Morales walks back early voting limits idea

By: - September 13, 2022 6:30 am

Republican Diego Morales has adjusted his position on absentee voting as he campaigns for Secretary of State. (Photo from public Facebook page)

Diego Morales, the Republican candidate for Indiana Secretary of State, is walking back a proposal to cut early voting as well as softening comments on the 2020 election. The Secretary of State is Indiana’s highest election official.

Morales previously said he wanted to slash the state’s 28-day early voting period in half, and called the 2020 election a “scam,” according to the Associated Press. But since his overwhelming convention victory in June, when he ousted Gov. Eric Holcomb appointee Holli Sullivan, he’s moderated some of the rhetoric in a pull for unity.

“My sole focus is on earning Hoosier votes in this year’s election,” he said in a statement late Friday to the Capital Chronicle. “I have been and will continue to travel to all 92 counties in Indiana to listen to and learn from voters so I can best serve them.”

It’s been through those interactions, he said, that his views on early voting changed.

“In addition to talking with voters, I am meeting with county clerks. Based on those conversations, I believe the current 28-day early voting timeline is working,” he said.

Morales also told Fox59 on its IN Focus show that limiting early voting was just an initial idea for the office he’d had while working in the private sector.

And despite his earlier comments about the 2020 election – he also deemed it “flawed” and “questionable” to Hoosier State Today – Morales said in a statement Monday that he considers Joe Biden the “legitimate President.”

But he told the Capital Chronicle in late June that he still had doubts about the election.

“There are still questions around the 2020 election and we need to learn from those.” For Morales, most of those doubts arose from pre-election law changes and signature-matching “anomalies.”

The Indiana Democratic Party accused Morales of “lying about his own campaign record” and called him “an unfit extremist who wants to destroy Hoosier democracy.”

“Diego Morales is unfit to serve in public office and he’s a threat to Indiana’s future,” the party said in a news release Monday. “His values are more about fulfilling a national extremist agenda than actually creating a better future for the Hoosier State.”

Morales will face Democrat Destiny Scott Wells – a party executive, lawyer and military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve – and Libertarian Jeff Maurer, a development officer for an international Libertarian nonprofit with experience in the technology industry.

Wells had a sliver of a lead over Republican Diego Morales in a poll of 800 likely November voters released in July. But a third of voters were undecided, and the poll’s margin of error was enough to give Wells a boost or wipe away her lead.

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Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie covers state government for the Indiana Capital Chronicle with emphases on elections, infrastructure and transportation. She previously covered city-county government for the Indianapolis Business Journal. She has also reported on local, national and international news for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and more. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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