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US Supreme Court declines to hear Indiana absentee ballot case

WASHINGTON (WISH) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a lawsuit seeking to require Indiana to offer mail-in voting to all residents.

The lawsuit argued Indiana’s requirement that absentee voters be at least 65 years old violates the 26th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”

By declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court allows a federal appeals court’s ruling in favor of the state to stand and keeps the absentee voting requirements in place. The appeals court ruled the requirements for mail-in voting do not violate the 26th Amendment because they don’t prevent anyone from exercising their right to vote.

Those voting absentee-by-mail in Indiana mark their own ballot and sign the completed ballot security envelope and have a reason to request an absentee vote-by-mail ballot:

  1. You have a specific, reasonable expectation that you will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open (6 am until 6 pm).
  2. You have a disability.
  3. You are at least 65 years of age.
  4. You will have official election duties outside of your voting precinct.
  5. You are scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  6. You will be confined due to illness or injury or you will be caring for an individual confined due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  7. You are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  8. You are a participant in the state’s address confidentiality program.
  9. You are a member of the military or a public safety officer.
  10. You are a “serious sex offender” as defined in Indiana Code 35-42-4-14(a).
  11. You are prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita expressed his support for the Supreme Court’s decision on Twitter: