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GOP Lawmakers Push Replacement Method For Voter Roll Purges

File photo: Lauren Chapmen
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IPB News

Republicans are advancing a bill to replace Indiana’s method of quickly purging voters from its voter rolls after the current system was halted in court.

But voter advocacy groups argue the replacement isn’t much better.

Indiana tried to speed up the process by which it removed voters from the rolls by using a system run by the Kansas Secretary of State. That program – which critics said deleted eligible voters – was halted in two federal courts.

Legislation approved last week by the House Elections Committee requires Indiana to create its own system, similar to Kansas’s.

Common Cause Indiana policy director Julia Vaughn says that’s not a better solution.

“It just perpetuates past mistakes and, if passed, will be challenged,” Vaughn says.

But Brad King, the Republican co-director of the Indiana Election Division, says federal law allows voters to remove themselves from the rolls. And he says the new system tries to comply with that.

“The only dispute we have is with regard to … to what extent a county can rely on the information it receives from a voter through a third party, through another state,” King says.

The bill is headed to the House floor.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.