INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Two groups are suing the Indiana secretary of state’s office in an effort to
block the release of voter data requested by a White House commission
investigating President Donald Trump’s allegations of widespread voter
The lawsuit, which
comes amid similar legal challenges in New Hampshire and Washington D.C.,
was filed Tuesday in state court by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters
proof, Trump has repeatedly said he believes millions of fraudulent ballots
were cast in the November election, when he carried the Electoral College
but lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
launched to investigate those claims is being chaired by Vice President Mike
Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who sent requests for
detailed voter information to all 50 states.
Already, Kobach has
faced backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike over the request. In the
face of legal challenges, the commission told states this week to hold off
on providing the data.
The Indiana lawsuit
argues that state law prohibits Secretary of State Connie Lawson from
releasing voter information to a third-party in most cases, if that
third-party plans to release the information to someone else.
The lawsuit notes
that Kobach said in his letter that he plans to make any documents submitted
“available to the public.” The groups argue that would “run afoul of the
State’s carefully-crafted limitations on the use of voter data” which “may
be released only under certain limited circumstances and conditions imposed
by Indiana’s election laws.”
Indiana law does
allow a third party to release the data to other people if it is used for
“political activities or political fundraising activities,” but the
advocates argue that doesn’t apply to Trump’s commission.
A spokeswoman for
Lawson, a Republican, declined to comment on the lawsuit. But she has
previously said that she would release a limited amount of the data,
including the voters’ names, addresses and the congressional district they
It remains unclear
exactly how the data will be used. Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said the
commission will look for potential irregularities in voter registrations and
advise states on how they can improve their practices.
secretaries of state say all or part of the requested data is not public in