Connie Lawson and Curtis Hill Clash Over Early Voting
INDIANAPOLIS -- Attorney General Curtis Hill is getting some backlash from one of his colleagues over early voting sites in Marion County.
Last summer Common Cause Indiana sued the Marion County election board over the amount of satellite voting locations that were available to voters in the last election. The argued the county's singular early voting location was an unreasonable commute for many voters.
The two parties settled out of court and the election board agreed to create another five early voting sites to be placed throughout the county.
However, AG Hill filed a motion Tuesday to have that plan withdrawn. Hill said according to state law the Election Board can only approve more early voting sites by unanimous vote, which he says never happened before the decision to create more early voting sites was made.
Secretary of State Connie Lawson, who is in charge of overseeing state elections, disagrees with the AG's motion.
"I did not ask him to do this," Lawson said. "He did not have the professional courtesy to provide me notice of his motion, even though I am named as a party in the suit. I support Marion County’s unanimous decision to adopt satellite voting. I urge Attorney General Hill to drop this."
Lawson called the motion "reckless" and accuses Hill of disrupting more than 18 months of productive, bi-partisan conversations about early voting in Marion County.
Hill said Lawson's statement gives the impression that he is against satellite voting, which he added is not the case.
"Our position in court, if successful, would not block early voting sites. Rather, it would leave the decision in the hands of the Marion County Election Board," Hill said.
"There is nothing ‘reckless’ about an attorney general intervening in federal court on behalf of the state – my client – to defend the proper operation of state laws. That is the attorney general’s job.”
Common Cause is none too happy with Hill's motion either.
“We are extremely disappointed that Attorney General Curtis Hill is continuing his partisan crusade to deny Marion County voters equal access to early voting, said Julia Vaughn, Policy Director for Common Cause Indiana. "It is clear that the Attorney General does not seek to represent the interests of Marion County voters in this matter; he is seeking to curry favor with hard core partisans within his party."
(PHOTO: Gregg Newton/Getty Images)