for unopposed candidates for precinct committeeman or state convention delegate.

All challengers, watchers, and pollbook holders must obtain identification cards from whomever appointed them. If a person desires to act as a watcher for a newspaper, news service, radio station, or television station in more than one county in Indiana, the person must obtain a watcher identification card from the state election division.

Additionally, political parties may appoint 2 watchers to each satellite office where in-person absentee voting occurs.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-8-1, -2, -2.5, -7 (political party and independent candidate watchers) [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-10-1, -6 (media watchers) [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-7-1, -1.5, -1.7 (challengers and pollbook holders) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-9-1 (primary, school board, and precinct committee candidate watchers) [link]

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

On Election Day, challengers and pollbook holders share the following rights and duties:

  • They may enter the polls at least 30 minutes before the polls open and remain there until the polls close.
  • They may enter, leave, and reenter the polls at any time
  • They must follow the orders of the precinct election board
  • They must produce their challenger or pollbook holder identification card upon request of a precinct election board member

Additionally, challengers may request a voter's name, and the voter must respond by saying their full name before they are allowed to cast a ballot. Challengers may also challenge a voter's right to vote.

Pollbook holders may may periodically receive a record of who has voted from a poll clerk, provided that voting is not delayed.

On Election Day, watchers have the following rights and duties:

  • They may enter the polls at least 30 minutes beforethe polls open and remain there throughout until all tabulations have been completed.
  • They may enter, leave, and reenter the polls at any time
  • They may inspect the paper ballot boxes, ballot card voting system, or electronic voting system before votes have been cast.
  • They may inspect the work being done by any precinct election officer (except when a precinct election officer enters a confidential login or password to obtain access to an electronic poll book or to operate a voting system).
  • Witness the calling and recording of the votes and any other proceedings of the precinct election officers in the performance of official duties.
  • They may receive a summary of the vote prepared, signed by the precinct election board, providing: the names of the candidates, the total number of votes they received, and the number of votes cast for and against a public question
  • They may accompany the inspector and judge in delivering the tabulation and election returns to the county election board by the most direct route.
  • They may be present when the inspector takes a receipt for the tabulation and election returns delivered to the county election board.
  • They must show their watcher identification card to precinct election board members upon request
  • They cannot handle election supplies
  • Except for media-appointed watchers, they may call upon the election sheriffs to make arrests.
  • Media-appointed watchers may photograph proceedings of the precinct election board, except that a watcher may not photograph a voter (1) while the voter is in the polls, if the voter informs the precinct election board that the voter objects to being photographed by the watcher; or (2) in a manner that permits the watcher to see or know how the voter voted.

Watchers appointed by political parties to satellite offices where in-person absentee voting occurs have the following rights:

  • They may enter, leave, and reenter the satellite office at any time the office is open;
  • They may inspect the voting systems before absentee ballots are received at the satellite office each day;
  • They may inspect the work being done by any elected official, absentee board member, or county employee at the satellite office (except when an individual enters a confidential login or password to obtain access to an electronic poll book or the statewide voter registration system or to operate a voting system used for absentee voting); and
  • They may witness any proceeding of the county election board or an absentee voting board at the satellite office.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-10-5, -5.5 (media watchers) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-7-5 (challengers and pollbook holders) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-9-13 (primary, school board, and precinct committee candidate watchers) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-6-8-4, -7 (political party and independent candidate watchers) [link]

Indiana 2016 Election Day Handbook, pp. 4, 23 [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after executing, before an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under state law, a provisional ballot should be offered if any of the following is true:

  • The voter does not provide proof of identification when voting person; or
  • The voter is challenged, except for party affiliation challenges in primary elections, in which case the voter can cast a regular ballot after signing an affidvait affirming their party affiliation
  • The voter is a first-time voter in Indiana who registered to vote by mail and has not provided the required ID
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

52 U.S.C. § 21082 (federal law) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11.7-2-1 [link]

Indiana 2016 Election Day Handbook, p. 23 [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11.7-5-3(a) [link]

Following up on a provisional ballot

In the following circumstances, voters who cast a provisional ballot must follow up and provide additional information for their provisional ballot to count:

