Maryland Election Board Shares Voter Roll Data to Settle PILF Lawsuit
Posted on September 2nd, 2020
(BALTIMORE, MD.) – September 2, 2020: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) lawsuit against the Maryland State Board of Elections (MSBOE) to gain access to the state’s voter registration roll formally ended in a settlement today (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Linda Lamone).
“Voter registration data is subject to public inspection, no matter where you live,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “We are pleased to receive detailed registrant information due to us under the Motor Voter law. We look forward to sharing future audit findings with proper authorities.”
The settlement agreement outlines, in part (emphasis added):
“Defendants shall process the Application and provide the Voter Lists requested on the Application to Plaintiff in exchange for the reasonable fee of $125 required of all applicants who seek similar data from the State of Maryland, except that the data provided to Plaintiff shall include the voters’ dates of birth and voting history for the 2018 Gubernatorial General Election, 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election, 2016 Presidential General Election, and 2016 Presidential Primary Election.”
The initial complaint filed on December 16, 2019, explained the Foundation requested copies of Maryland’s statewide voter file and select voting histories on November 13, pursuant to the application procedure set forth by the MSBOE. The State notified PILF two days later that its application was denied because neither the organization nor its employees were Maryland registered voters.
The Foundation sought relief under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires officials to make voter list maintenance documents like the voter roll itself available for inspection to the general public. The law also offers a private right to file a lawsuit if denied.
The Foundation recently sued the Michigan Secretary of State for failing to disclose voting records related to the 2018 General Election from the City of Southfield. The Foundation seeks records involving the 193 allegedly altered voter history files from November 2018 that led to six felony charges against Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins.
The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The case number was 1:19-cv-03564. The attorney for the Public Interest Legal Foundation is Noel H. Johnson. Baltimore-based Glenn E. Bushel and Richard L. Costella of Tydings & Rosenberg LLP served as local counsel.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation is leading the nation in enforcing election integrity laws and the National Voter Registration Act, having brought cases in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Maine and filed amicus briefs in litigation across the country.
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.