Lawsuit challenges Indiana limits on voting site extensions

An Indiana law violates the U.S. Constitution by blocking voters and candidates from asking courts to keep polling places open longer because of Election Day troubles, a voting rights group argued in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The law passed by Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature in 2019 prevents anyone other than a county election board from requesting court orders extending voting hours.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Indianapolis on behalf of Common Cause Indiana cites equipment troubles, delays in opening polling sites or ballot shortages during the November 2018 elections in Johnson, Porter and Monroe counties. It argues the state law wrongly thwarts voters and political parties from protecting the right to vote.

“Shutting the courthouse doors to voters and erecting a multi-step process to obtain an extension of polling-place hours to correct irregularities places a severe and unconstitutional burden on all Indiana voters,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit asks that a judge issue an order before this November’s election blocking the state law from being enforced.

The state attorney general’s office didn’t immediately reply to a message seeking comment on the lawsuit.

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