INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Supreme Court denied a motion Friday to hear the Lake County early voting lawsuit, ruling 3-2 to send the case to the Indiana Court of Appeals,
The Appeals Court will hear oral arguments Thursday from all parties on the issue.
Attorneys representing the Lake County Republican Party filed an appeal to the Supreme Court to ask it to stop early voting in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago.
The issue has bounced among county courts, federal court and the Supreme Court since earlier this month when the Lake County Board of Elections and Registration voted to open satellite voting centers in north Lake County.
Early voting in the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point is not contested.
County Republican Chairman John Curley contends state law only allows one early voting center per county unless both parties agree to satellite locations. He also argues that multiple early voting centers increase the likelihood of vote fraud.
The GOP asked the Indiana Supreme Court last week to close the satellites, but the high court instead ordered the case to be heard by Lake County Superior Court Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider, who Wednesday granted a petition by Democrats and the United Steelworkers union to keep the sites open.
Now, county Republicans have appealed Kavadias-Schneider's ruling, leading to the case being assigned Friday to the Indiana Court of Appeals.