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League of Women Voters Files New Challenge to Indiana Voter ID Law PDF  | Print |  Email
By Michael W. Hoskins, Indiana Lawyer Daily   
June 24, 2008
The League of Women Voters of Indiana filed a lawsuit today in Marion County challenging the state's three-year-old voter identification statute recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

At 2 p.m. today [June 20], the organization filed the suit with the Marion Superior Court against Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, arguing that it has the standing to sue on behalf of its members because the state statute burdens potential voters and would cause the league to have to spend "precious resources" assisting voters without the required ID.

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Nuns Turned Away from Polls Due to Indiana Photo ID Law PDF  | Print |  Email
By Deborah Hastings, Associated Press   
May 06, 2008
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

Sister Julie McGuire (pictured at right) said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway.

"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that,'" Sister McGuire said. Some showed up with outdated passports. None of them drives.

The convent will make "a very concerted effort" to get proper identification for the nuns in time for the general election. "We're going to take from now until November to get them out and get this done.

"You can't do this like school kids on a bus," she said. "I wish we could."

Elsewhere across the pivotal state, voting appeared to run smoothly, despite the fears of some elections experts that the Supreme Court's recent refusal to strike down Indiana's controversial photo identification law could cause confusion at the polls.

In a primary expected to draw record numbers, a voter hot line set up by the secretary of state's office mostly received calls concerning precinct locations, spokeswoman Bethany Derringer said.

But a group of voting rights advocates that established a separate hot line reported receiving several calls from would-be voters who were turned away at precincts because they lacked state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

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Indiana: Richmond Vote Centers Packed; Computer Glitch Adds to Wait PDF  | Print |  Email
By Bill Engle, Palladium-Item   
May 06, 2008
This article was posted at

Voting in the Indiana Primary election today is getting to be an all-day project in Richmond.

Lines had formed everywhere by 11:30 a.m. as the lunch crowd jammed the city’s four vote centers.

“People are standing in line everywhere,” said Wayne County Clerk Sue Ann Lower. “But we understand that there are lines all over the state.”

Lower said she sent “reinforcements” — additional poll workers — to First English Lutheran Church first thing this morning and sent helpers to the Kuhlman Center on the city’s west side shortly after 11 a.m.

The idea was to get the lines moving and let people vote.

“We expected a heavy turnout. This is what we expected,” Lower said.

It didn’t help that the Richmond Senior Center lost its Internet feed around 11:30 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., county IT employees were still working with Parallax to reconnect the feed. They said it would be about another 10 minutes.
Indiana Voters Should Go Prepared to the Polls PDF  | Print |  Email
By Common Cause   
May 02, 2008
Indiana voters face a series of obstacles to cast a ballot in the state’s primary election on Tuesday, and should plan to go prepared to the polls or risk losing the right to vote. The combination of a draconian voter ID law that allows citizens to vote only with Indiana state or US government-issued photo ID, the fact that Indiana still deploys paperless electronic voting machines that have been known to malfunction, and the late surge in voter registrations, is sure to test the election system, according to a report by Common Cause and the Verified Voting Foundation.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Indiana voters to be part of the process of choosing our next president,” said Stevie Miller, executive director of Common Cause Indiana. “But we are also looking at circumstances that require voters to know their rights and come prepared.”

“The disappointing Supreme Court ruling this week that upheld Indiana’s voter ID law is likely to disproportionately impact young voters, senior citizens and minorities, who are less likely to have the requisite ID,” said Tova Wang, an elections expert and vice president of research for Common Cause.
May 6 Snapshot: Indiana PDF  | Print |  Email
By Verified Voting Foundation   
April 28, 2008
The May 6 primaries in Indiana and North Carolina will present markedly pictures of election security. In North Carolina, the Presidential race will be audited by a post-election hand count of paper ballots or voter-verifiable paper records. State law requires such records on all voting systems. Indiana does not yet have a law requiring voter-verified paper records or voter-marked paper ballots. A majority of votes in the May 6 primary will be cast on paperless electronic machines that cannot be properly audited, and some votes will be cast on optically scanned paper ballots. There will be no post-election audit.

