Indiana proposal would change how candidates get on ballot

December 10, 2011

The Associated Press

An Indiana state lawmaker said this week he plans to introduce a bill that would change how signatures are gathered to put candidates on the state's ballot.

The proposal comes in response to allegations that dozens of signatures were forged in St. Joseph County to get then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the state's 2008 Democratic primary ballot. The St. Joseph's County prosecutor is investigating the allegations.

Representative Kreg Battles, D-Vincennes, said his bill would require volunteers collecting signatures to affix their name in some way to petitions so they can be retraced. He also wants petitions stored for longer than the current two years they are kept, but he said he hasn't decided yet how long they should be kept.

Brad King, Republican co-director of Indiana Elections Division, said tracking petitions would be a "consistent expansion" of tracking that is already done by law on absentee ballots to prevent fraud. Storing paper copies of petitions wouldn't be very expensive, either, he said.