July 13, 2018

Marion County Election Board Settles Lawsuit, Will Create Five Early Voting Offices

Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, says the lack of early voting access became a constitutional issue in Marion County, and violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. - AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, says the lack of early voting access became a constitutional issue in Marion County, and violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Marion County Election Board has agreed to create five new early voting centers – the result of a settlement agreement reached earlier this week.

Common Cause Indiana and two branches of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit against the board last summer.

The advocacy group argued the lack of early voting offices around Marion County was a constitutional issue, since a trip to the county's single downtown location was unreasonable for many residents.

Julia Vaughn from Common Cause says the board’s unwillingness to approve new centers was an attempt to suppress certain voters. But she says all sides of the political spectrum will benefit from their creation.

"Republicans will utilize these early voting locations, as well as Democrats and Independents and Libertarians," Vaughn says. "So I just think all voters are going to benefit from this. I think all political parties, all candidates will benefit from it."

Vaughn says Marion County was unique in its lack of early voting access, and says the group has no plans to take similar lawsuits elsewhere.

The new voting centers will be available starting in this November’s general election.

 

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