Report: At Least 1400 Noncitizens Registered to Vote in Detroit Metro

1500+ Voters Aged 105 or Older

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – October 22, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released Motor Voter Mayhem, a new report detailing how noncitizens were caught within Michigan’s voter registration process—particularly in the Detroit metro area. The study also reveals problems related to voter duplication and implausibly old dates of birth listed on active registration files.

Michigan, like other states and jurisdictions studied before, demonstrates how noncitizens become registered to vote through DMV transactions and others like it required by the National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter). The State does not have a verification system keeping false claims of citizenship (intentionally given or otherwise) from being accepted during voter registration. Immigrants and citizens alike continue to suffer the consequences. Several Michigan jurisdictions also exhibited alarming problems with other voter roll maintenance obligations like duplications and potentially deceased registrants remaining on the rolls for years on end.

Noncitizen Data Findings Summary

Detroit: 822

Sterling Heights: 164

Warren: 85

Dearborn: 84

Westland: 71

Clinton Township: 48

Canton Township: 37

Taylor: 36

Ann Arbor: 31

Livonia: 23

St. Clair Shores: 22

Others: 21

1,444 Disclosed Noncitizen Removals

 

Duplicated Active Registrations

Detroit: 1,748

Flint: 358

Livonia: 57

Grand Rapids: 54

Dearborn: 47

2,264 Total

 

Registrants Aged 105+

Detroit: 1,244 (20 from the 1800s)

Flint: 202 (50 from the 1800s)

Livonia: 35

Dearborn: 31

Grand Rapids: 2

1,514 Total

 

“Motor Voter is failing Motor City,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Like this Foundation has seen in other jurisdictions, Motor Voter is inviting noncitizens onto voter rolls. This report also encourages state and local officials to take a closer look at procedures that are yielding alarming numbers of duplicate and potentially deceased registrants.” 

The Foundation advances solutions necessary to close off the voter registration system from ineligible noncitizens in the latest report:

The PILF is currently engaged in federal litigation to seek the release of similar documents representative of the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Harris County, Texas.

Motor Voter Mayhem follows the Foundation’s previous reports studying noncitizen voter participation in “sanctuary” cities, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Access to Motor Voter Mayhem: Michigan’s Voter Rolls in Disrepair 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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PILF Briefs 6th Circuit in Support of Ohio’s Voter Roll Maintenance Program

(COLUMBUS, OH) – October 22, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) recently briefed the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals as amicus curiae against last-minute requests to provide ballot access to hundreds of thousands of cancelled voter registrants whose “current residencies remain in doubt.”

The plaintiffs are bent on forcing Ohio to import hundreds of thousands of former registrants now apparently living elsewhere into the provisional balloting process this November,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “These demands are ill-timed and would encourage a chaotic 2018 Election for Ohioans actually residing in the state.

Having lost trial court motions for last-minute relief two weeks ago, the plaintiffs are now asking the 6th Circuit to guarantee provisional ballot access to roughly 1 million former Ohio registrants whose residential addresses are held in doubt and may be located outside of the state. 

The Foundation offers three primary arguments for the appellate court to consider.

The trial court found plaintiffs’ actions foreclosed their standing to bring the action

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“NVRA”) requires any private party wishing to bring an action against a jurisdiction for an alleged failure to first provide “mandatory” notice of grievance(s) in order to give election officials an opportunity to cure the violation before facing litigation. The trial court determined that plaintiff Larry Harmon never provided such notice. The organizational plaintiffs provided only “vague” descriptions of Ohio’s alleged violations of the NVRA, which placed undue challenges on state officials to cure any potential shortcoming. The plaintiffs’ failure to provide the required notice means the court does not have jurisdiction to give the plaintiffs the relief they are seeking.

Plaintiffs’ demands are untimely and a threat to the integrity of the 2018 Midterms

On September 14, 2018, the plaintiffs for the first time asked the court to reinstate cancelled registrants previously in receipt of an allegedly “deficient” voter confirmation notice in time for the 2018 General Election. The Foundation argues this 11th-hour request—whether intentionally or negligently timed—is prohibited by legal doctrines which protect states from burdensome judicial intervention(s) against the regular administration of elections. Such a request would alter the administration of elections with early voting already underway.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly shown caution in exercising judicial intervention

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly declined interventions under the Purcell principle for fear of harming the integrity of an “imminent” election to be administered. In Ohio, ballots are already being cast. The Foundation’s brief urges the 6th Circuit to exercise proper restraint and decline to upend the orderly administration of an ongoing election.

The Foundation’s brief was filed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Husted, No. 18-3984. Related filings 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, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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Complaint: TX Democrat Party Sent Altered Voter Registration Forms to Noncitizens

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – October 18, 2018: the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today alerted local, state, and federal law enforcement to campaign mailers directed at noncitizens in south Texas which encouraged voter registration via altered forms indicating they were U.S. citizens.

