PILF Client Seeks Intervention Role in NC Election Observer Lawsuit

State Attorneys Ignore Arguments Against At-Large Observer Rights

(RALEIGH, NC.) – March 26, 2020: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a motion to intervene on behalf of client Voter Integrity Project NC to defend North Carolina against attacks to their recent voter integrity law that increased at-large election observer rights and created a voter identification requirement (North Carolina NAACP et. al v. Cooper et. al.).

“North Carolina is leaving observer rights largely undefended against activists opposed to transparent elections,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Using the important Voting Rights Act to attack transparent elections is both wrong and beyond the Constitutional application of that important civil rights law. In a time of great stress and change, our elections must have more citizen observation—not less.”

“Our entire democratic process depends on the confidence both sides hold in the election’s results, and observers play a critical role,” said Jay DeLancy, Director of VIP-NC. “We defend North Carolina’s at-large observer law because it helps rescue us from the Jim-Crow past, when election officials intimidated the voters, abused observers, and rigged outcomes.”   

Intervenor’s Argument Summary

VIP-NC’s has an established record of recruiting and training observers dating back to before the 2012 Election. Trainees are taught to document voter misconduct, election worker errors, and offer on-the-spot correction when warranted.

An order for the plaintiffs would damage a core function of VIP-NC as it is a founding purpose of their citizen initiative.

The State of North Carolina is derelict in defending the current observer system being contested in the case. A core tenet of whether any intervention in any case is warranted is if a party is failing to protect the interests of others impacted. This case marks a clear example of an incomplete defense of law. With a successful intervention, all arguments raised by the plaintiffs will finally be answered before the Court.

The case is currently in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The case number is 1:18-cv-1034. The attorney for the Public Interest Legal Foundation is Kaylan L. Phillips. Raleigh-based Timothy R. Haga 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.

Voter Integrity Project – NC is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization founded in a grassroots effort to promote open and honest election in North Carolina and has pioneered analytic and detection processes that resulted in numerous fraudulent voters being brought to justice.###

Harris County, TX Foreign Voter Record Lawsuit Ends

Preferred Settlement Will Secure Release of All Requested Records

(HOUSTON, TX.) – March 18, 2020: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) reached a settlement with Harris County, Texas to disclose records of foreigners voting in Texas elections. The United States District Court entered a settlement order this week. (PILF v. Harris Bennett).

The federal district court in Houston, Texas, entered the settlement agreement between the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar and the Foundation late Tuesday, March 17.

“Our election systems must be transparent. Foreigners are registering and voting in the United States. Election officials must be transparent and follow federal disclosure laws if we are ever to understand the extent of the problem. This settlement is the best possible outcome for clean elections in Texas,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The Foundation will now be able to catalog and share with key leaders the systemic problems that allow foreigners onto the voter rolls. Research like this bolsters the interests of all coming into contact with the Motor Voter system—no matter where they were born.

Settlement Terms Summary

–County will provide records showing cancellations from voter roll due to later confirmation of ineligibility.

–County will provide records where “notices of examination” were sent to registrants where eligibility was officially questioned.

–County will provide copies of voter registration applications containing blank or negative responses to citizenship eligibility questions.

–County will provide lists of registrants cancelled after disqualification from jury service for noncitizenship.

–County will provide all communication files between registrar’s office and law enforcement entities regarding ineligible registrants.

–All records held between January 1, 2013 to date are subject to the agreement.

The Foundation previously defeated Harris County’s motion to dismiss the case in March 2019.

The Foundation originally selected Harris County for study after local officials described the underlying problems spanning nearly two decades—most often in the context of lobbying for or against election reform bills in Austin or Washington.

The Foundation also defeated a case dismissal effort brought by the Pennsylvania Department of State in December 2019 for similar records.

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 allows individuals to inspect “records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters,” the PILF noted in its original complaint.

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, number 4:18-cv-00981. Judge Andrew S. Hanen presided.

Attorneys for the Public Interest Legal Foundation were J. Christian Adams and Noel H. Johnson. Brenham-based Andy Taylor of Andy Taylor & Associates, P.C. 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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Lawsuit: Allegheny County, PA Isn’t Properly Cleaning Voter Rolls

County Procedures Leave Dead, Duplicate, Corrupted Registrations on Roll

(PITTSBURGH, PA.) – February 26, 2020: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit against Allegheny County, Pennsylvania for failing to reasonably maintain voter registration records under federal and state law (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Allegheny Board of Elections).

