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RIGHT TO VOTE: Ind. Senate approves Sen. Banks' proposal

February 6, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate approved a proposal authored by Ind. Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to protect Hoosiers’ right to vote by secret ballot.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 would amend the Constitution of the State of Indiana to permanently protect the right to use secret ballots in elections, including union authorization elections. The Ind. Senate passed the resolution by a vote of 33-16, moving it to the Ind. House of Representatives for further consideration.

“While the Indiana Constitution protects the right to vote by secret ballot in government elections, it doesn’t protect it in labor elections,” Sen. Banks said. “According to the Center for Union Facts, 78 percent of households support secret ballots, agreeing that this is a fundamental right that protects individuals from possible coercion and intimidation. I believe it should be explicitly guaranteed in our state constitution.”

To amend Indiana’s constitution, a resolution must pass both the Senate and House of Representatives in two sessions separated by an election and then be approved by a statewide voter referendum.

Banks said four states currently have similar constitutional amendments: Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

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