Indiana Proof of Residency Requirement Challenge
In Re: Combined State Voter Registration and HAVA Grievance
Administrative complaint filed by two voting rights groups — League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette and Common Cause Indiana — in the Indiana Election Division challenging the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections’ proof of residency policy. The plaintiffs allege that the county clerk, Julie Roush (R), “advised her staff to require a first-time registrant whose paper voter registration form is hand-delivered on their behalf to produce additional proof of residency documentation,” which the groups allege violates state law and federal law. In Indiana, additional proof of residency documentation is only required when a voter returns their registration form by mail. The complaint argues voters who use a federal form to register to vote have already sworn to the accuracy of their address when completing the form. According to the voting rights groups, implementation of this additional proof of residency requirement “makes registering to vote and voting particularly burdensome for these eligible high school and college students because, even if they cast a provisional ballot, their vote will not be counted unless and until they again appear in person and provide proof of residency.” Moreover, the complaint argues that the county board’s policy violates Indiana law because proof of residency requirements “do not apply to registrants whose paper registration form is hand-delivered, whether by the registrant or a third party.” To remedy the situation, the voting rights groups ask the state board to review all voter registrations entered by the county from Jan. 1, 2018 to the present and identify all that were “wrongfully flagged as requiring additional proof of residency and approve them as final and complete registration.” A lawsuit was not filed within 60 days of the administrative complaint.
On Jan. 5, the Indiana Election division issued an order stating that Tippecanoe County violated state and federal law and that it would take steps to ensure that wrongly flagged voter registrations will be rectified.