Indiana State Police are investigating irregularities in voter registration Tuesday after the secretary of state’s office reported suspicious changes in thousands of voter registration records and suggested the possibility of voter fraud.
The investigation was prompted after Indiana voters contacted the Indiana secretary of state’s office to report that their date of birth or first name was incorrect on their voter registration forms. Officials do not believe the database was hacked.
“These records were changed on paper forms, at the (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) and online. At this time, my office is not sure why these records were changed, but we have evaluated the Statewide Voter Registration System and have found no indication it has been compromised. We believe this may be a case of voter fraud and have turned our findings over to the state police, who are currently conducting an investigation into alleged voter fraud,” Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said in a statement.
Lawson’s office turned their findings over to the Indiana State Police late Monday.
Earlier this month, the Indiana State Police investigated other allegations of voter fraud in 56 counties in the state. As part of that investigation, police raided the offices the Indiana Voter Registration Project, a subsidiary operation of the Patriot Majority US, a nonprofit advocacy organization.
While the secretary of state’s office did not indicate if officials believe the two investigations of possible voter fraud are related, the police said they will seek to see if there is a “specific connection.”
“(T)he changing of a first name and/or date of birth is consistent with what we are seeing on a number of voter registration applications submitted by (the Indiana Voter Registration Project),” Indiana State Police said in a statement to CNN.
Patriot Majority USA responded to accusations of possible voter fraud earlier this month, saying they are completely false. The group says they are instead the target of a “partisan agenda” to suppress thousands of African-American voters in Indiana, and they have referred the situation to the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.
“This Republican effort to suppress the vote is a violation of civil rights, but it is also a dangerous and cynical move that undermines law-enforcement’s relations with its own citizens. We are going to shine a light on this intimidation and misconduct,” the group said in a statement.
For Indiana voters who may have been affected by the registration confusion, the secretary of state’s office said they may still be eligible to vote on November 8 but can only do so through the county election offices or the state voting website.