Indiana improved election security fifteen years ago with a Voter ID law, but there are more reforms that can be made to improve election security and ensure election integrity. These reforms would be especially helpful in a place like Monroe County, with a very high number of people moving into and out of the community every year, or moving around inside the community year-to-year.
With that in mind, here are three common-sense election reforms.
Reform #1: Require proof of residency and proof of citizenship when someone registers to vote. This one ought to be a no-brainer. Only citizens are legally allowed to vote, so we should ensure that only citizens should be allowed to register to vote. As it stands now, there is absolutely no filter at the point where people register to vote. Election integrity also requires that people live where they say they live, because the margin of victory from district to district can vary wildly.
Reform #2: Require everyone to re-register every 4 years, providing proof of residency. Again, it is especially important in a community where people move around a lot. If they did not provide proof of citizenship the last time they are registered, they would be required to provide proof of citizenship at re-registration. One could make a case for requiring re-registration more often than every four years, especially in a place with a high turnover, but a four year expiration is reasonable and certainly better than what we have now.
Reform #3: Purge voter rolls of those not re-registered. This will keep dead people off the voter rolls, ensuring that identity theft would be more difficult. Automatically purging names of voters confirmed to be dead by the county coroner would also keep the lists clean and increase election security. Purging voter rolls on a regular basis would also help clean up the voter rolls in college towns where tens of thousands of people are constantly moving into and out of the community.
There are other things that can be done to improve security and privacy, but the first thing that needs to be done is to ensure that the voter registration data is correct. Nothing can ensure total accuracy, but these three reforms would be a significant improvement over the haphazard system we have now, even in a heavily Republican state like Indiana.