Texas Democrat Party mailers circulated around the Rio Grande Valley region of south Texas landed in the hands of lawfully present noncitizens in late September and early October. The envelopes contained voter registration applications where the answers to questions “Are you a United States Citizen?” and “Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?” were pre-printed “Yes” for each.

 

“Noncitizens usually register to vote at the prompting of another party—usually a DMV clerk,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Today, we are raising awareness to how the Texas Democrat Party—unintentionally or otherwise—is offering voter registration to noncitizens. Without some form of official intervention, confused noncitizens rather than the Texas Dems will end up paying the consequences of this matter.”

The letters from PILF went to district attorneys in the region, in addition to Texas and federal officers, explains why pre-printing answers about eligibility are problematic:

[W]hen Congress passed the NVRA, it envisioned a registrant making two separate affirmations of citizenship – both the checkbox as well as the signature attestation. This enables prosecutors to easier establish intent and state of mind when noncitizens illegally register to vote.

The Foundation urges the recipients of the referral to “investigate if and how many returned applications arrived in your local county elections office(s) … The Foundation yields to your office in addition to the state and local election officials on how best to protect ineligible registrants from casting ballots during the 2018 Election.”

Attached with the Foundation’s referral is an affidavit from a former employee of the 229th Judicial District Attorney, David. C. Kifuri, Jr., who initially came forward with the documents in question.

Digital versions of the referral letter and Kifuri affidavit are linked 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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PILF: PA Voter Registration System Sets Immigrants, Felons Up to Fail

(HARRISBURG, PA.) – October 15, 2018: Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams testified today before the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee on election integrity reform opportunities benefiting immigrant and felon residents.

In prepared remarks, Adams notes that:

Adams summarizes:

In both matters—noncitizen and felon—Pennsylvania is setting people up to fail. Bad procedures offered voter registration to Asian immigrants in only English or Spanish. Today, bad law is creating a space for felons to mistakenly cast a ballot at the behest of a pushy campaign volunteer just as they try to rejoin civilian life. When officials show lacking care for proper procedure, they in turn neglect the people intentionally or unintentionally accessing the systems they are charged with operating. When these systems fail, the immigrant and the felon will pay the penalty—every single time.

The Foundation previously issued a report, Steeling the Vote, outlining disclosed examples of noncitizen voter participation and the means by which they gained entry and were later removed from the registration system in Allegheny County. The report may be read, here.

The Foundation is currently engaged in federal litigation to gain access to Department of State records detailing all efforts to identify and remove the thousands of noncitizens reportedly registered to vote across the Commonwealth.

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 Praises Eric Dreiband Confirmation

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – October 11, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today praised the Senate confirmation of Eric Dreiband as the next U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

“At long last, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will have a Senate confirmed leader who cares about the rule of law,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “For more than a year, we’ve seen the Division under General Sessions make much needed course corrections on voter ID and registration list maintenance. Under Dreiband, we will hopefully see broad enforcement of the Voting Rights Act and National Voter Registration Act going forward.

“Mr. Dreiband will inherit a Division that has seen multiple federal courts scold lawyers for misconduct or bringing abusive cases in past administrations. The American people expect Justice Department lawyers to tell the truth, follow the law, and protect civil rights rather than infringe them.” 

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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Letter to AG Sessions: Prosecute Foreign Nationals for Voting

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – October 11, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today praised a Congressional letter directed to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, urging that federal prosecutors dedicate resources to investigate and pursue noncitizens casting ballots. The letter was signed by 23 Members of Congress.

The letter, released this week, asks:

[W]e request that you thoroughly investigate all instances of foreign nationals, visa holders, refugees, and other noncitizens that are either included in voter databases or have been found to cast ballots in any election and prosecute those violations fully.

The letter marks particular concern for “sanctuary” cities and counties which “already refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities” and could tolerate “false claims of citizenship being made during voter registration.”

The letter references the Public Interest Legal Foundation’s August 2018 report, Safe Spaces: How Sanctuary Cities are Giving Cover to Noncitizens on the Voter Rolls, which documented over 3,100 instances of noncitizen registration in only 13 jurisdictions. The Foundation previously studied noncitizen voter participation in Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Virginia, and Philadelphia.

The Foundation appreciates Rep. Mo Brooks’ leadership in Congress and his efforts to keep this matter on the minds of DOJ leadership,” PILF Communications and Research Director Logan Churchwell said. “We can’t overstate the deterrent power that prosecution carries here. The Foundation will be providing new investigative leads to U.S. Attorneys in the weeks ahead.

