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Federal judge: Indiana’s lack of ‘no-excuse’ voting by mail is constitutional

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s law that limits voting by mail to 13 categories is constitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The ruling came amid calls, including those from nine voters who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, for Indiana to drop its 13 categories amid the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Supreme Court has also issued a ruling that the allowance of broader voting by mail may be wise policy.

The 13 categories include ones for people who will be absent from their county on Election Day, who have disabilities and who are at least 65 years of age.

“Some states have chosen ‘no-excuse’ voting by mail for all,” wrote Judge Patrick Hanlon in his ruling. “Indiana has decided otherwise. The question here, however, is not whether the policy is wise, but whether it is constitutional.”

The application to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the Nov. 3 election must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Oct. 22. An Indiana government website with information on how to vote by mail lists the 13 categories.