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

Published On: October 02nd, 2018

(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.


Public Interest Legal Foundation