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NAACP, League of Women Voters sue Indiana over new 'Crosscheck' voter purge law

Posted at 3:46 PM, Aug 23, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- A lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of the NAACP and League of Women Voters alleges Indiana’s new policy regarding purging voter rolls violates federal law.

Senate Enrolled Act 442, which went into effect in July, allows election officials to remove voters from the state’s voter rolls if they appear on a list of people who have purportedly registered in another state. The law does not require election officials to confirm that the individual is registered in another state or to notify them that they’ve been removed from Indiana’s voter rolls.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the non-partisan but left-leaning public policy institute which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the NAACP and League of Women Voters, the process of removing voters based on the aforementioned list, known as “Crosscheck,” violates the National Voter Registration Act (NRVA).

“Crosscheck has been shown to be unreliable as a sole basis for identifying and removing voters who may have moved,” the Brennan Center said in a written statement. “When Crosscheck, which is administered by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, was used for a 2013 Virginia voter purge, 40,000 registered voters were removed from the rolls prior to a statewide election, even though local election officials found error rates as high as 17 percent. Moreover, according to a 2016 analysis, minorities are more likely than white voters to be flagged for removal in Crosscheck.”

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According to the Brennan Center’s complaint, the NVRA requires election officials, prior to purging a voter from the rolls because of a change of residence, to either confirm the voter has moved or confirm they have received a mailed noticed they are going to be removed, failed to respond, and failed to vote in two consecutive federal elections.

The lawsuit seeks to force the Indiana Secretary of State’s office, which oversees elections in Indiana, to comply with federal law.

A spokesman for Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office declined to comment Wednesday, saying the office does not comment on pending lawsuits.

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