IN could face perfect storm of Election Day trouble

E-voting machines, a new statewide database and a photo ID law may all conspire to create some very long recounts in a few close elections.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Indiana is facing a potentially perfect storm of an Election Day disaster, the Indianapolis Star reports.

There are a combination of factors that could create confusion or an intimidating atmosphere for voters," said Julie Fernandes, senior counsel and voting rights expert for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, an advocacy group based in Washington.

Indeed, Indiana is one of ElectionLine.org's top 10 states to watch for trouble on Tuesday.

Sean Greene, research director for Electionline.org said: "In Indiana, you've got three close congressional races and other close races. That's one-half of the recipe for potential problems."

Indiana requires voters to show photo IDs, a measure aimed at fighting fraud, which is generally seen as a Republican strategy.

Voting rights activists say the requirement could lead to problems, confusion and disenfranchisement -- particularly among low-income voters, minorities and senior citizens. Democrats are challenging the law in the courts, though a decision is not expected before Tuesday.

To top it off, this is the year that Indiana has launched a statewide database, consolidating all of the county-level voter databases.

"Statewide voter databases administered correctly can have a positive impact," said Jon Greenbaum, director of the Voting Rights Project for the Washington-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "The big unknown," Greenbaum said, "is how well that statewide voter database captured the data that counties had already. We could have situations where voters think they are on the list and find out they are not."
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