H.R. 1 (2021) Policy Breakdown

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PILF Moves for Summary Judgment Against Maine SOS

(Augusta, ME) – March 24, 2021: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a motion for summary judgment in its case against Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows for failing to disclose voter registration records under federal law. The motion asks the court to rule in its favor without holding a trial.

“Secretary Bellows and her office are concealing voter list maintenance records, violating federal law,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The NVRA requires these records be available to the public for transparency in elections. Maine must follow federal law and disclose these records to the public for faith and trust in our elections.”  

Congress made all voter list maintenance records subject to public inspection so that election administration is transparent. That cannot happen in Maine because the Secretary is concealing her voter roll and maintenance from public inspection.

PILF initially requested copies of Maine’s statewide voter file and voting histories on October 17, 2019. The Secretary of State’s office notified PILF the same day that the request was denied, because the Foundation did not intend to leverage the data for electioneering purposes. The suit was eventually filed on February 19, 2020.

The Foundation seeks relief under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires officials to make voter list maintenance documents, including the voter roll itself, available for public inspection.

Other federal courts which have confronted the issue have sided in favor of disclosure of similar voter registration records.

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. The case number is 1:20-cv-00061. The attorneys for the Public Interest Legal Foundation are Noel H. Johnson and Kaylan L. Phillips. Portland-based Stephen C. Whiting 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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