Indiana State Police seized the voting records of 45,000 mostly Black Voters.
Tell Secretary of State Lawson: stop racially targeted allegations of vatuer fraud and let them vote !
Earlier this month, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson had State Police raid the largest voter registration drive in Indiana. Instead of fulfilling her civic duty to serve the people of Indiana, Secretary of State Lawson is making unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud to silence them at the polls.1 The only reason to involve police in elections is to intentionally intimidate Black voters.
The raids began in Indianapolis-Marion County, where the Black population has powered the city's population growth. Since Lawson turned over the investigation to State Police, there has been zero transparency about the investigation and whether or not the people registered will be allowed to cast a ballot. The police should not be not involved in the voting process. 5 days away from election day, time is running out.
Tell Secretary of State Connie Lawson: stop using the police to intimidate voters with unsubstantiated voter fraud allegations and let the 45,000 people who registered vote on election day!
In 2008, Indiana voters mobilized to the polls to elect Barack Obama, turning the state blue for the first time since 1964. John McCain lost by a landslide in Marion County, the site of the police raid and seizure of the 45,000 voter records. Now Governor of Indiana and Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence is working to ensure that he does not lose Indiana, and Republicans like Secretary of State Lawson and State Police Superintendent Doug Carter are working tirelessly to make sure that Black voters in Indiana do not decide this election.
When the Right Wing says voter fraud, they mean Black voters. Connie Lawson launched her career as a Senator by championing the voter fraud myth as early as 2005- when Indiana became a testing ground for restrictive Voter ID laws to be rolled out nationwide. As a result of Connie Lawson’s leadership, Indiana made history in 2014 as the state with the lowest voter turnout rate in the nation.2 Connie Lawson still isn’t satisfied and continues to use voter fraud as an excuse to suppress Indianians even though the likelihood of voter fraud occurring is virtually non-existent: out of over 1 billion votes cast in the last 10 years, there have only been 31 cases of voter fraud.3
The real crime here is the disenfranchisement of voters who did their part to be able to vote on election day.
45,000 people may not be able to cast ballots for common registration issues that could have been avoided. While Connie Lawson and Mike Pence advocate for policies that make voting cumbersome and intimidating, other states are taking the steps to pass Automatic Voter Registration. With the potential to add up to 50 million voters nationwide, Automatic Voter Registration will be instrumental in elevating the political power of Black people in the next five years.4Automatic Voter Registration will save time and money, modernizing our rolls and preventing the disenfranchisement of eligible voters because of human error. 14 months ago, there wasn’t a state in the nation with Automatic Voter Registration. There are now four states that have passed AVR legislation, including Oregon, where 200,000 new voters have been registered this year alone.
We don’t need "law and order" at the polls- what we need is all election officials to do their job and make sure that every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot on November 8.
The dirty tricks of the Right Wing are a response to something we know to be true—Black people decide elections. The fight to expand the freedom to vote to Black people won't end on November 8th.
Arisha Michelle Hatch and the rest of the Color of Change PAC Team
1. "Indiana officials are trying to block almost 45,000 black citizens from voting," Think Progress 10-26-2016
2. "Verbatim fact check: Voter turnout rates in Indiana," Ballotpedia, 11-6-2015
3. "More Than a Billion Votes: 31 Cases of Voter Fraud", Daily Kos, 10-16-2016
4. "Automatic Voter Registration: Finding America's Missing Voters," Demos, 01-20-2016
ColorOfChangePAC is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Contributions to ColorOfChange PAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.