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Home News Spakovsky and Phillips: a strange decision of the Federal Court halts Indiana's...

Spakovsky and Phillips: a strange decision of the Federal Court halts Indiana's efforts to clean the voters lists

With the presidential election of 2020 in less than a year, the lists of voters in the United States are terribly poorly fulfilled. Yet well-funded liberal organizations are working to prevent states from cleaning up their roles. Their last victim is Indiana. A federal district court temporarily put an end to the state's efforts to compare its voters lists with those of other states to eliminate duplicate registrations.

A panel of three judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals went to great lengths to find excuses to justify that an elector might need to be registered in more than one state. . For example, "someone might move from Indiana to Kansas to take up a new job and, upon his arrival, register immediately to vote in Kansas." But if her personal situation changes before polling day – she misses a probationary period, a family member gets sick, a better opportunity presents herself in Indiana – that person might decide to return to her former home in the US. # 39; Indiana. "

But do not worry, "said Justice Diane Wood, who was named to Clinton and wrote the opinion. Voters who are registered in more than one state "will vote in one place, even if they have open registrations on both". Really?


The Election Fraud Database at the Heritage Foundation lists many instances of duplicate voting. Some are rather pedestrians, like John Marotta, who was convicted in 2011 of voting in Arizona and Colorado ballots. Others, like Wendy Rosen's, are a little more colorful. Democratic congressional candidate in Maryland, Rosen was forced to leave the 2012 race (and then pleaded guilty to election fraud) after discovering that she had voted illegally in Maryland and Florida in several elections.

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Or how about the very ambitious Pasco Parker, who was convicted in 2015 of illegally voting in Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina during the 2012 federal election. He obviously wanted to Make sure you vote as many votes as possible for your favorite presidential candidate.

The Government Accountability Institute (GAI) surveyed voter lists in 21 states after the 2016 election. It revealed that nearly 8,500 people appeared to have voted illegally in several states during this election. "The extension of GAI's conservative reconciliation method to include all 50 states," the report says, "would indicate a minimum expected of 45,000 highly reliable double-ballot matches."

Duplicate registrations create fertile ground for double voting – impossible to detect when a court restricts what the state can do with the evidence of duplicate registrations.

If you have recently moved and forgot to notify the state in which you lived to cancel your registration, you are not alone. According to a 2012 report by the Pew Research Center, "a) about 2.75 million people are registered in more than one state." Last year, Judge Samuel Alito cited the same study in the opinion of the Supreme Court, which maintained the procedures for keeping the voters list of Ohio. In the United States, an estimated 24 million voter turnout, or about one in eight, are invalid or substantially inaccurate. "

These recording errors, even involuntary, are not harmless. They translate into more work for the already hurried election officials and taxpayers' money wasted on unnecessary election-related mailings. Duplicate registrations can result in longer waiting times at polling stations, while election officers go through lists of registrants.

Duplicate registrations also create fertile ground for double voting – impossible to detect when a court restricts what the state can do with the evidence of duplicate registrations.


To solve this serious problem, Indiana participates in the Crosscheck interstate program, whose member states are comparing voter lists to find people registered in more than one state. In 2017 and 2018, Indiana passed a law authorizing the cancellation of registrations when the state confirmed, with the help of a series of factors, that the same person was registered in more than one state.

Even before the legislation was implemented, Common Cause, the NAACP and the League of Women Voters – organizations that have consistently opposed any effort to improve electoral integrity – decided to end the program.

The Constitution gives states primary responsibility for conducting elections subject to certain limited powers of the federal government. In 1993, Congress passed the National Electoral Registration Act to establish guidelines for voter registration and list keeping.


Unfortunately, left-wing organizations have used this law to limit efforts to improve the accuracy of voters lists. In Indiana, they managed to get the court to misread the plain language of the law. The court held that registration to vote in another state – despite the fact that you stated in writing that you are now a resident of that state and therefore eligible to vote in that country – does not equate to a written confirmation of the relocation of the declarant.

At the dawn of 2020, we can expect to see more and more attacks on electoral integrity by the usual suspects. As attacks multiply and the courts issue erroneous opinions, confidence in our elections erodes further. It is time to support states seeking to improve the security of their electoral process.


Kaylan Phillips is a litigation lawyer with the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) public interest law firm dedicated to electoral integrity.


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