2016-09-27 / Front Page

Authorities warn of possible voting fraud in Indiana

Staff Report

Secretary of State Connie Lawson issued a warning to Hoosier voters to be vigilant and check their voter registrations to ensure they are accurate. A group by the name of the Indiana Voter Registration Project has turned in forged voter registration applications. The group was altering already registered voters’ information. The group changed the voters address to an address not associated with the voter, without the voter’s knowledge. “Owen County has not received any voter fraud allegations as of today,” Owen County Circuit Court Clerk Linda Roy. “At this time, this is a state investigation. We have not received anything in Owen County that would be considered fraud. If that occurs, we will take the steps needed to make sure Owen County does not have any election fraud.” But Owen Countians need to be aware. Hoosiers can protect themselves by checking to ensure their voter registration information is accurate at Indianavoters.com or on the Indiana Voters app. Voters who find their information has been changed without their knowledge should immediately contact the Secretary of State’s office at 1-866-IN-1-Vote (1-866- 461-8683). “Election integrity and security is a top priority,” said Secretary Lawson. “We are working with the state police to ensure this matter is addressed quickly. I encourage all Hoosiers to be vigilant at this time and to monitor their voter registrations until the close of the voter registration deadline.” The voter registration deadline in Indiana is Oct. 11. The Secretary of State’s office has reason to believe this group will continue operating until the close of registration. Voters are urged to remain on high alert and to report any suspicious activity to the Secretary of State’s office. Hoosiers who have not registered to vote are encouraged to do so on Indianavoters.com or on the Indiana Voters app. Voters may also register themselves at their county clerk’s office or when doing business at state offices such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or Family and Social Services. The warning comes in the wake of an Indiana State Police investigation of an allegation of suspicious and fraudulent voter registration information being submitted to the Hendricks County Clerk’s Office and the Marion County Voter Registration Office. This investigation began in late August and state police detectives have consulted with the Indiana Secretary of State Office about the investigation, since that office is charged with keeping statewide voter registration information. The Indiana State Police does not normally speak to specific information of ongoing investigations. However, due to the potential impact these allegations may have on individual voters we are sharing the following information: State police detectives have confirmed several instances of fraudulent voter registration forms having been submitted to Marion and Hendricks County voter registration officials. The forms had missing, incomplete and incorrect information at the time they were submitted by representatives of the Indiana Voter Registration Project. Investigations of this nature can be complex and time consuming and for this reason the state police agency presently has six detectives investigating other suspicious voter application forms submitted to Hendricks and Marion County voter registration personnel. At present it is unknown if the scope of alleged voter registration irregularities is limited to Marion and Hendricks County. As the investigation continues it is possible the scope of the investigation could expand. Once the investigation is complete it will be submitted to the appropriate prosecuting authorities for review and action as deemed appropriate by those offices.

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