“False and misleading and baiting.” That’s how Indiana State Police describe the predictable charges of harassment and racism leveled by Democratic operative Craig Varoga, whose organization Patriot Majority and its affiliated Indiana Voter Registration Project are being investigated for potential voter fraud by the ISP, suspected of submitting hundreds of fraudulent voter registration applications in nine Indiana counties.
Varoga claimed that the ISP and Secretary Lawson’s “partisan investigation” would prevent “45,000 African Americans from voting in this year’s elections.” Varoga even said he “reported their outrageous actions to the Department of Justice.”
In an exclusive interview on WIBC, ISP Chief Public Information Officer, Captain David Bursten, refuted the claims of Varoga:
To his allegations that we are trying to disenfranchise 45,000 African-American voters: I want make it perfectly clear that we don’t take any of the voter registration cards, we copy them. That’s a false and misleading and baiting statement.
He wants to draw attention away from the fact that the actions of people employed by IVRP actually can disenfranchise voters.
Secretary Lawson, also appearing exclusively on WIBC, confirmed that her office has no authority to conduct or initiate any investigation, and called Varoga’s claims “absurd:”
You know, when we register voters in the State of Indiana, on the paper forms that this group [Indiana Voters Registration Project], the question of race or ethnicity is not asked. This is an insult to all 92 County Clerks that they would not process an application because of someone’s race, and there is no way that Craig Varoga – or any of the County Clerk’s offices – would know the race of anyone who applied to register to vote.
My question for him would be: if you’re registering people to vote are you only registering African-Americans and is that discrimination?