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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Though President Donald Trump’s bogus Commission on Election Integrity based on his fabricated claim that millions of people voted illegally against him in 2016 is now defunct, the commission’s leader, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, remains committed to restricting the American people’s ability to vote.

But on Friday night, a federal judge blocked the implementation of Kobach’s “Crosscheck” system that would automatically purge voter rolls of supposedly ineligible voters in Indiana.

The Indiana Senate Enrolled Act 442 was passed to use the system to eliminate voters from the rolls who are registered in other states. Advocates such as the ACLU and Common Cause Indiana argued that the law had the potential to unjustly remove legitimate voters from the rolls, especially because the legislation allowed election officials to unregister people without prior notification.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt agreed with those advocates in a ruling Friday night, as Reuters first reported. She argued in favor of “allowing eligible voters to exercise their right to vote without being disenfranchised without notice.”

Voter fraud, it must be said, is exceedingly rare in the United States, so efforts such as Kobach’s are likely to kick off many more legitimate voters from the rolls than the number of fraudulent votes they prevent. Indeed blocking certain voters from exercising their rights appears to be the purpose of such efforts, despite claims to the contrary.

“Hoosier-elected officials should do all that they can to promote voter engagement,” Jane Heneger, executive director of ACLU of Indiana, said in a statement obtained by Reuters. “Today’s ruling condemns actions to the contrary that threaten to suppress the vote. Voting is our constitutional right and we must ensure every voice is heard.”

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.