Straight Ticket Voting Repeal Is Dead, But Another Bill Provision Might Not Be

Apr 21, 2015

The bill also contains language which would give parties more time to fill unexpected vacancies on ballots.
Credit solarnu / https://www.flickr.com/photos/solarnu/

Now that a controversial bill that would have eliminated straight-ticket voting in Indiana is dead for this session, its authors are trying to find a vehicle for one of the bill’s other provisions.

After two Republican state representatives announced after last year’s filing deadline that, if elected, they would not serve, statehouse leaders began to work on a fix.

This session, they proposed pushing back the deadline by which a candidate could be replaced on a ballot to September 1 from July 1. The move has been touted as one which would reduce confusion, because fewer ballots would contain names of people who aren’t likely to serve.

Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) says he supported the straight-ticket voting measure, but sentiment wasn’t strong enough to keep the bill alive – even as a home for the filing deadline change.

But if the filing deadline is changed, it would not affect separate state laws regarding how the state treats candidates who die while on the ballot.

One law says that a candidate who passes away before a primary election forfeits any votes they receive and the second-place finisher in the election wins. However, the state gives a much wider berth to those who die between a primary election and a general election. State parties have until five days before a general election to replace the dead candidate with a live one.