CROWN POINT, Ind. — Aug 12, 2017, 3:50 PM ET

NAACP sues Indiana, alleges law targets black, Latino voters

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The NAACP is suing Indiana officials to block a new state law that the civil rights group says would discriminate against black and Latino voters in heavily populated Lake County by consolidating voting precincts.

The lawsuit challenges a law that applies only to Lake County, which is home to Indiana's second-largest African-American population and its largest Hispanic population. It alleges that the new law unfairly reassigns large numbers of voters to new polling locations that may be difficult for black and Latino voters with mobility issues or a lack of reliable transportation to reach.

The federal lawsuit, filed Thursday by the Gary NAACP and the Priorities USA Foundation, names Indiana's secretary of state and members of the Indiana Election Division as defendants.

The law, approved this year by state lawmakers and signed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, requires Lake County to immediately consolidate precincts with fewer than 600 "active" voters, with limited exceptions, The Indianapolis Star reported. More specifically, it requires the Indiana Election Commission to adopt a consolidation plan by Sept. 1.

Holcomb's office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs said in a news release that the change creates longer lines and silences "the voice of these voters in local government."

"All around the country, legislatures are dreaming up new ways to make it more difficult for ordinary Americans to exercise their most fundamental right," said Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA. "In Indiana, Gov. Holcomb and some members of the Legislature have shown they are laser-focused on keeping African-American and Hispanic voters in Lake County away from the polls."

The complaint challenges Indiana's law on the grounds that it violates the Voting Rights Act and places an undue burden on the right to vote.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

News - NAACP sues Indiana, alleges law targets black, Latino voters

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  • Andrew

    The politicians who voted for this law should be jailed.

  • John Springer

    sounds more like simple economic decision , you cannot have poll booth in every block.

  • justinthyme3

    The republican party: If you cannot ram them with a Dodge, then ram their voting rights!

  • kissatek

    With a population of 496,005 according to a census in 2010 and fewer than 600 active voters it seems the NAACP is missing something here.

  • SpartacusII

    republicans trying to rig the system, per usual.

  • thee1truth

    Republican Political Terrorism 101

    I will never support those extremists.

  • Erwin Schrodinger

    Yup... the GOP figured out a while ago that voter suppression and gerrymandering together are subtle ways to undermine democracy in their favor. Much easier than... you know... doing a good job to stay in power.

  • trueblue

    one wonders why if there are more registered democrats - why there isn't a majority? gerrymandering and all manner of challenges that are not made in republican voting districts. republicans fight every single approach to make voting easier if it could enable more democrats to vote.

  • Binary_Bob

    Those with mobility issues should use absentee ballots, they must exist in Indiana.

  • Prophet With Honor

    There should be no racial or ethnic identification of voters .., all legal voters are American Voters .

  • Canon Ity

    Longer lines to save money and that's racism ? Come on quit crying foul on every issue with saving money. it's all about money nothing more. Find your I.D or get one, find a ride or do as I do walk to the voting booth, and vote.

  • Bruce Hill

    And the Right wing scum strike again.

  • jake

    Whatever it takes for the GOP to win, they will do it or die trying. Another phase of gerrymandering in 2017.

  • Harry Pooter

    You know, whenever ANY action is taken that makes it more difficult for people to cast their vote, that's worrisome