INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana NAACP and the League of Women Voters have filed a lawsuit to stop purging people from voter rolls.
The lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday against Secretary of State Connie Lawson said the state’s new method to cross-check names on voter rolls is discriminatory and violates federal law.
The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck, which went into effect in July, lets election officials instantly remove voters who are found to have registered to vote in another state. Matches are found by checking first name, last name and date of birth.
The lawsuit said the new system is unreliable and doesn’t give individuals notice about their removal from the rolls.
The Brennan Center for Justice is a public policy institute that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the NAACP and League of Women Voters. Officials with the center said a 2016 analysis found that minorities are more likely to be flagged for removal by the Crosscheck process.
“No Hoosier should be silenced on Election Day,” said Barbara Bolling-Williams, president of the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP. “Yet, under this new law, that will happen.”
When Crosscheck was used to remove 40,000 registered voters in Virginia in 2013, local election officials found error rates as high as 17 percent, officials with the center said.
The groups are also suing Lawson to prevent the state from complying with federal requests for voter data.
A spokesman for Lawson’s office said the office doesn’t comment on pending litigation.