Election Law Live

PILF Intervention Defends Indiana’s Use of Voter Roll Crosscheck

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – November 9, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a motion to intervene in defense of Indiana’s participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program designed to remove outdated and relocated voter records.

The PILF seeks to intervene in the ongoing case against Indiana’s participation in the Crosscheck program. PILF argues the plaintiff’s misleading claims are wrong that the State hastily removes voters after individuals with matching names and birthdates are found registered in other states.

The PILF also shared its concerns that the plaintiff is incorrectly seeking to handcuff voter registrars from maintaining records. The Motion to Intervene, filed today, notes:

The plaintiff’s lawsuit profoundly threatens state control over structuring its own election system based on a patently flawed application of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”). [It] seeks to impose restrictions on Indiana’s ability to conduct fair and robust elections by limiting the State’s programs for ensuring that its list of eligible voters is kept accurate and current. Plaintiff seeks to impose limits clearly beyond what was contemplated by Congress.

If the Plaintiff had its way, Indiana would be bound by an imaginary rule for cleaning voter rolls using technology and practices from the 1980s,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Our state is still working through the effects of poor list maintenance efforts dating back more than a decade ago when the U.S. Justice Department took action against the state for dirty voter rolls. The Plaintiff is so determined to preserve flaws in our voter records that it would sever lines of communication with other states to accomplish their goal.

Though the PILF seeks to act as a Defendant-Intervenor in the case, the Foundation will make various arguments that it believes would not otherwise be made by the State of Indiana. Four primary defenses were introduced today.

The entire case is based on a faulty legal theory

Plaintiff’s interpretation of the NVRA argues that Indiana can do no more than mail notices to voters and wait for replies. Federal law offers this as an explicit example of a permissible voter list maintenance procedure, but it does not limit Indiana from cooperating with other states to more efficiently identify voters relocating out of its jurisdiction. 

Federal law allows states to remove registrants that relocate and re-register

After a citizen relocates to another state and registers to vote there, her action and the related paper trail constitutes a “written document” demonstrating she has changed residences for voting purposes and justifies removal from her old state’s registry. 

Congress considered registering to vote elsewhere as an act of requesting removal from the voter roll

The NVRA’s legislative history accounts for how a voter’s relocation and re-registration outside of Indiana effectively serves as an example for justified removal from the registry “at the request of the registrant”.

Common Cause Indiana’s Complaint should be dismissed

The Plaintiff’s misreading of the aforementioned notice-and-waiting procedure as the exclusively accepted method for voter roll maintenance—as opposed to a permissible option—presents a claim by which the Court could not offer relief since Indiana is not violating federal law with the Crosscheck.

The Motion to Intervene as Defendant and Proposed Answer by Defendant-Intervenor PILF filings can be found, here.

Attorneys for the Public Interest Legal Foundation are J. Christian Adams, Kaylan L. Phillips, and Joseph A. Vanderhulst.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) 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. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Challenges Marc Elias’ Effort to Block Nevada’s Recall Elections

(LAS VEGAS, NV.) – October 30, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a motion to intervene in defense of Nevada’s recall procedures against a lawsuit from Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias.

The PILF seeks to intervene in the ongoing case against Nevada’s recall procedures due to the misuse of evidence and Nevada’s history in the law suit, as well as the larger constitutional concerns about the tenuous application of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark civil rights law. The Motion to Intervene, filed today, notes:

The lawsuit threatens state control over structuring their own election system using a flawed application of the Voting Rights Act. Plaintiffs seek to impose unconstitutional restrictions on the democratic voice of Nevada citizens by extinguishing a means to hold government accountable. This would be the ultimate denial and infringement on the right and freedom of citizens to participate in the electoral process.

Nevada has the power under our Constitution to decide to have recall elections,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Hillary Clinton’s lawyer has been bringing cases across the country to destroy this constitutional arrangement by misusing civil rights laws, and the Public Interest Legal Foundation has opposed him elsewhere, and will oppose him in Nevada. The Voting Rights Act is not a law designed to help Democratic Party interests. It’s intended to protect civil rights–not preserve partisan power.”

Though PILF seeks to act as a Defendant-Intervenor in the case, the Foundation will make various arguments that it believes would not otherwise be made by the State of Nevada. An affirmative defense challenging the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act as applied is one of those arguments. Four primary defenses were introduced today.

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional if applied to invalidate a recall election

If the Voting Rights Act were used to prohibit recall elections in Nevada and elsewhere, it would be an unconstitutional use of the Voting Rights Act. Plaintiffs’ claims that recall elections deny or abridge the right to vote for those within a “language minority” are far beyond what the Constitution would allow in this circumstance. “Speaking a language other than English is not the same, or even congruent to, inherent immutable characteristics such as race.”

Using disparate impact standards to block a recall would render a portion of the Voting Rights Act itself unconstitutional

Plaintiffs seek to use improper disparate impact statistical standards to invalidate state laws. Using mere statistical disparities to invalidate state laws would upset the Constitutional balance and constitute an unconstitutional application of the Voting Rights Act.

