Election Law Live

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Foundation Applauds Selection of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

Champion of the Rule of Law well suited to restore integrity to the DOJ

(Alexandria, Virginia) – The Public Interest Legal Foundation applauds President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for the position of Attorney General of the United States.

The Attorney General, as the head of the United States Department of Justice, serves an important role in the enforcement of the country’s voting rights laws. Unfortunately, the Department has failed to enforce important aspects of those laws recently. For example, the Foundation has released reports on the problem of foreigners voting in the United States with documentary evidence. The Foundation has also filed numerous lawsuits in counties across the nation where there are more people registered to vote than are eligible to vote.  The Foundation has also stepped in to defend states who seek to defend the integrity of their elections. For example, the Foundation intervened as a Defendant when the Justice Department refused to defend the actions of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an independent federal agency, that would allow states to continue to verify citizenship on voter registration forms.

“Senator Sessions’ record and respect for the rule of law makes him an excellent choice to lead the United States Department of Justice,” said J. Christian Adams, President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation and former lawyer in the Voting Rights Section of the Department.  “Over the past 8 years, the Department of Justice has been derelict on its responsibilities to ensure free and fair elections across this nation, at times even contributing to the problem. We look forward to working with the Department to restore election integrity nationwide.”

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation 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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Foundation calls on Justice Department Civil Rights Division to Prosecute Mob Attack on Trump Voter

November 15, 2016

Free and fair elections must be free of violence and threats

(Alexandria, Virginia) – The Public Interest Legal Foundation sent letters to two Sections in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division calling for the prosecution of the violent mob attack against a voter for President-Election Donald Trump. Video captured a violent mob attack on David Wilcox on November 8, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. Wilcox was beaten and kicked by a mob of people while they were cheered on by people yelling: “beat his ass, he voted for Trump,” “it’s one of them white boy Trump guys,” and “he voted for Trump.”

One letter was sent to Chris Herren, the chief of the Voting Section of the Department of Justice. It called for an investigation into the attack as a violation of Section 11 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a law that prohibits intimidation of those who voted for voting. A second letter was sent to Paige Fitzgerald, acting chief of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. That letter calls for federal civil rights prosecutions of the perpetrators. Federal law (18 USC 241) prohibits violence against individuals for exercising federal rights. Another statute (18 USC 245) prohibits intimidation or violence against voters for voting.

One letter states, “As you may know, numerous incidents have occurred over the last seven years in circumstances with striking similarities to the incident in Chicago. Yet your Section took no action whatsoever. It is reasonable to conclude, and it is the view of many Americans, that your office has different standards for enforcing the law depending on the nature of the victim and the nature of the perpetrators.”

“The right to participate in an election without fear of being beaten by a mob is one of the most fundamental civil rights,” said J. Christian Adams, President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. “Americans should not have to fear political violence because they voted for Donald Trump, and this Justice Department needs to start enforcing the law no matter who the victim is.” Adams continued, “elections are free only if they are free from violence.”

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections.

Contact: media@publicinterestlegal.org.

Foundation Seeks Info on 60,000 Felons Given Voting Rights by VA Governor

Foundation Seeks Info on 60,000 Felons Given Voting Rights by VA Governor

Governor McAuliffe used “auto pen” to sign as many as possible without due consideration

(Alexandria, VA) – November 8.  The Public Interest Legal Foundation sent a request to Edgardo Cortes, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, notifying him under federal law that the Foundation seeks to inspect list maintenance records regarding the tens of thousands of individuals recently given rights by the Governor.

Under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (or Motor Voter), the public has the right to physically inspect election records related to list maintenance records. If election officials do not provide the requested inspection, they may be sued in federal court and may be liable to pay attorney’s fees under the statute for failing to provide the records. The Foundation has filed multiple federal lawsuits against election officials who refused to make election records transparent.

Governor McAuliffe’s persistence to unilaterally ensure felons vote despite Virginia Constitutional constraints has been the subject of litigation.  This action was challenged in the Virginia Supreme Court, which invalidated his executive order on July 22, 2016. By August 22, Governor McAuliffe announced that he had restored the rights of 13,000 individuals by using an auto-pen to sign the orders. Reports from this week suggest that the total now is closer to 60,000 individuals despite the Supreme Court’s requirement that an individualized determination be made for each felon.

“Laws no longer matter to powerful people interested in keeping their power,” said J. Christian Adams, President and General Counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. “We have asked state election officials to inspect records demonstrating the extent of the Governor’s lawlessness.” 

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation 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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Did President Obama just encourage illegal aliens to vote?

In a videotaped interview with the Latin-oriented YouTube channel “mitu,” President Obama all but encouraged “undocumented” residents (read: illegal aliens) to vote, and even promised them no repercussions if they did.

The exchange is below:

Interviewer: “Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens – and I call them citizens because the contribute to this country – are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will Immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?”

President Obama: “Not true, and the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself. And there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, etc. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential.”

See the video here:
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PILF Files NVRA Lawsuits Against Chesterfield and Manassas Election Officials

(Indianapolis, IN) – November 1.  The Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed two separate federal lawsuits against local Virginia election officials for refusing to disclose election records showing foreigners improperly registered to vote in Virginia. Separate cases were filed against Larry Haake, the register in Chesterfield County, and Susan Reed, the registrar in the City of Manassas.

In August 2016, the Public Interest Legal Foundation asked to publically inspect and duplicate election records related to foreigners who registered to vote in Chesterfield County and Manassas. Similar requests were made to other counties throughout the Commonwealth, and other local election registrars complied with the request and provided the records to the Public Interest Legal Foundation. Among those counties who complied were Stafford, Prince William, Loudon, and the City of Falls Church. Chesterfield and Manassas refused to do so, and these lawsuits followed.

Under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (or Motor Voter), the public has the right to physically inspect election records related to maintaining accurate voter rolls. If election officials do not provide the requested inspection, they may be sued in federal court and may be liable to pay attorney’s fees under the statute for failing to provide the records. These are the second and third cases the Foundation has filed seeking election records in Virginia.

Previous data compiled by the Foundation showed that over 1,000 registrants were removed from voter rolls for citizenship problems in the eight counties who complied with the Foundation’s request. None of the non-citizens removed appear to have been referred to law enforcement officials even though it is a felony when a foreigner registers to vote in Virginia.

“Transparency in the election process is essential,” said J. Christian Adams, President and General Counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. “Federal law requires election records to be available to the public. Concealing the extent of non-citizen voting registration harms the integrity of the election process.” 

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.

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