“List maintenance in Allegheny County has broken down,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “We found people registered multiple times, registrants who were dead for decades, and problems throughout the rolls. Elections cannot have the same people registered two, three, or even seven times at once. We hope bringing this action will result in a quick solution before elections in November.”

Allegheny County Quick Facts

— # of Registrations flagged for duplicate, 3X, 4X, 7X concerns: 7,493

— # of Dead Registrants: 1,583

— # of Registrants Aged 100+: 1,523 (49 in the 1800s)

— # of Registrations Missing Actual Dates of Birth: 1,178

— # of Registrations Missing Actual Dates of Registration: 193

— # of Registrations with Corrupted or Out-of-State Addresses: 35

–Voter Registration Rate per 2018 Citizen Voting-Age Population: 95%

The initial complaint explains the Foundation studied the County’s voter list maintenance efforts throughout 2019 to date by a variety of means. At several points in the past year, PILF acquired the statewide qualified voter file from the Pennsylvania Secretary of State for the purpose of comparing registration lists against federal death records and other official sources.

The Foundation ultimately sampled all active registrants finding more than 1,580 listed as dead.

The Foundation also studied and catalogued examples of single registrants who managed to become registered to vote two and even up to seven times with matching or substantially similar names and other biographical information within the same addresses. PILF flagged a grand total of 7,493 registration files for duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate, and even septuplicate concerns. Among them, examples of married/maiden name conflicts, simple typographical errors, and conflicting gender designations were trending concerns.

One subject was recorded as registering to vote up to seven times in a single day while out of state.

The Foundation also flagged impossibly old dates of birth held within the voter file. More than 1,520 were flagged age 100 years or older. One registrant is stated as being born in “June 1800,” the same year Thomas Jefferson won eight of Pennsylvania’s 15 Electoral College votes against President John Adams.

The Foundation flagged an emerging trend of dozens of subjects managing to register in Allegheny County despite only providing residential addresses outside of Pennsylvania

The County also relies on placeholder information within registrant files. In nearly 1,200 instances, dates of birth were not captured. In another roughly 200 cases, the County did not know when a registration file was established.

The Foundation seeks relief under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires officials to make “reasonable efforts” to maintain voter lists and offers a private right to file a lawsuit if standards are not met.

In July 2018, PILF published a study regarding foreign nationals’ requests to cancel their Allegheny County voter registration files due to immigration and naturalization concerns.

A similar voter roll list maintenance lawsuit was brought by PILF against the City of Detroit in December 2019. Separate litigation between the Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of State regarding the disclosure of registration cancellation records involving foreign nationals is pending in the Middle District. The Court rejected Pennsylvania’s motion to dismiss the suit in December 2019.

The new case was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The case number is 2:20-cv-00279. The attorney for the Public Interest Legal Foundation is J. Christian Adams. Linda A. Kerns L.L.C. 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. ###

Maine SOS Matt Dunlap Sued for Failing to Disclose Voter Data

(AUGUSTA, ME.) – February 19, 2020: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit today against Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap for failing to disclose voter registration records under federal law (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Matthew Dunlap).

“Secretary Dunlap purports to be a champion of transparency, until it comes to his own office,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Maine law conflicts with federal statute. A person or organization’s lack of partisan interests should not disqualify them from reviewing list maintenance records. Maine’s elections records must be made available to the public.

The complaint filed today, February 19, explains the Foundation initially requested copies of Maine’s statewide voter file and voting histories on October 17, 2019 pursuant to Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Secretary Dunlap’s office notified PILF the same day that the request was denied, given that the Foundation did not intend to leverage the data for electioneering purposes. On October 29, the Foundation provided notice to Secretary Dunlap that litigation would commence after his office did not release the data pursuant to the federal statutes governing the matter.

The Foundation seeks 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.

Other federal courts which have confronted the issue have sided in favor of disclosure of public records.

Maine is now one of the last states to disclose election records in the face of federal inspection rights. Delaware and Massachusetts recently opened access to their respective registration records pursuant to PILF’s federal inspection requests. Litigation is ongoing in Maryland for the same.

Augusta maintains a contradictory record with respect to disclosure laws in recent years.

-Secretary Dunlap notoriously sued the U.S. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (for which he was a commissioner) over claims he was excluded from business communications and was therefore due those records. He later admitted he was “cajole[d]” into standing as a plaintiff for a third-party organization wishing to bring the suit.

-Prior to suing his fellow commissioners, Secretary Dunlap denied the presidential advisory commission’s request for a copy of Maine’s voter registration roll.

