Marion County prosecutor calls allegations of voter suppression, intimidation ‘reckless’

File photo.

File photo.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry released a statement Wednesday about the ongoing Indiana State Police voter registration investigation into suspected irregularities in voter registration.

Curry said there are many safeguards established in local and federal law to protect the rights of voters. He has requested that state police release no additional information about their investigation, as to avoid prejudice.

He said accusations of fraud, prior to the conclusion of the investigation, are “premature and contrary to the foundational principle of presumed innocence until and unless proven guilty.”

An analysis of data by Patriot Majority, a group affiliated with the Democratic Party that state police are investigating, showed Indiana’s voter database has thousands of people over the age of 110 who are likely deceased and still registered to vote. The group says the database is riddled with errors.

Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office says it took control of database maintenance in 2014 and is updating it in compliance with federal law.

“For Patriot Majority and Indiana Democrats to call me an incompetent racist, and chastise me for partisan behavior when I only provided information to Indiana State Police and did my job is extremely disappointing and hypocritical,” Lawson said Tuesday in a statement.

Curry’s full statement is as follows:

“As the date of the General Election approaches, it is important to note that there are many safeguards established in Indiana and federal law to protect voting rights.

“Thousands of Marion County residents have already cast ballots, and we expect the process to continue to accommodate voters without incident. Should a problem arise, however, our office stands ready to work with the Marion County Election Board to address reported violations of election law, as we have for each prior election since January 2011.

“Further, we have requested the Indiana State Police to release no further information regarding that agency’s pending investigation into suspected voter registration irregularities. As with any investigation, confidentiality is important to allow investigators to continue their work independently and to avoid material prejudice in the matter. It is my obligation under the Rules of Professional Conduct to exercise reasonable care in ensuring that law enforcement agencies do not disclose information beyond what is in the public record.

“If evidence of suspected criminal activity in Marion County is presented to our office, we will review that information for potential criminal charges. Accusations of fraud or other intentional acts prior to the conclusion of a thorough review by law enforcement and a prosecutor are premature and contrary to the foundational principle of presumed innocence until and unless proven guilty.

“Likewise, reckless assertions by third parties of voter suppression and intimidation are without merit. We trust our public safety partners at the Indiana State Police to thoroughly and appropriately investigate the allegations of irregularities in some voter registrations. I have personally met with ISP Superintendent Doug Carter, and we are conferring with Indiana State Police investigators as the investigation continues. We will determine if charges are appropriate upon completion of that investigation.”

Violating Indiana election law, including voter fraud and voter intimidation, carry charges up to a level 6 felony.

4 fast facts

  • Role of prosecutor’s office during the election is to protect voting rights in Marion County.
  • Prosecutor Curry asked Indiana State Police to not release any information of their investigation that is not public record.
  • Curry called accusations of voter suppression and intimidation  “reckless,” and said they are without merit.
  • Anyone who witnesses election law violations is asked to call the Secretary of State’s office.

Curry urges voters who believe they have witnessed election law violations on Election Day to contact the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office at 1-866-IN1-VOTE (1-866-461-8683) or the Marion County Election Board at elections@indy.gov.

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