Attorney General Curtis Hill announced he is appealing a federal court’s consent decree setting a minimum number of five early-voting sites specifically in Marion County (Indianapolis) in perpetuity, which contravenes state law requiring a unanimous vote of the county election board each year to establish satellite offices.
“In filing this appeal, we are defending the ability of the local election board to make these decisions in accordance with state law without a federal court ruling binding the board to a minimum number of locations indefinitely,” Attorney General Hill said.
Further, Attorney General Hill said, his office has a statutory obligation to defend the constitutionality and enforceability of state laws. In this case, a federal court overrode the operation of state law without declaring that enforcement of the law would violate federal law.
While fulfilling his statutory duty, Attorney General Hill also reiterated his own strong support for maximizing the numbers of satellite voting centers in all 92 counties.
“We must — as a matter of civic responsibility — ensure that as many people as possible are able to participate in free and fair elections,” he said. “In every lawful way, we should maximize the convenience and ease with which citizens may cast their ballots. Establishing a plentiful number of early-voting sites is one such strategy. I encourage county election officials across Indiana to operate multiple satellite voting locations in their counties, and I encourage voters to take maximum advantage of these opportunities.”
Current court proceedings in this matter have no effect on the 2018 election cycle or current numbers of early-voting sites.