A government watchdog group is suing Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, accusing her office of allowing voters to be illegally purged from the state’s voting roles. Common Cause Indiana is asking a federal judge to put a stop to what it calls “discriminatory and illegal” practices the Republican secretary of state’s office adopted in the wake of a new state law that went into effect in July. Lawson’s general counsel has dismissed the allegations as “baseless.” At issue is how the election division in Lawson’s office allows local officials to remove voters from their rolls if it is believed that they have moved to another state. Common Cause says the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 allows voters to be removed only if they have confirmed in writing that they have moved, or if they fail to respond to a written notice and do not cast a ballot for at least two general election cycles. But Lawson’s office is allowing elections officials to purge registered voters if they show up as recently registered in another state in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program.
Lawson’s office has argued that if someone moves to a new state and registers to vote, their new registration essentially serves as written notice that they are canceling their registration in Indiana.
But Common Cause, a left-leaning group, notes that the data the state is relying on comes secondhand from a program that has been criticized for its inaccuracy. The Crosscheck database, which roughly 30 states feed information into, is maintained by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has a national reputation for pushing restrictive voting laws and is also the head of President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission.