Indiana’s bloated voter registration rolls, which officials say make elections more susceptible to fraud, will soon come under more scrutiny by the state. The Indiana Secretary of State’s office will spend more than $2 million to purge the voter registration rolls in each of Indiana’s 92 counties, removing the names of voters who are dead, in prison, or have moved away. County election officials are responsible for keeping the voter rolls current, but the lack of money has caused some of them to fall behind. The result: In some counties, the number of people listed on the active voter rolls is higher than the number of voting-age people who live there.
“Every duplicate name and every bad address is just an opportunity for vote fraud,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson, who asked the General Assembly to let the state take over the maintenance of the voter rolls after July 1. The money to do so was included the biennial budget, signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence earlier this month.
It’s not a simple effort; the Secretary of State’s office will have to send out at least two mass mailings of postcards to Indiana voters as part of a sweeping effort to verify their voting status.
The legislature was pushed into taking action by the U.S. Department of Justice. Officials with the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section found that at least 10 percent of Indiana’s 92 counties have a higher number people on their active voter rolls than they do who are old enough to vote.