The Public Interest Legal Foundation Wins Lawsuit against Illinois State Board of Elections

Lawsuit Ends with Victory for Voter List Maintenance and Transparency

(Springfield, IL) – March 9, 2022: The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois ruled that Illinois’ failure to provide the Foundation with the state’s voter roll violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois ruled that under the NVRA, the state is required to make its voter roll available for public inspection and for photocopying at a reasonable cost.

The Court agreed with the Foundation’s argument that voter rolls are within the NVRA’s scope. The public has a right to monitor the condition of voter rolls and hold election officials accountable for their accuracy.

“Election officials must allow citizens to see what they are doing,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “Federal law allows everyone to see what is going on in election offices. PILF has found dead and duplicate registrants and voters registered in multiple states. Voter rolls are public, and the court said so. This is the second ruling this week that the Foundation has won to gain access to voter rolls. Accurate voter rolls are essential to free and fair elections.” 

The Court also ruled that the State Board of Elections is required to pay the Foundation’s attorney’s fees and costs.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed this lawsuit in July 2020 after the State Board of Elections denied the Foundation’s request to inspect Illinois’ statewide voter registration records. The Foundation has brought similar lawsuits against Maryland and Maine. In Maryland, the Foundation won a victory and obtained the rolls. This week, in the Maine case, the Foundation obtained an initial victory against the motion to dismiss. Litigation is still ongoing.

You can read the Court’s full opinion here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation