An election commission in Indianapolis ruled Thursday that Sen. Richard Lugar is ineligible to vote in his former precinct, a blow to the Republican who has been battling residency questions amid a primary battle for reelection. The Marion County Election Board voted 2-1 against Lugar and his wife in a vote along party lines, according to Angie Nussmeyer, a spokesperson for the board. Democrats who voted against Lugar determined he no longer resided at the home address listed on his voter registration. Lugar has lived in McLean, Virginia since the sale of his Indianapolis home in 1977. Lugar’s campaign characterized the decision as an attempt to infringe upon Lugar’s right to vote.
“Unfortunately, the Democrats on the County Election Board and Treasurer Mourdock’s supporters are attempting to tarnish Senator Lugar and his family, and deprive them their fundamental right to vote,” Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher said. “This personal attack comes on the heels of the Indiana Election Commission’s bipartisan, unanimous decision denying a similar challenge to Senator Lugar’s ability to stand for re-election.”
Fisher added, “It is an outrage that Indiana Democrats and Treasurer Mourdock’s camp are happy to waste taxpayer money in tying up the courts. They apparently don’t see any path to victory at the ballot box, so they keep maneuvering in hopes they can avoid competing head-on with Senator Lugar.”
Nussmeyer, the election board spokesperson, specified the decision wasn’t meant to disenfranchise the Lugars, but rather to denote they were no longer eligible to vote in precinct 29-007. A GOP source said the decision was pure politics.