Smith will block dead voter bill from House committee hearing

An Indiana House committee chairman from Columbus said he reluctantly plans to block a bill submitted by another Bartholomew County legislator that in some instances would allow the votes of dead people to count.

State Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, a co-author of Senate Bill 155, said he agrees with the decision by State Rep. Milo Smith, chairman of the House Elections and Apportionment Committee.

State law currently requires county clerks and their staffs to cross-check absentee ballots against information about residents who have died. The votes of those who are discovered to be deceased are then invalidated through an Election Board process.

With the testimony of Bartholomew County Clerk Jay Phelps backing him, Walker’s bill would have removed those requirements.

“We believe they should use their time and energies on more pressing matters, including security,” Walker said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.


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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.