Lawsuit alleges unequal early voting practices in Marion County

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MARION COUNTY, Ind. -- A lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges Marion County participated in unequal and unfair early voting practices.

The lawsuit filed by Common Cause IN and NAACP is requesting Marion County to offer more locations for voters to cast their ballots early.

Currently, Marion County only has one early voting location, The City County Building. During early voting this year, lines were out the door.

Common Cause IN Policy Director Julia Vaughn said the practices are unconstitutional.

"The county cannot apply the law in such a way to make it harder for voters in this community to vote than in any other location in the state," Vaughn said.

Nearby counties have multiple locations available for early voting.

"We need to bring voting into the 21st century. It shouldn't be something that you can only do on one day in November or in May that we need to make it easy, convenient, and accessible," Vaughn said.

The reason Marion County doesn't have multiple locations goes back to a law requiring the board of elections to vote unanimously to approve satellite locations for early voting. That hasn't happened for the last six years.

"It’s politics that’s getting in the way here," said Vaughn. She added, "sometimes the best way to attack a political problem is in court and that’s what we intend to do."

Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge said the board is looking into the lawsuit. She released this statement:

"The Board takes seriously any allegations regarding access to voting in Marion County. Speaking for myself as the elected Clerk of Marion County, my position has been and remains that establishing satellite early voting locations is an essential component of providing meaningful and convenient access to voting for all Marion County residents."

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