The letter offers praise to Robert J. Higdon, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, for recent indictments against 19 noncitizens on federal voting charges. A foreign national can be charged for false claims of citizenship and alien voting.

Congressional signatories are: Mo Brooks (AL-05), Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Brian Babin (TX-36), Lou Barletta (PA-11), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Dave Brat (VA-07), Paul Cook (CA-08), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Jody Hice (GA-10), Walter Jones (NC-03), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Scott Perry (PA-04), Lamar Smith (TX-21), Daniel Webster (FL-11), and Ted Yoho (FL-03).

[10.9.2018] Letter to AG Se… by on Scribd

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, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Praises New Court Ruling over Ohio Voter Roll Maintenance

(COLUMBUS, OH) – October 10, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today praised a trial court decision which blocked efforts to force six-figure totals of obsolete registrations back on to Ohio’s voter rolls prior to the 2018 elections.

This ruling is measured and respectful to the lawful realities of Ohio’s voter roll maintenance procedures,” PILF Counsel Noel Johnson said. “Jamming hundreds of thousands of outdated voter records back into the registry was certain to create chaos around the 2018 election and simply could not be justified by any means.

The Court declined plaintiffs’ request to reinstate scores of lawfully cancelled registrants, finding only one “minor”—and since corrected—violation of the National Voter Registration Act on the part of Ohio, which was limited to official interactions with those who relocated out of state and were no longer eligible to vote in Ohio:

Plaintiffs have not shown any individuals who received the confirmation notice, were confused by it, and therefore didn’t send it in. All of the relief requested by Plaintiffs pertains to eligible Ohio voters who may have been wrongfully removed from the voter registration lists. However, there is no evidence that any current Ohio residents have been harmed by this minor violation. Only voters who have moved out of the state are subject to this violation and voters who have moved out of the state would not be eligible for reinstatement to Ohio’s voter registration rolls.

The Court orders that Ohio update its website to offer advice on how to register to vote in a citizen’s new home state.

The Foundation was previously granted amicus curiae status in the case and submitted several arguments in support of the State of Ohio. Today’s opinion and order may be read, here.

The Foundation’s briefs were filed before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division in A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Husted, No. 2:16-cv-303. Related filings 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, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Granted Amicus Position Defending Against New Challenges to Ohio Voter Roll Maintenance

(COLUMBUS, OH) – October 2, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) was granted leave to serve as amicus curiae Monday against efforts to partially resurrect a challenge to Ohio’s process for maintaining voter rolls despite a landmark Supreme Court ruling. Plaintiffs sought to add hundreds of thousands of obsolete registrations to the voter rolls before the November election.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to do something preposterous – adding hundreds of thousands of obsolete voter registrations at the last second,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The plaintiffs should not have a second bite at the apple after they lost at the Supreme Court —especially when their wishes would effectively guarantee chaos before, during, and potentially after the 2018 Midterms.

In light of the Supreme Court’s finding that Ohio’s “supplemental” voter roll maintenance process was lawful, plaintiffs are now trying to resurrect their case on the basis that hundreds of thousands of previously cancelled registrants should be hastily re-instated before the 2018 Midterms due to alleged notice mailing practices that ended in 2015.

The brief notes:

Granting the requested relief [would] “contravene repeated Supreme Court admonitions that federal judicial bodies not upend the orderly progression of state electoral processes at the eleventh hour.”

The Foundation offers two primary arguments for the court to consider.

Plaintiff Larry Harmon’s actions are ‘fatal’ to his claim for standing to sue

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 requires any private party wishing to bring an action against a jurisdiction for an alleged failure to first provide “mandatory” notice of grievance(s) so a legally prescribed period of time to cure can elapse before a suit is filed. Harmon never claimed to provide such notice and is simply piggybacking off the efforts of other plaintiff groups, effectively neutralizing his own standing in the case.

Plaintiffs’ demands are untimely and a threat to the integrity of the 2018 Midterms

On September 14, 2018, the plaintiffs for the first time asked the court to reinstate cancelled registrants previously in receipt of an allegedly “deficient” voter confirmation notice in time for the 2018 General Election. The Foundation argues this 11th-hour request—whether intentionally or negligently timed—is prohibited by legal doctrines which protect states from burdensome judicial intervention(s) against the regular administration of elections.

The Foundation’s briefs were filed before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division in A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Husted, No. 2:16-cv-303. Related filings 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, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Seeks Amicus Position Defending Against New Challenges to Ohio Voter Roll Maintenance

(COLUMBUS, OH) – September 28, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today sought to serve as amicus curiae against eleventh-hour efforts to partially resurrect a challenge to Ohio’s process for maintaining voter rolls despite a landmark Supreme Court ruling. Plaintiffs sought to add hundreds of thousands of obsolete registrations to the voter rolls before the November election.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to do something preposterous – adding hundreds of thousands of obsolete voter registrations at the last second,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The plaintiffs should not have a second bite at the apple after they lost at the Supreme Court —especially when their wishes would effectively guarantee chaos before, during, and potentially after the 2018 Midterms.

