This week, we celebrated National Voter Registration Day, an opportunity to not only encourage all eligible adults to register to vote but also to advocate for transparency and accurate voter rolls.
(Alexandria, VA) – September 22, 2023: The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against Hawaii’s Chief Election Officer, Scott Nago for violating Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).
The Foundation requested a copy of the statewide voter roll in April of 2023. The state of Hawaii told the Foundation to contact the Hawaii counties to receive a list of registered voters. Access was further denied because of a Hawaii law that does not allow access to the voter roll unless it is for an election or government purpose.
Hawaii is in violation of the NVRA’s requirements to maintain and provide a statewide voter roll for public inspection. Further, Hawaii law that restricts who can access the voter roll violates the NVRA’s public disclosure provision.
“Unfortunately, some states like Hawaii conduct their elections in the shadows,” said PILF President, J. Christian Adams. “Federal law requires transparency, and voter rolls are an important list maintenance document the public can inspect. We have fought this fight and won it in court in three other states. We are confident that this lawsuit will bring transparency to Hawaii’s elections.”
Previously, the Foundation has fought and won access to the voter roll in Maryland and Illinois. The Foundation obtained an initial victory in Maine to receive a copy of the state’s voter roll without use restrictions from the U.S. District Court. The Maine Secretary of State has appealed this ruling to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
Joe Nixon, Maureen Riordan, and Noel Johnson are the Foundation’s attorneys in this case.
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