Indiana Sued Again for Voter Purging Techniques

By: - October 30, 2017 12:00 am

Indiana faces several lawsuits over its policy for removing voters from registration lists.

© The Associated Press

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican, is facing another lawsuit over the state’s process for removing voters from registration lists.

Voting rights group Common Cause said the state’s policy violates federal voting law by immediately removing voters from rolls if they are suspected of having moved away. Federal election law requires election officials to wait two federal election cycles before removing voters who did not respond to confirmation notices.

The challenge to the Indiana law comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider a case from Ohio in which elections officials are being sued for sending confirmation of address notices to registered voters after they failed to vote in an election, initiating a process that could remove them from the rolls. The groups suing over the law, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say Ohio’s action violates a federal law that bars removing registrants for not voting.

Under an Indiana law enacted last year, elections officials are required to enter a person’s name and birthdate into a program called Crosscheck to see whether she has registered in another state. Critics have questioned the accuracy of the program and said Indiana’s approach, which has yet to be implemented, would falsely connect separate people with the same name and birthday.  

The Brennan Center for Justice and the League of Women Voters are already suing the state over the same law.

Lawson has declined to comment on the suits. But, she said, “I certainly want our list to be accurate.”

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Rebecca Beitsch

Rebecca Beitsch writes about energy and the environment for Stateline. She covered state government in Missouri and North Dakota, writing about politics and policy for NewsRadio KMOX, the Columbia Missourian and the Bismarck Tribune.