Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has intervened in a lawsuit filed earlier this year by a civic group that alleges discrimination in access to early voting. Hill specifically wants to defend a 2001 state statute cited in the complaint. The statute requires a unanimous vote of a three-member board — comprising of a Democrat, a Republican and the county clerk — to expand early voting. An IndyStar investigation published earlier this month highlighted how the law has been used by state and local Republicans to restrict early voting in predominantly Democratic areas while expanding voting access in Republican-held areas. In the court filing, Hill says the Marion County Election Board does not “adequately” represent the state’s interest. He said Indiana is “left to wonder whether MCEB (Marion County Election Board) intends to provide any defense of the statute at all, or instead intends to enter into a consent decree permanently guaranteeing multiple satellite early voting facilities at its desired locations in Marion County.”
Bill Groth, an Indianapolis labor attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the Marion County Election Board does represent the voters of Marion County. “It’s disappointing that (Hill) appears to be more concerned about protecting partisan interests than the right of Marion County voters to equal access to the electoral process,” Groth told IndyStar.
Groth said that the plaintiffs are reviewing Hill’s motion.
The lawsuit, which IndyStar highlighted in its investigation, was filed in May by Common Cause Indiana, the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP and the local NAACP branch. The organizations claim discrimination by the Marion County Election Board, its three members and Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
Full Article: Indiana Attorney General intervenes in elections lawsuit.