A dozen people including two members of the Indiana Vote by Mail non-profit organization on Wednesday filed a federal class action suit against the Indiana Election Commission and Indiana State Secretary.
The lawsuit aims to expand absentee ballots without reason for the November general election.
The lawsuit contradicts state election laws that allow some – but not all – registered voters to vote by letter in violation of the same protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Privileges and Immunity Rights Clause Same as the Indiana Constitution.
The lawsuit includes 12 plaintiffs, including two of whom are members of Indiana Vote by Mail, based in Indianapolis.
“Due to unprecedented and ongoing health emergencies, the failure of the (Indiana Election) Commission to extend voting without reason through elections will force many voters under the age of 65 to vote directly at the polling stations, potentially endanger their health and maybe even their lives, “the group said in a news release.
“This is not a choice that voters must impose,” writes Barbara Tully of Marion County, lead plaintiff and president of Indiana Vote By Mail.
Tully has worked as an election inspector for the past few years but will not specifically this year because of the danger posed by COVID-19, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are residents of the Marion, Hamilton and St. Joseph.
The lawsuit states that voters who are not eligible to vote by letter do not have a reasonable alternative to voting directly and are treated differently from voters who are legally entitled to send letters in attendance.
Tully cites the Wisconsin election as an example of what Indiana should avoid.
“We saw what happened in Wisconsin, when voters were confronted with using polling stations, and cases of COVID-19 outbreaks of voting there continued to increase. “We must not allow similar failures to occur in Indiana,” he said.
The lawsuit requires the state to extend voting rights through letters to the plaintiff and all registered voters.
Indiana Vote by Mail also filed a federal lawsuit against the Indiana Election Commission in October 2019 that claimed electronic direct registration machines (DRE) used in 58 countries violated federal and state voter constitutional rights so that their votes were “accurately recorded and tabulated, verifiable, and equivalent. “
The DRE machine did not produce any paper documentation. In the lawsuit, Indiana Vote by Mail said voters cast their votes on the touch screen but did not receive a paper trail that allowed them to confirm that their ballots were accurate. The Indiana General Assembly in 2019 passed a law requiring all states to stop using machinery by 2030.
A trial court in the case was scheduled for August 23, 2021, in the U.S. District Court. for the Southern Indiana District.