December 16, 2013 — Indiana’s Secretary of State is reminding Hoosiers to use the state’s new voter registration forms, because the old forms will not be accepted beginning January 1.
Connie Lawson says new forms will help decrease the possibility of voter registration fraud by tracking the chain of custody for voter registration applications. Lawson says previous elections have had fraudulent voter registration forms submitted for Jimmy Johns and Mickey Mouse.
The State’s updated registration form includes a new section for people who collect voter registration applications to document their name, address and the date they received the completed application. The newly registered voter also will receive a receipt with the name and address of the person who took custody of the voter application and the date the transaction occurred.
Lawson’s office says the additional information required by the new form also can help the county voter registration office identify patterns of suspicious activity and election law violations.
The new Indiana voter registration forms also remind groups and individuals who register voters of their own responsibility to protect the integrity of the election process and prevent disenfranchisement of voters who trust these groups or individuals.
People collecting voter registration applications who receive an application they believe to be false or fraudulent now are required to submit the application to the appropriate county election office with a sworn statement, under penalties of perjury, indicating why they believe the application to be fraudulent, alerting county officials that a violation of election law may have occurred.
Lawson says, “In the past, county voter registration offices across Indiana have reported frequent ‘hoarding and dumping’ of voter registration applications. Before this year, individuals or groups could hoard voter registration applications received from voters for weeks or even months before submitting them to county voter registration offices. Large numbers of these applications were then dumped on county offices just before the registration deadline to help conceal ‘bogus’ applications, or as a campaign strategy designed to benefit a candidate, not the voters.”
Lawson notes that beginning with next year’s election, all applications collected from another person must be turned into the county voter registration office or the Indiana Election Division no later than noon 10 days of receipt of the application, or the deadline to submit applications under state law, whichever occurs first.