-PILF previously represented a nonprofit organization that spent more than five years fighting to protect the names of its private donors from the State of Maine. The foes of PILF’s client complained that PILF’s client violated Maine’s campaign finance laws. Maine decided to investigate the organization, seeking sensitive information including donor identities. There, Maine fought to enforce its disclosure laws over the client’s concerns about donor harassment.

The Foundation sued the City of Detroit for failing to maintain its voter list from dead and duplicate registrants in December 2019. The lawsuit is intended to help ensure the best voter roll data quality ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election.

The new 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. ###

PILF Probes Noncitizen Voting in Illinois

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – January 23, 2020. The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) initiated a private investigative effort into recent official disclosures that Illinois’ automatic voter registration system reportedly invited noncitizen DMV customers onto the voter rolls. More than a dozen are reported to have voted in the 2018 Midterms as a result.

“We’ve warned and proven for years that Motor Voter was pushing noncitizens onto voter rolls,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Then Illinois and other states made it worse by automating the process. The Foundation has sent a demand letter under public inspection rights of the National Voter Registration Act to Illinois for data regarding the alien voting problem they have and impacts on elections there— like a sheriff’s race decided by a single ballot.”

Early local news reports based on statements from the Illinois State Board of Elections indicate that an alleged programming glitch in its new automatic voter registration system for DMV customers placed 574 noncitizens into the statewide registry prior to the 2018 General Election. Of those, at least 19 cast a ballot. The hundreds of noncitizens were reportedly self-identified, meaning more could remain masked as citizens within the voter roll to date.

The Foundation filed a records inspection request with the ISBE to address at least four inquiries:

  • Were all of the self-reported 574 noncitizens actually registered via DMV transactions?
  • Is Illinois undertaking any official efforts to proactively identify remaining registered noncitizens?
  • Were noncitizens self-reporting in Illinois prior to the 574 cases?
  • Did any self-reported noncitizens vote in elections potentially decided by their participation?

The Foundation intends to distribute a catalog of findings to better educate the general public on official election fraud risks ahead of the 2020 Elections.

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) empowers any party to physically inspect local election records related to voter list maintenance efforts.

A copy of the inspection request letter may be accessed, here.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is the nation’s most active public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and ensuring the integrity of American elections—bringing more than a dozen cases to enforce voter list maintenance obligations and inspection rights under federal law in federal courts across the nation in addition to serving as amicus in more than a dozen voting law cases. The Foundation also works with election officials and policymakers to improve the integrity of elections.

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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Lawsuit: Maryland Hides Voter Data amid Cummings Replacement Election

(BALTIMORE, MD.) – December 16, 2019: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit today against the Maryland State Board of Elections (MSBOE) for failing to disclose voter registration records under federal law (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Linda Lamone).

“Maryland is refusing to follow federal election law and is denying access to public election records ahead of the  7th Congressional District Special Election and the 2020 contests,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Maryland should choose transparency over concealing list maintenance records.

The initial complaint filed today, December 16, explains the Foundation initially 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 the organization was not local. This reason was given despite an August 2019 court ruling against the MSBOE, finding that federal inspection rights over such data supersede state rules preventing outside access.

The Foundation seeks 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.

In the interest of a speedy resolution ahead of the CD-7 special contests in Spring 2020, the Foundation is also filing for a motion for summary judgment.

The Foundation recently sued the City of Detroit, Michigan, for failing to maintain its voter list from dead and duplicate registrants on December 10. Both lawsuits are intended to help ensure the best voter roll data quality ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election.

The new case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The case number is 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 serve 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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Federal Court: PILF Effort to See PA Noncitizen Election Records Can Proceed

Court Rejects Limiting Inspection to Dead, Relocated Registrants

(HARRISBURG, PA.) – December 13, 2019: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today hailed a federal court decision regarding its effort to inspect records of noncitizens removed from Pennsylvania’s voter roll (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Pennsylvania).

“We are a major step closer to understanding how badly Pennsylvania bungled voter registration by allowing noncitizens to register to vote.,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Election officials should be transparent if they want Pennsylvanians to have confidence in elections. Hiding documents about alien registration is bad policy and must end.”

“Pennsylvania wanted our lawsuit to go away so they could keep records concealed. It isn’t going away, and the records should be disclosed to the public about how badly government officials screwed up our election system.”

This litigation commenced in February 2018. Prior case filings can be found here. A copy of today’s memorandum is available 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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Lawsuit: Detroit Isn’t Properly Cleaning Voter Rolls

City Won’t Clean Dead, Duplicate Registrations from Roll

(DETROIT, MI.) – December 11, 2019: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit today against the City of Detroit for failing to reasonably maintain voter registration records under federal and Michigan law (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Detroit).

“The City of Detroit is failing to perform some of the most basic functions owed to its citizenry,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The city government’s nonchalant attitude toward addressing evidence of dead and duplicate registrations exposes yet another vulnerability in our voting systems as our nation works to improve election security before November 2020. Making a federal case out of this was necessary, and I hope we can achieve a resolution before the polls open.

Detroit Quick Facts

–Voter Registration Rate per 2016 Citizen Voting-Age Population: 106%

— # of Dead Registrants Aged 85+: 2,503

— # of Registrations flagged for duplicate, triplicate concerns: 4,788

— # of Registrations Missing Actual Dates of Registration: 16,465

The initial complaint filed on December 10 explains the Foundation has studied the City’s voter list maintenance efforts since 2017 by a variety of means. Earlier this year, PILF acquired the statewide qualified voter file from the Michigan Secretary of State for the purpose of comparing registration lists against federal death records. The Foundation ultimately sampled all active registrants whose respective ages were 85 years or older, finding more than 2,500 within the age range who were listed in the Social Security Death Index with corresponding death records and/or obituaries.

The Foundation also studied and catalogued examples of single registrants who managed to become registered to vote two and even three times with matching or substantially similar names and other biographical information within the same addresses. PILF flagged a grand total of 4,788 registration files for duplicate and triplicate concerns. Among them, examples of married/maiden name conflicts, simple typographical errors, and conflicting gender designations were trending concerns.

The Foundation also flagged impossibly old and disqualifying young date of birth information held within the voter file. One registrant is stated as being born in “1823,” well before Michigan was annexed into the Union. Another 16,400 registrants were flagged due to the fact that officials did not demonstrate when they actually became registered to vote.

The Foundation seeks relief under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires officials to make “reasonable efforts” to maintain voter lists and offers a private right to file a lawsuit if standards are not met.

The new case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The case number is 2:19-cv-13638. The attorney for the Public Interest Legal Foundation is Kaylan L. Phillips. Robert L. Avers of DickinsonWright PLLC 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. ###

REPORT: Snowbirds from 14 States Voted in Palm Beach County Elections in 2018, 2016

Year-Out Review Finds Vulnerabilities in Election Systems

(WEST PALM BEACH, FL.) – November 4, 2019: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released Calm Before the Storm: Are Palm Beach County’s Elections Protected Against Emerging Threats?, a new report detailing a variety of vulnerabilities and data findings within the overall Palm Beach County voter registration system.

Prior to the public release of its latest report, PILF shared its detailed findings with current Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy S. Link (PBSOE). Supervisor Link’s office committed to reviewing findings and taking necessary corrective actions going forward, while also sharing other matters beyond her immediate control with the Florida Secretary of State. Essentially all findings worthy of official action were created during now-removed Supervisor Susan Bucher’s term of office, or a predecessor.

“We are one year out from the 2020 General and this report is a stark reminder that you can’t have election ‘security’ without integrity first,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said.“Palm Beach County serves as an example of the types of vulnerabilities found within Florida’s voting system that could be leveraged by an outside saboteur. Our research suggests these problems are fixable well before the presidential election.

I want to particularly commend Supervisor Link’s office for not only providing necessary data during our research, but also keeping an open door and accepting our findings,” Adams added.

PILF discovered a variety of apparent flaws and procedural errors ranging from snowbird double voting, duplicate voter registration, non-citizen voter participation, illegal addresses, and even deceased voting.

Summary of Findings

Interstate Duplicate Registrations (NY, PA, RI) – 20,479

Interstate Double Voting in 2016 and/or 2018 – 225

Deceased Registrants – 2,203

Dead Voters – 139

Individuals Registered Twice in Palm Beach County – 413

Admitted Noncitizens Previously Registered – 68

Improper Uses of Non-Residential Addresses — 68

Calm Before the Storm follows reports specifically focused on apparent noncitizen voter participation in Michigan, “sanctuary” cities, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Access to Calm Before the Storm: Are Palm Beach County’s Elections Protected Against Emerging Threats? is available, 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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J. Christian Adams: ‘Something Fishy’ Happened in Southfield Clerk’s Office

J. Christian Adams joined the Frank Beckmann Show on WJR Detroit today to discuss the Southfield Clerk’s alleged attempts to invalidate 193 absentee votes in the 2018 midterm election.

https://publicinterestlegal.org/files/audio_00037819_20191001.mp3

“Why 193? Every vote counts.” Adams recalled the 537 vote win for Bush in Florida 2000.

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