Indiana early voting began on April 7. According to the Secretary of State's office, there are 4,315,908 registered voters in the state as of April 25. Voters in Indiana are required to present a photo ID at the polls, under a law which has just been upheld by the Supreme Court.

48 counties, with over 46% of the voters in the state, use DRE systems from Microvote General Corporation. Microvote and the Indiana Secretary of State are still in a legal dispute over voting systems that did not meet Indiana certification requirements but which were sold to Indiana counties for use in the 2006 general election.  According to the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, the Secretary of State took action this month to collect more than $360,000 in fines over the uncertified equipment. An administrative law judge recommended last month that Microvote be barred from selling or marketing equipment in Indiana for five years. In 2006 ES&S, which provides equipment to 27 counties with almost 1.5 million voters, agreed to pay $750,000 in fines for uncertified software, missed deadlines, and poor service.

Indiana: Requiring IDs, Revoking IDs PDF  | Print |  Email
By Wendy R. Weiser, Brennan Center for Justice   
February 04, 2008
This article was posted at the Brennan Center blog and is reposted here with permission of the author.

You can't make this stuff up.

This weekend, the Indianapolis Star reported that the state of Indiana-which is currently defending its law denying the vote to people without government-issued photo IDs before the U.S. Supreme Court-is poised to revoke the IDs of up to 90,000 people.  This ID purge is scheduled to happen later this month, right in the middle of the primary season in an important presidential election year, and only weeks before a special congressional election.

This means that, in addition to the 13% of registered voters in Indiana who don't have current state-issued photo IDs, up to 90,000 more could be blocked from voting because of Indiana's misguided voter ID law, the most restrictive such law in the country.  (Caveat:  the state is not physically collecting the cancelled IDs, and so it is not clear what will happen when their holders show up to vote.)

And it's even worse than it sounds.  The reason Indiana is planning to revoke these IDs is because the state's Bureau of Motor Vehicles ran a computer check and was unable to "match" the bearers' information against records kept by the Social Security Administration.  This kind of computer matching is a singularly misguided and unreliable way to identify invalid ID records.  Typos, clerical errors, and other irrelevant discrepancies in BMV and Social Security databases typically cause a huge number of match failures between perfectly valid government records.  A person listed as "Bill" on his driver's license but "William" on his Social Security card will fail to match; so will a woman whose driver's license is in her married name but whose Social Security records are in her maiden name.
Posner on Photo ID: The Unbearable Cleverness of Being Wrong PDF  | Print |  Email
By Bob Bauer   
January 05, 2007

This commentary was posted at Bob Bauer's Blog and is reposted here with permission of the author. 


Judge Richard Posner’s talents are not in doubt, nor are his range of interests, and certainly not the skill with which he has turned out extra-judicial writing on an impressive range of subjects.  But the performance he turned in yesterday, writing for the majority upholding the Indiana photo ID law, was hardly a tour de force.  It was a flop:  a display of smugly packaged intellectuality that betrays, in the end, a failure to grasp why voting, as an act of participation, actually matters.  Failing to appreciate that much, Posner reduces the ID law question to an exercise in technocratic policy-making, which is of course not at all, in the hands of the Indiana legislature, what it was.


Posner takes some satisfaction in repeating in his opinion what he has taken pains to say before:  "the benefits of voting to the individual voter are elusive."  Slip op. at 3.  Elsewhere he has commented on its "crudity" as a method of "aggregating preferences," and its rough edges being obvious in a number of ways, including its insulation of the voter from criticism:  "[the voter] is neither rewarded for voting intelligently nor punished for voting stupidly."  Id. at 13.  What most mystifies him, in considering the "instrumental" value of voting, is "why anyone who is eligible bothers to vote":  "obviously they have little to gain from such an investment."  Breaking the Deadlock: the 2000 Election, the Constitution and the Courts (2001) at 13-14. 


