Election Law Live
Breaking news from Edwards County, Texas, where Manuel Rodriguez, III, admitted to voting illegally by impersonating his 101-year-old grandfather. According to the news reports, Rodriguez is currently on supervised parole due to a felony conviction and, under Texas law, is not eligible to be registered to vote.
Darrell Volkmann with the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office told reporters: “I find it extremely hard to believe that one of the election workers at that particular voting precinct, PCT 3, did not recognize Rodriguez III and recall his incarcerated past history. Rocksprings is a very small town and everyone is very aware of other’s business it seems…”
August 23 –
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Ohio’s election integrity law against, as the court described it, an “astonishing” attack funded by George Soros and brought by the general counsel for the Clinton campaign.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief in the appeal explaining how the Voting Rights Act must not be used as a “one-way ratchet” that only lets states change their election laws in ways that benefit one partisan side. Instead, a Section 2 claim requires proof that an election regulation is actually causing real world barriers to participation in the political process. The Sixth Circuit agreed and adopted much of the language and rationale from the Foundation’s brief.
“George Soros is spending millions to alter the rules of American elections,” said J. Christian Adams, President of Public Interest Legal Foundation. “Today the Court of Appeals countered millions of Soros dollars with American common sense. The Voting Rights Act should not be used as a political weapon.”
Full press release here.
(Indianapolis, IN) – June 27. Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has been sued in United States District Court for violations of federal voter roll maintenance obligations.
Broward County has had more registered voters on the rolls eligible to cast a ballot than citizens alive. The complaint states: According to public data, “over the past several election cycles the voter rolls maintained by Defendant Supervisor of Elections for Broward County have contained either more total registrants than eligible voting-age citizens or, at best, an implausibly high number of registrants. According to this data, at the time of the 2014 general election, approximately 103% of the citizens of voting age were registered to vote and could cast a ballot in Broward County.”
The plaintiff in the case is the American Civil Rights Union. The plaintiff originally sent the defendant a notice letter in January 2016 describing potential violations of federal election law, asking to review election records, and seeking a cure. The defendant refused to discuss a resolution with the American Civil Rights Union.
The case is American Civil Rights Union and Andrea Bellitto vs. Brenda Snipes. Andrea Bellitto is a registered voter in Broward County and a member of ACRU.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. PILF exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. William Davis at Foley and Lardner is serving as local counsel for the plaintiffs.
Download this press release here.
Attack on clean voter rolls part of coordinated political strategy in swing state
(Alexandria, VA) – June 14. The Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of the State of Ohio, whose efforts to keep its voter rolls free of ineligible voters is under attack by a collation of partisan-aligned plaintiffs.
A group of plaintiffs, led by an Ohio branch of the AFL-CIO, has challenged Ohio’s voter roll cleaning procedures in federal court. They oppose Ohio’s reasonable use of voter inactivity to help maintain clean voter rolls.
Only voters who do not participate in an election for six consecutive years and do not respond to repeated notice mailings may be removed from the rolls under Ohio’s process.
Ohio’s registration clean-up program is precisely what federal law envisions and expressly permits. The National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”)—otherwise more commonly known as the “Motor Voter Act”— requires election officials to make a “reasonable effort” to keep ineligible voters off the registration lists.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation has asked to file an amicus brief showing that voter inactivity is an important and permissible tool in keeping clean rolls.
“When ineligible voters remain on voter rolls, it creates the perfect environment for fraud,” said J. Christian Adams, President of PILF. “Ohio is using the tools permitted by Congress to make sure only legitimate votes are counted in this year’s elections. We’re hopeful that our brief will help convince the court that this challenge is meritless.”
The case is A. Philip Randolph Institute et al. v. Husted, No. 2:16-cv-303-GCS-EPD (S.D. Ohio).
The Public Interest Legal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. PILF exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections.