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The Legal Times: Voting Rights Lawyers Gird for Election

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two years ago, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed suit in Indiana and stopped what it said was a threat to disenfranchise homeowners facing foreclosure. Now, after countless more foreclosures, an NAACP lawyer says it's ready to litigate again if needed.

At issue in the 2008 lawsuit was whether a list of homeowners facing foreclosure could be used to challenge their eligibility to vote. A local Republican Party official had been quoted saying that presence on such a list “would be a solid basis” to ask someone to cast a provisional ballot.

The official later backtracked, and a state judge ordered that such a list is not by itself evidence that someone doesn’t meet the residency requirements for voting.

Kristen Clarke, co-director of the NAACP fund’s political participation group, said today that the group is on the lookout for similar challenges to eligibility this fall. “Given the continuing impact of the foreclosure crisis, vigilance will be required to ensure that this scheme does not rear its ugly head again,” she said.

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