Indiana election threats

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Voter registration

This section details threats to voters from and problems with the state's voter registration system.

Verification, database and rejection

  • On October 22, 2008, In a letter to federal and state authorities, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita questioned the validity of over 1400 voter registration forms submitted by ACORN in heavily-Democratic Lake County. [1] (Download the letter.) In the letter Rokita alleged that ACORN knowingly submitted applications it knew to be fraudulent, and called for a criminal investigation.[2] Following the 2008 election Lake County Indiana officials said that "only about five" people from the questioned registrations had asked to vote, and that there were "no significant problems at the polls because of new voter registration forms generated by the controversial community activist group ACORN." The result was that "those who did call in had their registrations verified by election staff, and were allowed to cast ballots."[3][4]
Main article: ACORN and elections

Notification and appeal

3rd party registration

NVRA implementation

Student voting rights

Voter education

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on voter education, how to vote, information on elections, etc.

Absentee and early voting

This section details problems with and threats to the state's absentee and early voting system.

  • Nov. 7, 2008. Approximately 2,100 absentee ballots received by the Marion County Board of Elections did not make it to their precincts in time to be included in precinct totals on election day.[5] About 500 of the ballots were delivered too late in the day, while 1600 of the ballots were sent to the wrong precinct due to a sorting error. County Clerk Beth White has formally petitioned a judge to have all eligible ballots added to the appropriate precinct's totals [6], and according to Clerk White all votes will be included in the final tallies. [7]
  • On October 31, 2008, in response to a suit filed by the Republican party, a judge ruled[8] that absentee ballots challenged on election day in Marion County be set aside for review by a bipartisan panel later in the week.[9]
  • In early October, 2008 it was reported that Lake County Republicans were blocking putting satellite early voting centers in heavily-Democratic Gary, Hammond and East Chicago.[10] On October 14 a judge ordered Lake County to immediately open the early voting facilities.[11] On October 23 a Superior Court Judge ordered the early voting sites to remain open.[12]

Voter suppression and intimidation

This section details problems and threats involving fraud, intimidation and suppression efforts.

Deceptive practices laws

Voter caging, purges and other eligibility challenges

  • October 25, 2008: an Indiana judge ruled that foreclosure lists cannot be used as a basis for removing voters from the registration rolls.[13] On Election Day, November 4, the judge ruled that Republicans were violating his court order against such challenges.[14]
  • An October 9, 2008 New York Times story on illegal voter purging mentioned Indiana as one of the states involved.[15] From the story:

    Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law, according to a review of state records and Social Security data by The New York Times. [. . .] The screening or trimming of voter registration lists in the six states — Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina — could also result in problems at the polls on Election Day: people who have been removed from the rolls are likely to show up only to be challenged by political party officials or election workers, resulting in confusion, long lines and heated tempers.

Voter intimidation and deception

  • Nov 4, 2008: Two Republican poll workers were removed from their assigned polling site for improperly challenging voters solely on the basis of party affiliation. According to Angie Nussmeyer, spokeswoman for the Marion County Election Board, at least three voters were forced to file provisional ballots. [16] The county's Board of Elections voted unanimously to remove the two, who now face a grand jury investigation. [17]

Polling places and voting

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on election practices, polling places, workers, providing election equipment, etc.

Poll worker training, recruitment and distribution

Voter ID requirements

Polling place accessibility and wait times

Voting machine and ballot distribution

Malfunctioning voting machinery

  • For an extensive log of voting machine problems, see the VotersUnite! report on election incidents.[18]

Ballot design

Provisional ballots

This section lists past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on provisional ballots. Particularly, what are the state's criteria for receiving a provisional ballot (including voting in the wrong precinct) and its procedures for verifying eligibility and then including those votes in the totals.

  • Nov 9, 2008: Tippacanoe County, Indiana has reported what appears to be a disproportionately large number of provisional ballots. [19] The county reports 414 provisional ballots, out of a total county vote total of 69,466; in comparison, Allen County had more than 152,000 voters, and 184 provisional ballots. [19] The county has come under scrutiny by state officials due to a close race in Indiana House Race 26, where the candidates are currently separated by only 21 votes. [19] In a court hearing on Friday, Nov. 7, the county agreed to have the provisional vote count completed by Friday, Nov. 14 as scheduled. [19]


Eligibility verification

Ballots cast in wrong precinct

Vote verification and security

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on vote verification and security.

Voting machine verification and security

Vote tabulation procedures

Recount procedures

Chain of custody of ballots and e-voting equipment

Election public official issues

Premature media race calling

Vote result challenge procedures

Articles and resources

See also


  1. Patrick Guinane, Obama campaign denounces Rokita’s call for ACORN investigation Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times, October 27, 2008.
  2. ACORN answers voter-fraud allegations,, gathered November 3, 2008
  3. "Officials say ACORN registrations no problem," Chicago Tribune, November 17, 2008
  4.,lcvote.article "ACORN voter registration flap all but fizzles,"] Post Tribune, November 14, 2008.
  5. Brendan O'Shaughnessy,About 2,100 absentee ballots went astray,, posted November 7, 2008.
  6. Dan McFeely,Clerk confronts late ballots,, posted November 5, 2008
  7. Brendan O'Shaughnessy,About 2,100 absentee ballots went astray,, posted November 7, 2008.
  8. John Murray, [ "Judge rules for GOP on absentee ballots" The Indianapolis Star, November 1, 2008.
  9. From Voter Suppression Wiki.
  10. Josh Kalven, "Voter Suppression Battle Brewing In Northwest Indiana," Progress Illinois, October 4, 2008.
  11. Judge orders expanded early voting to commence in Lake County, Blue Indiana, Oct. 14, 2008. (accessed at Archive Today on June 24, 2014)
  12. "Indiana judge allows early voting to go on," Chicago Tribune, October 23, 2008.
  13. "Democrats, GOP say poll tactic is off-limits,", October 25, 2008.
  14. "Indiana Judge: GOP Poll Watchers Violated Court Order On Foreclosure Lists," Huffington Post, November 4, 2008
  15. Ian Urbina, "States’ Purges of Voter Rolls Appear Illegal," New York Times, October 9, 2008.
  16. Aaron C. DavisIndiana Republican Poll Workers Removed for Improper Vote Challenges, The Trail Blog, Washington Post, November 4, 2008
  17. Kris Kirschner, Poll workers removed from Precinct 9 WTHR, updated November 7, 2008
  18. This past problem and description are from the VotersUnite! Election Problem Log. Click through for included links to origin of report.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Dorothy Schneider, County's provisional vote count attracts statewide attention, Lafayette Journal & Courier, November 9, 2008

External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.


  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines

External articles