Indiana: Lugar Will Appeal Voter Eligibility Decision
Posted at 5:48 p.m. on March 15, 2012
Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) needs all the votes he can get in his May 8 primary against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock — including his own.
So on Thursday, the six-term Senator promised to appeal today’s ruling declaring him and his wife ineligible to vote in the Hoosier State because they no longer maintain their listed residency in Indiana.
After all, former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) had a home in the Washington, D.C., area, Lugar argued to reporters later on Capitol Hill.
“This is something that was more frequently done — maybe 35 years ago — by members of the Senate, certainly, who have six-year terms, but some members of the House,” Lugar said.
The Marion County Elections Board ruled along party lines, 2-to-1. Election board attorneys told the Indianapolis Star that Lugar can probably register to vote again under a different address, either with a family member or his family farm.
“The Marion County business was somewhat of a surprise, although maybe it should not be.” Lugar said. “But, I think that our appeal will be successful, that they will cite the attorney general of Indiana — not only the current one, but previous ones.”
But regardless of whether Lugar will be able to cast a vote for himself in the primary, this doesn’t look good.
Lugar faces a tough challenge from Mourdock, who quickly capitalized on the Senator’s residency problems.
“Our position on this issue has always been clear: Regardless of how he is registered to vote, the U.S. Constitution requires Senator Lugar to be an ‘inhabitant’ of the state to be elected. Currently, he is not,” said Mourdock campaign spokesman Christopher Conner in a statement.
— Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.