In light of the Supreme Court’s finding that Ohio’s “supplemental” voter roll maintenance process was lawful, plaintiffs are now trying to resurrect their case on the basis that hundreds of thousands of previously cancelled registrants should be hastily re-instated before the 2018 Midterms due to alleged notice mailing practices that ended in 2015.

The brief notes:

Granting the requested relief [would] “contravene repeated Supreme Court admonitions that federal judicial bodies not upend the orderly progression of state electoral processes at the eleventh hour.”

The Foundation offers two primary arguments for the court to consider, should leave to file as amicus curiae be granted.

Plaintiff Larry Harmon’s actions are ‘fatal’ to his claim for standing to sue

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 requires any private party wishing to bring an action against a jurisdiction for an alleged failure to first provide “mandatory” notice of grievance(s) so a legally prescribed period of time to cure can elapse before a suit is filed. Harmon never claimed to provide such notice and is simply piggybacking off the efforts of other plaintiff groups, effectively neutralizing his own standing in the case.

Plaintiffs’ demands are untimely and a threat to the integrity of the 2018 Midterms

On September 14, 2018, the plaintiffs for the first time asked the court to reinstate cancelled registrants previously in receipt of an allegedly “deficient” voter confirmation notice in time for the 2018 General Election. The Foundation argues this 11th-hour request—whether intentionally or negligently timed—is prohibited by legal doctrines which protect states from burdensome judicial intervention(s) against the regular administration of elections.

The Foundation’s briefs were filed before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division in A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Husted, No. 2:16-cv-303. Related filings 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, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Granted Amicus Position Defending 2020 Census Citizenship Question

(NEW YORK, NY.) – September 25, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) was granted leave by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to file two amicus curiae briefs in defense of the proposed citizenship question for the 2020 Census. The Court will hear oral argument on the Government’s Petitions for Writ of Mandamus today.

The United States is currently defending the reinstatement of a citizenship question on the general 2020 Census Survey against multiple lawsuits brought by the State of New York and others. The Foundation was granted entry to share the value the citizenship data would have in federal voting rights law enforcement after a trial court allowed broad discovery into the rationale for the reinstatement.

The trial court cannot ignore history—the DOJ record of protecting minority voters from redistricting dilution was built thanks to citizenship data on hand,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Cases around the nation hinge on citizenship data access and quality. Minorities living in smaller locales are often completely overlooked. More official and private actions to protect voters can occur if the Trump Administration succeeds with this Census reform effort.”

The brief notes:

Collecting robust citizenship data on the Decennial Census will help enforce the Voting Rights Act. The U.S. Department of Justice determined that gathering citizenship “data is critical to the DOJ’s enforcement of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

The Foundation offers three arguments related to voting rights enforcement, despite the trial court’s finding that “the [DOJ] and civil rights groups have never, in 53 years of enforcing [the Voting Rights Act], suggested that citizenship data … would be helpful let alone necessary to litigating such claims.”

Robust citizenship data is necessary to determine if redistricting maps properly protect minority voters

In the decades-long absence of general citizenship data provided by the Census, the DOJ had to selectively employ citizenship estimates – yet only in jurisdictions where such data were available. Without it, DOJ and others live in a statistical fog to determine whether a minority group is sufficiently large and geographically compact to necessarily yield a single-member district. In one example, DOJ officials had difficulty discerning differences between eligible African-Americans and resident Caribbean noncitizens when assessing the fairness of city council boundaries. The Foundation notes seven additional cases where citizenship data was clearly used to make DOJ redistricting cases since 2001.

Previous Census citizenship data was critical in deciding a voting rights case in 2017

Citizenship data derived from the 1950 Census helped a trial court in Guam determine in the 21st Century that a “Native Inhabitants” standard for voter registration was a race-based discriminatory measure against mainland American citizens. The DOJ currently promotes the use of the 1950 data as Guam appeals the summary judgment finding to the 9th Circuit.

Citizenship data helps facilitate private efforts to enforcing voting laws

Census data are critical to determining which jurisdictions are falling behind federal mandates to maintain voter rolls free from bloat and corrupted entries. Courts have repeatedly relied on the ratio between registered voters and resident citizens in a locale as valuable insights—yet the citizenship data in its current form is not without flaws and can risk skewed interpretations. Improved data quality will also help empower private interests to ensure that federal law is being followed.  

The briefs were filed in support of the Government’s Petitions for Writ of Mandamus presently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in In re: United States Department of Commerce, Nos. 18-2652 and 18-2659. Related filings 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, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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