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Federal Judge Blocks Purge of Duplicate Voter Registrations

Ruling: 2017 state law targets many registrations which aren't duplicates at all, skirts federal safeguards

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A purge of Indiana's voter registration rolls is on hold after a federal court order.

A law passed last year requires Indiana to cross-check its voter rolls against a multi-state database maintained by the Kansas secretary of state, and weed out any duplicates. That purge was to begin next month. But Common Cause Indiana and the NAACP argue federal law requires a mailed notice and a four-year waiting period -- you can't just summarily cancel someone. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt agreed, blocking the state from implementing the law.

Julia Vaughn with Common Cause says the database bases matches on name and birthdate, a system she says leads to an error rate as high as 11%.

Vaughn says a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding an Ohio voter purge law shouldn't affect the Indiana case, and might even strengthen the argument against the law. Critics say the Ohio law is too strict, but it does adhere to the mailing and waiting period requirements.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson says in a statement she disagrees with the ruling and is reviewing the state's options.

(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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