  • If a voter casts a provisional ballot because they did not have the required photo ID when voting in person, then the voter must travel to the county election board's office or the circuit court clerk's office no later than 10 days after Election Day and either (1) show a photo ID, or (2) sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, affirming either that the voter is indigent and cannot obtain proof of identification without paying a fee or that the voter has a religious objection to being photographed.
  • If a voter casts a provisional ballot because they are a first-time voter in Indiana that registered by mail and did not provide the required ID before or at the same time they vote, then the voter must submit the required ID to the county voter registration office no later than the time that the polls close on Election Day.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11.7-5-2, -2.5 [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

Upon casting a provisional ballot, precinct election officials will give the voter written instructions on how they can learn whether their provisional ballot gets counted, and if it is not counted, the reason why not.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11.7-6-3 [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11.7-2-2(c) [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a polling place runs out of printed ballots? Are handwritten/photocopied ballots allowed?

If for any reason there are no ballots or other necessary means for voting at the opening of the polls, the precinct election board must obtain ballots as quickly as possible. If necessary, the board may have ballots printed. However, the ballots must conform as nearly as possible to the official ballots. No provision allows for handwritten ballots.

Additionally, if ballots are lost or destroyed, the precinct election board must immediately notify the county election board, which will resupply the ballots.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11-3-26, -28 [link]

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

If any voting machine malfunctions, the county election board must deliver paper ballots to the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-14-19 [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

A voter who casts their ballot in person, including at an in-person absentee voting location or at the polls on Election Day, must show acceptable ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-26 (in-person absentee voting) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-25.2 (certain first-time voters) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-25.1 (general requirement) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-10-1-7.2 (primaries) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-1.2 (absentee by mail exemption) [link]

What ID is acceptable?

For most voters, any form of photo ID is acceptable so long as it (1) was issued by either the federal government or the Indiana state government, and (2) displays the voter's name, and (3) displays the voter's photograph, and (4) has an expiration date that shows the ID is either unexpired or that it expired no earlier than the date of the previous general election. However, even if it has no expiration date or an indefinite expiration date, a photo ID issued by the U.S. States Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or Veterans Administration, a branch of the uniformed services, the Merchant Marine, or the Indiana National Guard is acceptable.

Additionally, if a voter is a first-time voter in Indiana who registered to vote by mail and did not either (1) write on their voter registration application a valid Indiana driver's license number, state ID card number, or the last four digits of their Social Secutiy Number, or (2) provide a copy of one of the below forms of ""additional ID"" to the county election board before they vote, then they must also show one of the below forms of additional ID when they cast their ballot:

  • A current and valid photo identification, or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-25.2 (certain first-time voters) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-5-2-40.5 (photo ID) [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

For most voters, a student ID is an acceptable photo ID only if (1) it was issued by a public school in Indiana (not a private school, and not a public school outside of Indiana); (2) displays the voter's name, (3) displays the voter's photograph, and (4) has an expiration date that shows the ID is either unexpired or that it expired no earlier than the date of the previous general election.

For first-time voters in Indiana who registered to vote by mail and must also show additional ID, a student ID is an acceptable form of additional ID so long as it either (1) is current, valid, and shows the voter's name and photograph, or (2) is current, shows the voter's name and current address, and was issued by a public (not private) school.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-25.2 (certain first-time voters) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-5-2-40.5 (photo ID) [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

No, except that first-time voters who registered by mail and did not provide proper ID before voting must show an ID that displays their current address.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-25.2 (certain first-time voters) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-5-2-40.5 (photo ID) [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

Voters who do not show a required ID are when voting are automatically challenged, and they may cast a provisional ballot. However, the provisional ballot will be counted only if the voter follows up with election officials as described below:

  • If a voter casts a provisional ballot because they did not have the required photo ID when voting in person, then the voter must travel to the county election board's office or the circuit court clerk's office no later than 10 days after Election Day and either (1) show a photo ID, or (2) sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, affirming either that the voter is indigent and cannot obtain proof of identification without paying a fee or that the voter has a religious objection to being photographed.
  • If a voter casts a provisional ballot because they are a first-time voter in Indiana that registered by mail and did not provide the required ID before or at the same time they vote, then the voter must submit the required ID to the county voter registration office no later than the time that the polls close on Election Day.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-11.7-5-2, -2.5 [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-10-26 (in-person absentee voting) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-25.2 (certain first-time voters) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-25.1 (general requirement) [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

The following people may challenge voters at the polling place:

