The text came late one night last week, just about the time Indiana State Police expanded an investigation into potential voter registration fraud from nine to 56 of the state’s 92 counties. The question, boiled down, was haunting: Want to see how easy it would be to get into someone’s voter registration and make changes to it? The offer from Steve Klink – a Lafayette-based public consultant who works mainly with Indiana public school districts – was to use my voter registration record as a case study. Only with my permission, of course. “I will not require any information from you,” he texted. “Which is the problem.” Turns out he didn’t need anything from me. He sent screenshots of every step along the way, as he navigated from the “Update My Voter Registration” tab at the Indiana Statewide Voter Registration System maintained since 2010 at www.indianavoters.com to the blank screen that cleared the way for changes to my name, address, age and more. The only magic involved was my driver’s license number, one of two log-in options to make changes online. And that was contained in a copy of every county’s voter database, a public record already in the hands of political parties, campaigns, media and, according to Indiana open access laws, just about anyone who wants the beefy spreadsheet. As promised, Klink made no changes, but he made his point. Let’s just say it was unsettling at best.
“Does it make me nervous?” asked Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey, after I walked through the process with her personal voter registration stored online. “It absolutely does. I worry about anything that might compromise an election. … That said, nothing has seemed abnormal, so far this year. If anything’s happened here, we haven’t seen it. But it’s so hard to tell.”
Tippecanoe County has picked up more than 2,000 new registrations since the May primary, with nearly 111,855 registered voters as of Monday, Coffey said. The deadline to register is Tuesday. Tippecanoe County isn’t among the 57 counties targeted by the Indiana State Police investigation that started in Marion County. As of late last week, it appeared police were working their way alphabetically through Indiana’s counties, making it to Owen County. Coffey said she was preparing in case police pull Tippecanoe County in next.
State police haven’t offered much about the investigation or about when it would be done. Last week, state police issued a search warrant for the business offices of Indiana Voter Registration Project in Indianapolis. (Patriot Majority USA, the parent organization for Indiana Voter Registration Project, in turn, asked the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to look for signs that the police probe was an attempt to suppress the black vote.)
Full Article: Bangert: An experiment in voter fraud.