Indiana Bill Would Allow Dead People to Vote
Current law nullifies their absentee ballots
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2015 2:12 AM CST
Updated Feb 6, 2015 3:19 AM CST
A set of House bills sit in a basket waiting to be heard at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(Newser) – Just because your heart's not beating shouldn't mean your vote doesn't count, according to lawmakers in Indiana. The House Elections Committee in the state is considering changing a law that nullifies absentee ballots cast by voters who die before Election Day, reports the AP. Rep. Matt Pierce told the committee he was moved by the situation of former US Rep. Frank McCloskey, who made a point of casting an absentee ballot while battling cancer but died days before Election Day in 2003. McCloskey knew the value of a vote: After a recount following the 1984 election, the Democrat was declared the winner by just four votes.

But while the proposal might sound odd, it would actually give dead Hoosiers the same voting rights as most other dead Americans. According to the Bloomington Herald-Times, Indiana is one of only three states with a "dead voter" law, which requires county clerks to check absentee ballots for recent deaths and has been blamed for election night delays. At a legislative forum last month, state Rep. Peggy Mayfield, a Republican, recalls that when she was serving as a county clerk, a man woke up from a coma and wanted to vote. He was given an absentee ballot but died the day before Election Day. "It's sad," says Mayfield, who isn't opposed to changing the law.