Voter turnout in Indiana has gone up in three consecutive presidential election years, including 2008’s record high. Indiana’s Secretary of State says she’s hoping for another record this year, but some political watchers say that’s unlikely.
Secretary of State Connie Lawson says early voting has been strong so far, but she says early voting this year is a little off from the last presidential election.
“Compared to this time in the election process in 2008, we’re about 85 thousand ballots behind what we were in 2008,” Lawson said.
Lawmakers will attempt the first comprehensive reform of Indiana’s criminal code in 30 years next session after legislation prepared over the last three years by a legislative study committee was approved Tuesday. But some state criminal justice organizations say the reform package will still require significant work before it can garner their support.
A huge portion of the criminal code overhaul will be put in one piece of legislation next session, something Indiana Public Defender Council executive director Larry Landis says may not work.
State education officials announced Wednesday morning fewer Indiana schools received the state’s highest letter grade rating in 2012. But three out of five schools still received an A or a B. State superintendent Tony Bennett unveiled the letter grades and said the grades are “positive news” overall for Indiana schools.
This year is the first time state officials have calculating A-to-F school ratings using their new growth model. The model places greater weight on individual students’ test score performance, rather than a school’s overall passing rate on statewide tests.
Indiana emergency response teams are heading to the East Coast to help states deal with Hurricane Sandy and an overlapping severe weather system.
A total of 107 Hoosiers and 44 vehicles – including 24 ambulances – will assist in New York, New Jersey and Maryland. State Department of Homeland Security director Joe Wainscott says Indiana began receiving requests for help Saturday. One of the units is already in Maryland; the others will arrive on the East Coast soon.
Wainscott says the bulk of the personnel are EMS providers.