Federal Court Blocks Indiana Voter Purge Law 

August 24, 2020 5:00 pm

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INDIANAPOLIS — A federal court has blocked an Indiana law that would have allowed county election officials to kick voters off the rolls immediately without notice.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Indiana, Demos, and the firm Davis Wright Tremaine challenged the law, which sought to circumvent federally mandated safeguards from a state purge process, allowing voters to be purged based solely on second-hand information without notice or an opportunity to correct the record.

Previously in this case, federal courts struck down a virtually identical law that relied on data from the controversial Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program. Instead of fixing the problems, Indiana enacted a new law that replicated the same flawed procedures and simply swapped the Crosscheck program with an Indiana-based program called the Indiana Data Enhancement Association.

The case was brought on behalf of Common Cause Indiana.

The following comments are from:

Julia Vaughn, policy director, Common Cause Indiana: “Common Cause Indiana is extremely pleased that this decision will prevent the state from purging any voter from the rolls without proper notice and a waiting period. We hope this decision will convince Indiana election officials to stop their efforts to cut voters from the rolls without authorization as required by federal law.”

Sophia Lakin, deputy director, ACLU’s Voting Rights Project: “This ruling is a huge victory for Indiana voters because it ensures they will not be illegally purged from the voting rolls without notice. As federal courts have now said three times in this case, elections officials cannot remove voters from the rolls without hearing directly from the voter or following safeguards mandated by federal law.”

Jane Henegar, executive director, ACLU of Indiana: “This ruling will protect numerous Hoosiers who would have otherwise been at risk of being disenfranchised unlawfully. Too many Hoosiers face obstacles, including the current public health emergency, to exercising their fundamental right to vote. We are glad that this voter-roll purge system will not be one of those barriers. Voting is our constitutional right and we must ensure every voice is heard.”

Stuart Naifeh, senior counsel, Demos: “The court rightly rejected Indiana’s attempt to concoct a replacement for Crosscheck that didn’t correct any of its flaws. As the court recognized, purging voters with no notice based on a system that disproportionately targets Black and brown voters violates our democratic principles and undermines the democratic process.”

Ruling: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/order-common-cause-indiana-v-lawson

Case details: https://www.aclu.org/cases/common-cause-indiana-v-lawson

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