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Senate Bill May Require Counties to Offer Alturnative Voting for Sex Offenders

January 4, 2012

01/05/12 The Marshall County Election Board has had to tackle a number of items within the past year including redistricting, combining precinct voting locations and budgeting restraints. However, due to an unforeseen action by Indiana Senator Frank Mrvan, Jr., the Board could now be faced with providing information on alternate voting procedures and sites to registered sex offenders. Alternate procedures could allow a sex offender to vote by mail or at a clerk’s office.

Senator Mrvan, District1 (D), introduced a bill on January 4 of this year on the topic. Voting locations have historically included space in public schools, but entry on school property by serious sex offenders is a Class D felony. The Marshall County Board has proposed continuing to use Triton High School and Bremen High School as voting sites.

If the bill were to be passed, circuit court clerks would have to notify serious sex offenders whose polling place is located on school property that knowingly or intentionally entering school property would be an unlawful entry and also inform them of voting alternatives.

The bill would also require the Department of Corrections to inform a serious sex offender at the time of discharge of the same information.

The bill was heard on first reading and was referred to the Committee of Judiciary.

Among other duties, Mrvan of Hammond currently serves as the ranking Democrat on both Senate’s Ethics and Insurance and Financial Institutions Committees.

Carol Anders Correspondent

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