Election Law Live


Broward County Sued in Federal Court Over Corrupted Voter Rolls

(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.

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Public Interest Legal Foundation Defends Ohio Election Integrity

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.

Contact: media@publicinterestlegal.org.


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The Coming Ohio Election Mess

“See how it works? Criminals exploit system, criminals cast illegal votes, law abiding officials fix problem, Democrats and so-called civil rights groups sue, federal judges restore old system, repeat.”

Read more from Public Interest Legal’s President J. Christian Adams.


Democrats introduce bill to add votes from convicted felons

7 in 10 felons are registered Democrats. The Democrats know this. That’s why efforts to automatically restore voting rights to released felons have begun in earnest as the 2016 election approaches.

First, it was Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who issued a sweeping executive order that automatically restored voting rights to ex-felons — including those convicted of murder, armed robbery, rape, sexual assault, and other violent crimes — as soon as they have completed their sentences.

Now, Democrats are casting a wider net. Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida has introduced federal legislation that proposes to amend the National Voter Registration Act to deny states the choice of whether to withhold voting rights from those convicted of felonies.

There is one problem for Mr. Grayson’s proposal. The Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment affirmatively allows the states to remove the voting rights of those convicted of crimes. Amending the National Voter Registration Act would not, and cannot, trump what the Constitution expressly permits.  

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