United States District Court denies Alaska’s motion to dismiss election records case.
(Alexandria, VA) – May 18, 2023: The Alaska United States District Court denied Alaska’s motion to dismiss the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) lawsuit to obtain ERIC data reports concerning potentially deceased registrants on the state’s voter rolls.
ERIC is an interstate compact that provides member states with reports showing which registrants are likely deceased. States, like Alaska, rely on those reports to decide who is no longer eligible to vote.
The Foundation’s lawsuit alleges that ERIC reports are “records” subject to the disclosure provision of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires the disclosure of “all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters.” The NVRA disclosure provisions has only two exceptions, documents showing an individual declined to register to vote and the identity of the government office through which any particular registrant was registered.
In the opinion, the Court states that “neither of the NVRA’s two specific exclusions apply to information about a voter’s death, which suggests that Congress intended for this information to be disclosed.”
“This is the first victory to knock down ERIC’s wall of secrecy,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “The organization’s lack of transparency has led to distrust. Elections are best conducted with public scrutiny. This is the first victory to bring about change within ERIC.”
Recently, Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia have left ERIC. Officials in these states have cited concerns of partisanship and refusal by the ERIC board to pass meaningful reforms that would increase transparency.
PILF has three other ongoing lawsuits in Louisiana, Colorado, and the District of Columbia to obtain ERIC reports and to affirm the public’s federal right to inspect information used to decide who is eligible to vote.
Noel Johnson, Kaylan Phillips, and Maureen Riordan serve as the Foundation’s attorneys in this case.
Access case documents for Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Nancy Dahlstrom here.
Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly 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 has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.
For media inquiries, please reach out to Lbowman@publicinterestlegal.org