Federal judge stops Indiana from implementing controversial voter purge law

A federal judge in Indiana blocked the state on Friday from implementing a law that would purge Indiana voters from the state’s voter rolls if they appeared on a controversial voter tracking system.

Reuters reported that U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday, finding that the law violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

The law relies on the Kansas Secretary of State’s Crosscheck system that matches voters by name and date of birth and flags potential duplicate voters. Critics of the Crosscheck system say it reports a majority of false positives — particularly among minority voters — and leads to the disenfranchisement of eligible voters.

“While the defendants have a strong public interest in protecting the integrity of voter registration rolls and the electoral process, they have other procedures in place that can protect that public interest that do not violate the NVRA,” Pratt wrote in granting a preliminary injunction.

With Pratt’s injunction, the state is not allowed to enforce the law while the lawsuit makes its way through the court.

The ACLU lauded the court victory in a statement to Reuters, condemning officials who administer the Crosscheck system of trying to “suppress the vote.”

“Hoosier-elected officials should do all that they can to promote voter engagement,” said ACLU Indiana Executive Director Jane Heneger. “Today’s ruling condemns actions to the contrary that threaten to suppress the vote. Voting is our constitutional right and we must ensure every voice is heard.”

Indiana’s secretary of state did not offer comment to Reuters Friday evening on whether the state would appeal the decision.

The Crosscheck system is administered by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who previously led President Trump‘s commission to investigate his unfounded claims that millions of illegal votes were cast in Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s favor during the 2016 election.

About: Shawn

Shawn Shah is an expert legal analyst, lawyer, and journalist.


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