Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Contact: Jen Fanger
Indianapolis, IN - Today, Secretary of State Todd Rokita joined Senator Brent Steele and Senator Mike Delph to preview upcoming legislation regarding Military IDs used for voting purposes. Representatives from four of the state's Veterans Service Organizations were also present to show their support for the measure that puts the force of law behind Rokita's current policy and practice.
In April, 2006, the Indiana Secretary of State and the bipartisan Indiana Election Division issued an opinion regarding Military IDs stating "INDEF" to indicate an indefinite expiration date. Indiana's photo ID law simply requires that the ID contain an expiration date to be valid for voting purposes, but in its current form, the law does not specifically address this type of indefinite expiration date.
"We need to be absolutely clear about this," Rokita said. "We need to be sure that our current policy is set in stone for future generations of brave men and women who selflessly risk their lives to protect our freedom, including our most precious right to vote."
Senator Steele announced plans to introduce a bill during the next legislative session to clarify this point of Indiana's photo ID law, and to cement the current practice in Indiana.
"Other than our relationship to God, there is nothing as sacred as the service of our men and women in the military," said Steele. "This bill will put into law what Secretary of State Todd Rokita has already put into place by rule and will give clean instruction to our county clerks as to procedure."
Senator Delph, who also serves as a Captain in the Army Reserves, indicated early support for the bill and will serve as co-author.
"While our men and women in uniform continue to sacrifice daily in our Nation's defense, we in government have an obligation to make their civic participation as easy as possible," said Delph. "If a military ID is good enough to verify a soldier's identity for our defense, it is good enough for voting. This has been, and will continue to be true in Indiana."
The bill also draws support from the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Legion, AmVets, and Disabled American Veterans.