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in defense of Indiana’s participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program designed to remove outdated and relocated voter records.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.

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.

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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248 Counties Have More Registered Voters Than Live Adults

24 States Show Corrupted Voter Rolls

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – September 25, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today announced that it placed 248 counties on notice for holding more registered voters than adult residents in their respective jurisdictions. Officials in 24 states now risk lawsuits if they do not disclose satisfactory data demonstrating effective voter roll maintenance efforts before and after the 2016 Election.

“During the 2016 Election, 24 states had bloated voter rolls,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Voter fraud begins with corrupted voter rolls. Our nation’s voter rolls have records that cannot be distinguished between living or dead; citizen or alien; resident or relocated. We hear about possible cyber-attacks, but we aren’t doing enough to fix voter rolls that are certainly corrupt. The voter rolls are so bad in some states that election officials would have a hard time telling the difference between sabotage and negligence.

Letters mailed to the counties and locales in question note that it appears they are violating the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) because they are not properly maintaining the voter rolls. The NVRA (also known as Motor Voter) requires state and local election officials to properly maintain voter rolls and ensure that only eligible voters are registered. Holding more registrants than living adults indicates that election officials have failed to properly maintain voter rolls.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation has a distinguished record of bringing litigation against counties and locales with bloated voter rolls—yielding settlements and consent decrees that, if followed properly, will put jurisdictions on a path to more realistic voter registration rates. PILF has been involved in bringing nine separate lawsuits in the last two years to enforce list maintenance provisions of the NVRA, including in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. PILF recently completed the first trial in the history of the NVRA to enforce list maintenance obligations. The case was brought on behalf of the American Civil Rights Union against Broward County, Florida.

States with counties that received a notice letter are (# of counties): Kentucky (41), Michigan (32), Iowa (31), Illinois (22), Mississippi (19), Colorado (17), Texas (12), Alabama (12), South Dakota (12), Nebraska (9), Georgia (6), New York (6), West Virginia (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (5), California (2), Louisiana (2), Montana (2), Virginia (2), Arizona (1), Florida (1), Missouri (1), Oklahoma (1), and Washington State (1).

Kentucky’s surpassing Michigan as the most bloated state is particularly concerning giving the Secretary of State’s belligerent, public refusals to share voter data with the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, despite the State’s offering of the same information here.

“Federal law requires election officials to conduct a reasonable effort to maintain voter registration lists free of dead voters, ineligible voters, and voters who have moved away,” the notice letters state. “Based on our comparison of publicly available information published by the U.S. Census Bureau and the federal Election Assistance Commission, it appears that your jurisdiction is failing to comply with these federal law requirements.”

The notices seek a variety of documents to clearly discern which jurisdictions are failing to perform basic voter list maintenance duties. Some records sought concern: noncitizen voters; numbers of dead, duplicate, relocated, and felon removals; evidence of use for databases which better identify relocated or alien registrants; and third-party communications about voter rolls, among others.

If a local official fails to respond to PILF’s letter or declines to allow inspection of election records, they risk a federal lawsuit.

A listing off all jurisdictions recently given notice under the NVRA can be found, here.

A copy of an example notice letter sent may be reviewed, 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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Report: Noncitizens Discovered in New Jersey Voter Registration System

76 Percent Admitted Alien Status Up Front

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – September 11, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released Garden State Gotcha: How Opponents of Citizenship Verification for Voting Are Putting New Jersey’s Noncitizens at Risk of Deportation.

After a six-month review of New Jersey county voter registration files, the Public Interest Legal Foundation found numerous enforcement flaws for the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter) that unnecessarily expose noncitizens to future naturalization challenges and even deportation without clearly-justified reforms.

“New Jersey offers eye-opening lessons,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “A limited inquiry found that hundreds of noncitizens are documented throughout voter records, typically because a bureaucrat offered them an application. Some were even asked after presenting a Green Card. That broken system is propped up by an honor code proven repeatedly to fail. Many illegally voted. Some claimed they didn’t know they were registered until an immigration agent called. All will likely face an inquiry if they decide to become Americans.” 

“It’s time to have a serious discussion about modernizing our Motor Voter law and determine how we can verify citizenship in the process,” Adams added. “Anyone who disagrees exposes Americans to vote dilution and helps write one-way tickets for deportees.”

In the absence of regular data-sharing arrangements between federal officials and the State, the ability of election officials to identify aliens on the voter rolls in real time is almost nonexistent. Voter registrars are stuck waiting for noncitizens to contact them, usually in a panic, admitting to registering despite their ineligibility. Such reactionary maintenance was typically due to pending naturalization applications.

“New Jersey’s only defense to alien registration is the hope that aliens who get on the voters rolls will self-report,” the new PILF study notes. “Without proactive verification mechanisms built into the voter registration application process, cascading negative consequences are sure to follow for eligible and ineligible voters alike.”

After reviewing thousands of pages of voter records, Motor Voter arises as a contributing factor for why so many alien residents are getting trapped in the voter registration system.

Garden State Gotcha follows PILF’s previous work to quantify the number of voters cancelled for citizenship defects in Virginia. The Public Interest Legal Foundation found more than 5,500 cases.

Both New Jersey and Virginia are slated to perform statewide elections in November 2017.

Access to Garden State Gotcha: How Opponents of Citizenship Verification for Voting Are Putting New Jersey’s Noncitizens at Risk of Deportation has been made available, here.

Access to evidentiary exhibits referenced throughout can be found, 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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Garden State Gotcha: How Opponents of Citizenship Verification for Voting Are Putting New Jersey’s Noncitizens at Risk of Deportation

After a six-month review of New Jersey county voter registration files, the Public Interest Legal Foundation found numerous enforcement flaws for the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter) that unnecessarily expose noncitizens to future naturalization challenges and even deportation without clearly-justified reforms.

The full PDF report is available here.

Summary Findings:

“It’s time to have a serious discussion about modernizing our Motor Voter law and determine how we can verify citizenship in the process,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Anyone who disagrees exposes Americans to vote dilution and helps write one-way tickets for deportees.”

Our press release on the report is here.

Access to evidentiary exhibits referenced throughout can be found, here.

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J. Christian Adams: Why I’m Sticking with Trump’s Election Commission

PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams writes in The Hill today why he’s sticking with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity:

You would think critics of the commission would relish the chance to prove once and for all the concerns about election integrity are overblown and that voter fraud is really a myth, as they assert. After all, if the commission comes up empty, their argument is strengthened, right?

That would be a rational approach.

Read the full article at The Hill.

PILF Statement on Texas Voter ID Ruling

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – August 23, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today responded to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas’ latest ruling on the photo voter identification law.

“The court has yet again proven all too willing to hand down rulings which beg to be overturned on appeal,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Texas’ voter identification law takes squarely into account the safety net system which the Fifth Circuit recommended be installed last year. The Public Interest Legal Foundation will offer amicus support for the law on appeal.”

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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