29 States and D.C. Show Bloated Voter Rolls
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – August 19, 2019: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is spotlighting jurisdictions across 29 states for in-depth inspections of voter registration records and local list maintenance practices in preparation for the 2020 presidential election. At least 244 counties across 28 states plus Alaska and D.C. report bloated voter rolls to federal officials. In response, public records research, voter roll audits, and various litigation activities are now underway.
“One of the most effective strategies for protecting the integrity of American elections is keeping voter rolls clean,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Carefully maintained records will better prepare state and local governments to quickly recover from any future cyber-attacks. In addition to fraud concerns, unkempt rolls can serve as a warning signal to future corruption and failures in local governments.”
The Foundation created an infographic to depict where the hotspots for potential voter list maintenance failures currently stand. In addition to the 244 counties exceeding 100% voter registration, another 279 counties across 31 states exhibit implausibly high registration rates of 95 to 99 percent.
Registrants in highlighted jurisdictions can expect a variety of research techniques and legal actions from the Foundation in preparation for the 2020 Election, such as full battery voter registration records request letters and comprehensive voter list audits. Based on these efforts, the Foundation will opt for formal agreements addressing corrective strategies where possible or, federal litigation under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993.
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.
States with counties of concern are (# of counties): Kentucky (58), Michigan (29), South Carolina (25), Mississippi (22), Colorado (19), Alabama (14), Illinois (13), South Dakota (11), Kansas (8), Texas (8), Nebraska (6), Georgia (5), West Virginia (4), Iowa (3), Montana (3), Missouri (2), Washington state (2), Louisiana (2), Florida (1), New Mexico (1), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Indiana (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Virginia (1), and Wyoming (1). Alaska and Washington, D.C. also join the list.
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. The Foundation works to ensure that voting records meant to be publicly available are disclosed according to federal law. In the past two years, PILF sued jurisdictions in Texas, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina to enforce public inspection rights.
If a state or local official fails to respond to PILF’s correspondence or corrective findings, they risk a federal lawsuit.
A listing of all jurisdictions flagged for registration rates exceeding 100% can be found, 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. ###