Plaintiffs offer inadequate facts ‘bearing no relevance’ to Voting Rights Act concerns

The brief states: “Most of the purported facts in the Amended Complaint are a jumble of talking points of various interest groups and academics long opposed to robust state control over elections and laws designed to promote election integrity. Taken together, they fail to state a plausible claim that the Defendants have violated Section 2.”

‘Language Minority’ Provisions of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act are unconstitutional

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act’s prohibition on discriminatory procedures or practices impacting “language minority” groups is unconstitutional on its face, given that it is inconsistent with the Fifteenth Amendment and “exceed[s] Congress’ authority to enforce the right to vote regardless of race.” 

The Motion to Intervene as Defendant and Proposed Answer by Defendant-Intervenor PILF filings can be found, here.

Attorneys for the Public Interest Legal Foundation are J. Christian Adams and Joseph A. Vanderhulst. David O’Mara from the O’Mara Law Firm, PC serves as local counsel.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) 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. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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Expert: How Pennsylvania Can Address Noncitizen Voting

(HARRISBURG, PA.) – October 25, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today offered guidance in how Pennsylvania officers can measure the scale of noncitizen registration and voting.

PILF Litigation Counsel Noel H. Johnson shared a multi-point proposal before the State Government Committee today regarding steps that can be taken to determine the true scale of the problem—an issue that largely remains unclear at this time.

  1. Demand lists of aliens who have been discovered and removed for citizenship defects across the Commonwealth.
  2. Disclose the lists of individuals whom were improperly exposed to voter registration prompts while conducting business with PennDOT.
  3. Review voting histories for those determined to be noncitizens to better discern those who claimed no knowledge of their voter status versus those who intended to participate.
  4. Debate and implement one or more of the variety of options available to help verify claims of U.S. citizenship and eligibility to participate in the electorate. At the very least, stop offering voter registration opportunities to known Green Card holders.

A copy of Mr. Johnson’s full testimony may be accessed here.

In October 2016, the PILF released a study finding 86 noncitizens were registered to vote in Philadelphia between 2013 and 2015. In September 2017, the City of Philadelphia confirmed and expanded upon these findings, announcing that “hundreds” of noncitizens were registered at various points in time.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation has built a record case studies uncovering noncitizen voter registration and voting in a growing number of states.

  • In October 2016, PILF found 86 noncitizens registered to vote in Philadelphia. Forty of those voted in at least one election.
  • In May 2017, PILF found 5,556 voters removed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as “non-citizens”. Roughly 33% voted. This research followed an initial October 2016 sampling that yielded 1,000 noncitizens.
  • In September 2017, PILF found 616 noncitizens within 11 New Jersey counties’ voter registration systems.

The PILF is led by J. Christian Adams, a Commissioner for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) 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. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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Pennsylvania Is ‘Failing’ to Keep Noncitizens from Voting, Says PILF Testimony

(HARRISBURG, PA.) – October 24, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today announced its participation in an upcoming Pennsylvania House State Government Committee hearing regarding noncitizen registration and voting.

In October 2016, the PILF released a study finding 86 noncitizens were registered to vote in Philadelphia between 2013 and 2015. In September 2017, the City of Philadelphia confirmed and expanded upon these findings, announcing that “hundreds” of noncitizens were registered at various points in time dating back to 2006.

PILF Litigation Counsel Noel H. Johnson has been invited to testify before the State Government Committee on October 25 to discuss flaws and fixes within Pennsylvania’s voter registration system.

“The current voter registration system is failing to keep noncitizens from registering to vote and there are inadequate safeguards in place to detect and remove [them],” Johnson writes in prepared statements for the Committee.

“Only eligible citizens who are entitled to cast ballots on Election Day should appear on voter registration rolls,” Johnson adds. “Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, that has not been the case.”

The Public Interest Legal Foundation has built a record of case studies uncovering noncitizen voter registration and voting in a growing number of states.

  • In October 2016, PILF found 86 noncitizens registered to vote in Philadelphia. Forty of those voted in at least one election.
  • In May 2017, PILF found 5,556 voters removed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as “non-citizens”. Roughly 33% voted. This research followed an initial October 2016 sampling that yielded more than 1,000 noncitizens.
  • In September 2017, PILF found 616 noncitizens within 11 New Jersey counties’ voter registration systems.

The PILF is led by J. Christian Adams, a Commissioner for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

To read all of Noel Johnson’s prepared testimony before the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee, click here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) 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. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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October 2017_ Noel H. Johnson_Testimony to the PA House State Government… by Public Interest Legal Foundation on Scribd

J. Christian Adams’ Statement on Passing of Fellow Election Integrity Commissioner

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – October 17, 2017: Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) President J. Christian Adams shared his thoughts on the passing of fellow Election Integrity Advisory Commissioner David Dunn.

“I was saddened to learn today that David Dunn passed away at his home in Arkansas. In the time that I worked with him on the commission, I found David to be an insightful and practical public official. He was courageous to serve, courteous in his manners, and kind to everyone. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and those fellow citizens he worked for.”

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) 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. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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