SOURCE: Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch

March 24, 2014 15:00 ET

Judicial Watch Warns Iowa, Colorado, DC of Potential Election Integrity Lawsuits

Group Investigates California, New Mexico, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois for Failure to "Maintain Accurate Eligible Voter Lists"

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Mar 24, 2014) - Judicial Watch announced today that on March 24, 2014, it sent letters to top election officials in Iowa, Colorado, and the District of Columbia warning that it will file federal lawsuits against each state within 90 days if they fail to take immediate actions to comply with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requiring them to maintain accurate lists of eligible voters. The organization also sent inquiries on March 6 to officials in California, New Mexico, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois notifying them of potential "apparent problems" and asking these states to provide records of steps taken to assure the accuracy of voter lists.

The letters to the Secretaries of State in Iowa and Colorado and the Board of Elections Supervisors in the District of Columbia specifically warn:

We write to bring your attention to violations of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act ("NVRA") ... This letter serves as statutory notice that Judicial Watch will bring a lawsuit against your office if you do not take specific actions to correct these violations of Section 8 within 90 days. In addition, by this letter we are asking you to produce certain records to us which you are required to make available under Section 8(i) of the NVRA. We hope that litigation will not be necessary to enforce either of these claims.

In each state and the District of Columbia, the letters advise the election officials of specific evidence gathered by the organization indicating that the jurisdiction is "failing to comply with the voter registration list requirements of Section 8 of the NVRA":

  • In Iowa:

[A] comparison of 2012 Census data and 2012 EAC data shows there were more people registered to vote than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following 24 counties: Fremont, Johnson, Madison, Adams, Scott, Pocahontas, Kossuth, Poweshiek, Lyon, Cass, Dickinson, Clay, Chickasaw, Shelby, Boone, Worth, Hancock, Ida, Dallas, Audubon, Sac and Greene. A comparison with 2010 Census population estimates and 2010 EAC data shows that this trend has only worsened.

  • In Colorado:

[A] comparison of 2012 Census data and 2012 EAC data shows there were more people registered to vote than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following 22 counties: Mineral, Ouray, Hinsdale, San Juan, Jackson, Gilpin, Summit, San Miguel, Gunnison, Dolores, Teller, Grand, Clear Creek, Elbert, Cheyenne, Archuleta, Pitkin, Boulder, Douglas, Routt, and Baca. A comparison with 2010 Census population estimates and 2010 EAC data shows that this trend has only worsened.

  • In the District of Columbia:

[A] review of Census data and EAC data shows there were more people registered to vote in DC than there were adults over the age of 18 living there as of 2010, and as of 2012, which is the most recent data available

The Judicial Watch letters to Iowa, Colorado, and DC election officials ask that they respond to the notification letter within 45 days informing it of the compliance steps being taken:

Specifically, we ask you to: (1) conduct or implement a systematic, uniform, nondiscriminatory program to remove from the list of eligible voters the names of persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of a change in residence; (2) complete this program no less than 90 days prior to the November election; (3) conduct or implement additional routine measures to remove from the list of eligible voters the names of persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of death, change in residence, or a disqualifying criminal conviction, and to remove noncitizens who have registered to vote unlawfully.

In its letters to California, New Mexico, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois, Judicial Watch advises the election officials:

As you may know, under Section 8 of the NVRA states must "conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters," including voters who become ineligible by reason of death or a change in residence of the registrant. Accordingly, we ask you to please respond to this letter to address the apparent problems...as well as what additional steps [the state] plans to take to ensure its voter rolls are current and accurate in light of the above information. 

Section 8 also requires states to make available for public inspection "all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters." We ask you to provide this information along with your written response no later than 45 days from today.

Judicial Watch's notification letters are part of its continuing Election Integrity Project, which includes pushing states to comply with Section 8 of the NVRA, which requires that reasonable efforts be taken to maintain accurate voter registration lists. Judicial Watch, along with its client and co-plaintiff True the Vote, filed historic lawsuits against Indiana and Ohio under Section 8 of the NVRA. And in January, Judicial Watch and True the Vote reached a settlement in an August 30, 2012, lawsuit against election officials in the State of Ohio, resulting in an agreement by the state to take a series of actions to further ensure that it is in compliance with the NVRA.

"Dirty voter rolls can mean dirty elections," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Many states are shirking their legal responsibilities to maintain clean voter rolls. This undermines confidence in our election system. Outrageously, the Obama Justice Department simply refuses to enforce the federal law that requires states to take reasonable steps to clean voter rolls. Judicial Watch is now doing the job of the U.S. Justice Department."