INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s earliest-in-the-nation poll closing time will stay that way.
Indiana and Kentucky are the only states to close the polls at six o’clock. A Senate committee rejected Democrats’ proposal to add two hours of voting and match the 22 states which keep polls open till eight p-m.
Avon Republican John Crane says the bill might have made sense 10 or 20 years ago to make it easier for people to vote. But the state now has early voting, and Crane says that plus 12 hours on Election Day is plenty of time for anyone to get to the polls.
And Jeffersonville Republican Ron Grooms says it’s already hard to get enough people to work the polls without adding to an already long workday. He says he might consider shifting the 12-hour voting window slightly later, to open the polls at seven a-m and close them at seven p-m, but says the money it would take to staff the polls an extra two hours would be better spent on facilitating the transition to vote centers.
It’s the second and presumably last time a later poll closing has been considered in this session. House Elections Chairman Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) took testimony last month on a bill he authored to push closing time to eight p-m. but didn’t hold a vote.