Supporters of legislative redistricting reform vowed to tackle the issue during the next Indiana General Assembly as about 90 people gathered for a rally Monday at the Statehouse. “We need Hoosiers in every corner of the state to talk about this issue, raise their voices up and demand that we, your representatives, strengthen our democracy by ending gerrymandering,” said State Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis. Currently, the Indiana Legislature conducts redistricting at the start of each decade, typically based on an advisory commission’s recommendations. Critics say the lines are drawn to support political parties.
Articles about voting issues in Indiana.
Amid concerns about the intent of President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission, one of the strongest checks on any potential federal overreach could be an unassuming Republican from Vice President Mike Pence’s home state. As a member of Trump’s commission, Secretary of State Connie Lawson is charged with recommending federal policies to buckle down on potential voter fraud. But as the incoming leader of the National Association of Secretaries of State and an advocate for state control over elections, she is skeptical of federal involvement. That could put her at odds with the commission and its vocal vice chairman Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Making matters even trickier for Lawson, Pence — who continues to have a major influence in Indiana politics — chairs the commission.
Indiana: Election official won’t turn over voter data despite being on Trump’s voter fraud panel | The Hill
Indiana’s secretary of state on Friday said her state won’t turn over requested voter roll data to President Trump’s commission on voter fraud, even though she is on the commission. Connie Lawson joined at least 13 states in declining to hand over at least some of the data requested by the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. “Indiana law doesn’t permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach,” she said in a statement. “Under Indiana public records laws, certain voter info is available to the public, the media and any other person who requested the information for non-commercial purposes. The information publicly available is name, address and congressional district assignment.”
The Indiana Republican Party demanded an apology today from Democrats who criticized a state investigation into possible voter fraud. The press conference comes after 12 people working for a political action committee were arrested in connection with that investigation. Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer says Democrats unfairly criticized Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Indiana State Police last October, during an investigation of a political action committee, the Indiana Voter Registration Project.
Holiday Burke, who is accused of submitting fraudulent voter registration forms in Indiana, has retained a former city-county councilor to fight the charges. Attorney Karen Celestino-Horseman said in a statement late Friday that Burke did nothing wrong. “Holiday Burke executed her duties in accordance with Indiana state election law, and this case has no merit,” Celestino-Horseman said. “State law requires registration efforts turn in every application. Holiday did so while clearly noting to the appropriate authorities which applications had inconsistencies or appeared problematic so that the county clerks could better do their job.”
Indiana: Voter registration group, employees charged with falsifying applications | The Washington Post
Twelve employees of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, which focused on registering black voters in the run up to last year’s presidential election, were charged Friday with submitting falsified voter registration applications. The voter registration group also faces criminal charges. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said officials did not find any evidence that fraudulent ballots were cast in last November’s election or that the group and its employees committed voter fraud. “These allegations pertain to voter registration applications provided to county officials before the November election,” he said in a news release. “Let me be clear that these are not allegations of voter fraud nor is there any evidence to suggest that voter fraud was the alleged motivation.”
Indiana: 6 counties used voter registration company targeted by Russian cyberattacks | Indianapolis Star
For the 2016 election, six Indiana counties used a voter registration software company that news reports say was the focus of cyberattacks by a Russian intelligence unit. State and local election officials say there is no indication that election or voter data was compromised. VR Systems was hacked by Russian intelligence, according to reports in The New York Times and other media. Jurisdictions in eight states, including six counties in Indiana, used VR Systems in the 2016 election.
Indiana: Common Cause, NAACP sue over Marion County early-voting site | Indianapolis Business Journal
Marion County’s single location for early voting provides unequal access to the ballot, argues a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Common Cause and the NAACP. Plaintiffs in the case allege Indianapolis’ sole early-voting precinct is discriminatory and constitutes voter suppression. The lawsuit takes aim at the system in which one of the three unelected members of the Marion County Election Board, most recently Republican Party member Maura Hoff, has vetoed multiple early-voting locations in the state’s most populous county. The result has been sometimes-long lines at the only location for early voting, the Marion County Clerk’s office in the Indianapolis City-County Building.
Common Cause Indiana and two branches of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to challenge the law that governs early voting in Marion County. In 2008, two sites were established outside downtown Indianapolis that offered in-person early voting. But now they’re gone, meaning anyone in Marion County who wants to cast an early ballot has to make the trip to a single downtown office. Indiana law mandates that county election boards unanimously endorse early-voting locations. Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, says the lack of access has become a constitutional issue, and that it also violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Nearly half a million individuals have been deleted from Indiana’s list of registered voters since the Nov. 8, 2016, general election. Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Tuesday that the removals are part of an ongoing effort to clean up the state’s voter records after she determined her predecessors largely ignored the time-consuming task. “I discovered voter list maintenance was not being done statewide and many outdated voter registrations were still on the rolls,” Lawson said. “I made it a priority to ensure our state’s list was accurate and that we followed the federal law.” Across Indiana, 481,235 registered voters were purged, or about 10 percent of the state’s total.