Sex Offenders Sue|Indiana for the Vote

     INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – “Serious sex offenders” sued Indiana in a class action Tuesday, claiming a law barring them from school property violates their right to vote.
     Brian Valenti sued Indiana elections officials, state police and the Blackford County prosecutor, in Federal Court. Blackford County is in northeast Indiana, between Muncie and Fort Wayne.
     He challenges Indiana Code § 35-42-4-14, which took effect July 1. It bars “serious sex offenders” from school property.
     But since schools are often used as polling places, Valenti says, he and others may be disenfranchised.
     “(T)he procedure for voting absentee is complex, prone to error and fraud, and to many, it is an inferior means of exercising their fundamental right to vote,” Valenti says in the complaint. He committed “a qualifying sexual offense” in California more than 25 years ago.
     He committed lewd or lascivious acts with a child younger than 14 in 1988 and was convicted of it in 1993, he says in the complaint. Valenti was born in 1967. He moved to Indiana in 2014 to be near his family.
     He seeks class certification, declaratory judgment and an injunction.
     He is represented by Jan Mensz and Kenneth Falk with the ACLU of Indiana.

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