(CNN) – An election commission in Indianapolis ruled Thursday that Sen. Richard Lugar is ineligible to vote in his former precinct, a blow to the Republican who has been battling residency questions amid a primary battle for reelection.
The Marion County Election Board voted 2-1 against Lugar and his wife in a vote along party lines, according to Angie Nussmeyer, a spokesperson for the board.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Democrats who voted against Lugar determined he no longer resided at the home address listed on his voter registration. Lugar has lived in McLean, Virginia since the sale of his Indianapolis home in 1977.
Lugar's campaign characterized the decision as an attempt to infringe upon Lugar's right to vote.
"Unfortunately, the Democrats on the County Election Board and Treasurer Mourdock's supporters are attempting to tarnish Senator Lugar and his family, and deprive them their fundamental right to vote," Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher said. "This personal attack comes on the heels of the Indiana Election Commission's bipartisan, unanimous decision denying a similar challenge to Senator Lugar's ability to stand for re-election."
Fisher added, "It is an outrage that Indiana Democrats and Treasurer Mourdock's camp are happy to waste taxpayer money in tying up the courts. They apparently don't see any path to victory at the ballot box, so they keep maneuvering in hopes they can avoid competing head-on with Senator Lugar."
Nussmeyer, the election board spokesperson, specified the decision wasn't meant to disenfranchise the Lugars, but rather to denote they were no longer eligible to vote in precinct 29-007.
A GOP source said the decision was pure politics.
"This was nothing more than a political maneuver – the Indiana Attorney General has already upheld his residency," the Republican said. "This particular county election board is comprised of three people – two of whom are Democrats – so it's a 2-1 vote. It's all politics and ultimately won't stand."
In February, Lugar beat back a challenge to his Senate candidacy when the Indiana Election Commission determined he wasn't required to be a resident of Indiana to appear on the ballot.
Lugar's primary opponent, tea-party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, along with state and national Democrats, have made a campaign issue out of Lugar's lack of a physical residence in the Hoosier state.
Mourdock's campaign spokesman Christopher Conner issued a statement slamming Lugar Thursday, writing: “It's sad that Senator Lugar had to be instructed by the Marion County Election Board that he must maintain an actual home in the state he represents in the U.S. Senate. The fact that Senator Lugar hired a team of high-priced lawyers to fight for his right to use a legal technicality so that he doesn’t have to live among Hoosiers just proves our point about how out of touch he is.
Also on Thursday, the grassroots conservative group FreedomWorks sent an e-mail to supporters, mockingly suggesting they help find Lugar a home in Indiana.
"FreedomWorks has offered to help the Senator find a home, since he's probably not too familiar with the state anymore, having lived in suburban Washington, DC for the past 3 decades," the group wrote. Freedomworks has backed Mourdock, Lugar's Republican challenger.
-CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Dana Bash, Rebecca Stewart and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.