Indiana, like many states, has been amending and enacting new voting laws in the name of stamping out voter fraud. Lawyers and civic organizations are challenging laws and regulations that they believe are restricting the right to vote.
The heated dispute ignited by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill’s effort to block Marion County’s early voting plan ended with a whimper at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday after both sides acknowledged a change in the voting method nixed the need for a ruling from the federal appellate bench.
Common Cause Indiana and a group of registered voters in St. Joseph County are challenging the process Indiana uses to validate absentee ballots, calling it constitutionally flawed and asking a federal court to prohibit the state from rejecting absentee ballots based solely on perceived signature mismatches.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Tuesday in a statement that her office is investigating Johnson County’s problematic electronic poll books and hopes “to determine the root cause of the problem" after the poll books that are used to check in voters before they cast a ballot kept freezing on Nov. 6, stalling several voting machines and preventing some people from voting.
Voter participation in Indiana’s fall election was 51 percent, the first time since 1994 that the state topped 50 percent in a midterm election. Henry County had the highest turnout in Indiana with 64 percent of registered voters casting a ballot, while Vigo and Madison counties had the lowest turnout at 44 percent of registered voters.
On an election night in which Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Republicans appeared to tighten their hold on the Senate, Indiana stayed reliably red, with Republicans winning seven of nine House seats and challenger Mike Braun defeating incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. But in one of the biggest Election Day upsets, longtime Republican state Sen. Mike Delph lost the Statehouse seat he has held since 2005.
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a decision granting summary judgment in favor of two companies who purchased real estate in a sale that was voided after the seller was found to have no authority to sell it.
Indiana’s top elections official is planning to use more than $7.5 million in federal funding to improve the state’s election security, but not to upgrade its voting machines. Indiana was among the states and territories to receive money from the $380 million approved by Congress amid ongoing threats from Russia and others.
After Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker on Thursday afternoon rejected his motion objecting to Marion County’s plan for early voting, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill turned to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Hill is proceeding over the objection of Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, whose office is charged by law with election oversight.
A motion filed by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to amend a consent decree establishing multiple early voting sites in Marion County for the upcoming November general election has been denied. Indiana Southern District Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker wrote the state’s objections have no merit.