A day after warning of potential widespread voting fraud, Indiana’s secretary of state acknowledged Wednesday that many of the thousands of altered registration forms she flagged might just be from residents rushing to correct their names or birth dates ahead of the election. Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson told The Associated Press she wanted Indiana State Police to investigate to ensure there was no widespread fraud after her office found a heavier than usual number of changes to voter registration forms this election cycle. “It’s very possible that because of heightened activity this year that many of those changes are changes that the individual made,” Lawson told the AP. “… That should give Indiana voters the comfort that we are vigilant and we are protecting their rights and the elections here are not rigged.” Indiana is the home state of Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, and also has contentious races for governor and U.S. Senate on the ballot.
State police reassured residents in a statement Wednesday that the system Indiana uses for voter registration “has not been compromised” but said the records Lawson turned over could serve as evidence of forgery in a separate voter fraud investigation it is pursuing. That investigation spans 56 counties and focuses on Patriot Majority USA, a Washington, D.C.-based voter mobilization group with ties to the Democratic Party that says it’s being targeted for political reasons.
Scrutiny of state voting systems across the U.S. has been heightened ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly said the election could be “rigged.” Pence hasn’t gone that far but has urged supporters to carefully watch polling stations to guard against irregularities. “Voter fraud cannot be tolerated by anyone in this nation,” Pence said during a recent campaign stop this week in Ohio. “So I encourage you, demand that our public officials are upholding the integrity of the vote.”
The secretary of state’s office has refused to reveal how many individual voter registrations it has flagged for state police, saying only that the number is in the thousands. Lawson says her office conducted a review of the state voter system after receiving phone calls from an unspecified number of concerned citizens who were unable to access, or found inaccuracies in their online voter information. “We stated that there were thousands of changes and we are not going to make any assumptions that they are all legitimate or all fraudulent,” Lawson said.
Full Article: Indiana election official clarifies registration fraud probe | 2016-10-19 | Indianapolis Business Journal | IBJ.com.