Cass County Election Board says major changes will be required for 2024 Election in Cass County, Indiana

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Cass County Election Board

The Cass County Election Board will be required to make major changes in the way elections will be conducted this year. The Indiana Election Commission and Indiana Election Division have required Cass County to make these changes because of an Indiana statute. These changes are as follows:

  1. When voting in person at any time before Election Day, a voter will still use the existing equipment to fill out and print their ballot on scannable paper, but the voter WILL NOT be able to personally scan their ballot.
  1. Instead of scanning their ballot, the voter will be required to place their printed ballot in an envelope, seal it, sign it and then give it to two poll workers who will sign it as well. The voter’s E-poll book slip will be stapled to this envelope.
  1. The Cass County Election Board will then secure all envelopes until Election Day when they will be opened and scanned into the election scanning machine that counts the ballots. As in the past, the paper ballot will be retained as a backup to that process and for risk limiting audits.

The reason for this change is because the Indiana Election Commission, VSTOP (the provider who tests and certifies election equipment for the State of Indiana) and the Indiana Election Division have only allowed one election equipment vendor to be tested and certified to comply with Indiana statute. This statute requires that all ballots cast before Election Day be retrievable so that any ballot that is cast by a person who dies before Election Day can be removed and not counted. In the past, the Indiana Election Commission has determined that our equipment did comply with this statute but no longer allowing the equipment’s capabilities to be tested and certified by VSTOP.

The Cass County Election Board and other election equipment vendors disagree with the decision made by the Election Commission but have been unsuccessful in appealing the decision. In addition, the members of the Cass County Election Board do not feel that it is fair to refuse to count a ballot that has been legally cast before Election Day when that person dies before Election Day. If this statute were repealed, then the Cass County Election Board could conduct this year’s election in the same way as it has in the past few years. The Board asks that if you would like to see this statute repealed you contact your State Senator and State Representative and make your views known. This statute is referred to as “The Dead Voter Law” by many county clerks. You can reach State Senator Donato at 1-800-382-9467 or 1-317-232-9400; Representative Ethan Manning at 1-317-232-9619 or 1-800-382-9841; and Representative Heath VanNatter at 1-317-232-9643 or 1-800-382-9841. There will be a Third House Session hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on February 3rd at 9:00 a.m. where you can discuss this and other issues with your legislators.

Destry Richey, Cass County Clerk
Andrew J. Stephenson, Republican Member
James H. Austen, Democrat Member

SOURCE: News release from Cass County Election Board