  • A member of the precinct election board
  • A challenger appointed by a political party or candidate
  • A poll clerk, but only for challenges that are based on the voter's signature not matching the signature in the voter's registration record or another certified signature
  • During a primary election only, a voter who is a member of the political party whose ballot is being requested by the voter may challenge that voter based on party affiliation only.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana 2016 Election Day Manual, p. 23 (generally) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-10-1-24.6 (poll workers) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-10-1-10 (party members) [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

A voter can be challenged for the following reasons:

  • General Ineligibility: The voter is ineligible to vote in the precinct for any reason, such as not meeting the requirements for age, citizenship, residency, or registration; or the voter already voted in the election
  • Voter's Identity: A precinct election official does not believe that the voter is who the voter claims to be.
  • Voter's Signature: A poll clerk does not believe that the voter's signature in the poll book matches the signature in the voter's registration record or other certified signature
  • Voter's Party Affiliation, but in primary elections only: The challenge must claim either (1) the voter is attempting to vote in a party's primary despite having voted for a majority of candidates of a different pollitical in the previous general election, or (2)the voter is attempting to vote in a party's primary despite not having voted in the previous general election and not also intending to vote for a majority of that party's nominees in the general election.
  • Poll List: If the voter's name does not appear on the poll list for any reason (including a legally acceptable reason, such as a recent move), the voter can be challenged.
  • Lack of Required ID: A voter must be challenged if they do not present required ID. (For details on how voters without ID can vote, see the Voter ID section above.)

A voter cannot be challenged for any of the following reasons:

  • The voter's party affiliation, except in primary elections
  • The voter's support or opposition to a candidate or public question
  • The voter is a student
  • The voter is registered to vote in student housing
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-10-1-9 (party affiliation) [link]

Indiana 2016 Election Day Manual, p. 23 (generally) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-5-4.5-2 (student status and housing) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-5-4.5-3 (party affiliation and political views) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-27 (identity) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-10-1-24.6 (identity and signatures) [link]

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-23 (ineligibility generally) [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

Yes, challengers must state in writing, under penalty of perjury, the reason why they believe the voter is ineligible and describe the evidence they are relying on to make the challenge.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-11-8-21 [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

After being challenged, a voter must make a sworn affidavit verifying that their voter registration information is correct. After that, they may cast a provisional ballot, except for primary voters who are challenged on the ground of party affiliation; they may vote a regular ballot.

Provisional ballots voted because the voter lacked ID require that the voter follow up with election officials after they vote; for more information, see the above section on Voter ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Indiana 2016 Election Day Manual, pp. 23-24 [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

Secretary of State

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-6-3.7-1 [link]

Current official

Connie Lawson

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

About the Secretary [link]

E-mail

elections@iec.in.gov

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

IED Staff [link]

Phone

317-232-3939

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

IED Staff [link]

Address

Elections Division

302 West Washington Street

Room E-204

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

IED Staff [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

The answer depends on the county's population size:

  • County Board of Elections and Registration, in counties with a population size greater than 400,000 but less than 700,000
  • County Election Board, in all other counties.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-5.2-1, -6 [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-5.4-1, -5 [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-5-1, -15 [link]

What is the county-level election official?

The answer depends on the county's population size:

  • County Board of Elections and Registration, in counties with a population size greater than 400,000 but less than 700,000
  • County Election Board, in all other counties.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-5.2-1, -6 [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-5.4-1, -5 [link]

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-5-1, -15 [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

Typically, the county election official administers municipal elections, except in certain small towns that have their own election officials.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-6-5-1, -15 [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

Click here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

County Contact Search [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Any person.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-7-26.4-8 [link]

Who is the state-level contact for acquiring a voter file?

Elections Division

302 West Washington Street

Room E-204

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-7-26.4-8 [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

To members of the public, there is no charge, but certain data is redacted from the file. Political parties, candidates, and media organizations may receive the full file for a $5000/year subscription..

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code §§ 3-7-26.4-6, -12, -13 [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

Yes, a person cannot use information from the voter file to solicit the sale of merchandise, goods, services, or subscriptions. However, this restriction does not apply to political activities or political fundraising activities.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-14-6-2 [link]

Does the state have restrictions on non-commercial use of the voter file?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-23)

Ind. Code § 3-14-6-2 [link]