With this premise in hand, Posner not surprisingly manages, almost casually, the disposal of the issues before him.  It really is, he advises, a matter of balancing, of weighing the relevant costs and benefits:  "The fewer people harmed by a law, the less total harm there is to balance against whatever benefits the law might confer." Slip op. at 5.  Posner then takes it upon himself to speculate on how, and with what motives, legislators might have carried out this task.  Page after page, he put himself in their places, advancing this or that argument without the slightest pretense that he is speaking for anyone but himself.  Certainly the voice here is not that of the Indiana state legislator.

Indiana: Judge Rules Ballots Cast During Extended Hours Provisional PDF  | Print |  Email
November 07, 2006

Voting Equipment: Microvote Infinity touchscreen voting machines


Computer Error Prevented Voters from Casting Ballots in 75 precincts


A judicial order is allowing polls in Delaware County to stay open until 8:40 p.m. tonight, but those voting during the extended two hours and forty minutes will be voting using provisional ballots.

Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker asked that voters in Delaware County be allowed to cast regular ballots during the extended hours from 6:00 p.m. to 8:40 p.m., however that request has been denied. Democrats say provisional ballots are not initially factored into vote totals and often do not count. Democrats argued that Indiana law does not explicitly prohibit using regular ballots after an extension of the poll hours.

Secretary of State Todd Rokita's office issued this statement: "What we do here in Indiana, and what I've advised the county to do, is to simply follow the law. There is no ambiguity in the law on this issue. Because of this rare situation, federal law requires ballots cast after normal polling place hours end to be separated. This step allows the day's unusual circumstances and actions to be reviewed by a bipartisan election board, and it is an important safety net in the process that we didn't have before. If deemed appropriate, ballots cast after 6:00 p.m. in Delaware County will be counted."


Read the Entire Article at WISH-TV 

Indiana: Federal Law Does Not Prohibit Delaware County Polls from Remaining Open PDF  | Print |  Email
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
November 07, 2006

Voting Equipment: Microvote Infinity


This news report erroneously suggests that federal law somehow prohibits a court order to extend polling place hours. But this is entirely a state matter. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) - Sec 302(c) specifically refers to such situations.

302(c) Voters Who Vote After the Polls Close.--Any individual who votes in an election for Federal office as a result of a Federal or State court order or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a State law in effect 10 days before the date of that election may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot under subsection (a). Any such ballot cast under the preceding sentence shall be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast by those not affected by the order. [emphasis added]
WISH-TV reports:

A judicial order is allowing polls in Delaware County to stay open until 8:40 p.m. tonight. However, according to the Delaware County clerk, while a Delaware County judge says the county can keep polls open until 8:40 p.m., federal law may not allow the voting machines to operate beyond 6:00 p.m.

This morning a problem occurred in Delaware County when an apparent computer error prevented voters from casting ballots in 75 precincts. Delaware County Clerk Karen Wenger says start cards that activate the machines for voters were programmed incorrectly by the company that installed the software, MicroVote. Wegner says technicians worked with precincts one-by-one over the telephone to get the problem fixed. As a result, Wenger petitioned the court for an extension in polling hours. A judge granted the petition allowing polls to remain open until 8:40 p.m. so the machines will be operating a total of 12 hours straight.


People who came to the polls and could not vote due to the problem were given provisional ballots, or the opportunity for provisional ballots. If they did not choose to use that method they can come back. The judge told 24-Hour News 8 he wasn't sure he could extend poll hours, but he said people have the right to vote and he's going to stand by that, but federal law may not allow him to.


Indiana: More on Microvote Problems in Delaware County PDF  | Print |  Email
November 07, 2006
Problems Reported With Voting Machines by Microvote

Same Machines that Caused Chaos in Canada Last Year and Led Quebec to Abandon Electronic Voting

Delaware County Clerk Karen Wenger says a computer programming problem by Microvote is the reason behind voting machine problems this morning. A programming error in the blue "start" card on the machines is causing them to lock up and poll workers at each polling place are being instructed how to fix the machines over the phone.

The Delaware County Election Board is working to obtain a judge's order extending the polling place hours to at least 7 p.m. The Indiana Democratic Party today called for an extension of polling hours in the county until 9 p.m.
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