by WorldTribune Staff, July 23, 2017
Government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a new election integrity lawsuit against the Maryland State Board of Elections and Montgomery County for denying the group access to voter registration files requested under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
Maryland was one of 11 states Judicial Watch sent notice letters to in April explaining how there were more registered voters in some counties than there were citizens over the age of 18.
“Maryland doesn’t want us to expose its voter roll mess, and we hope the courts move quickly so we can begin the process of cleaning up the rolls,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “This is a national problem, and Maryland is the scene of one of many legal battles we must be prepared to fight for clean elections.”
Judicial Watch said Maryland denied it access to the list because state law “supposedly restricts the release of voter registration information only to Maryland registered voters.”
Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) provides that “[e]ach State shall maintain for at least 2 years and shall make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voter.”
Other states that Judicial Watch noted had counties with more registered voters than voting-age citizens were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Based on its review of 2014 Election Assistance Commission (EAC) data, the 2011-2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and November 2014 and 2016 voter registration records, Judicial Watch said the following counties showed there were more total registered voters than the citizen voting age (18) population:
Alabama: Choctaw, Conecuh, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Washington, Wilcox.
Florida: Clay, Flagler, Okaloosa, Osceola, Santa Rosa, St. Johns.
Georgia: Bryan, Columbia, DeKalb, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Lee, Marion, McIntosh, Oconee.
Illinois: Alexander, Bureau, Cass, Clark, Cook, Crawford, DuPage, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Henderson, Jefferson, Jersey, Massac, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Pulaski, Rock Island, Sangamon, Scott, Union, Wabash, Washington, White.
Iowa: Scott, Johnson.
Kentucky: Anderson, Bath, Boone, Breathitt, Caldwell, Carlisle, Cumberland, Fulton, Gallatin, Greenup, Hancock, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Livingston, Magoffin, McCracken, Menifee, Mercer, Monroe, Oldham, Powell, Russell, Scott, Spencer, Trigg, Trimble, Wolfe, Woodford.
New Jersey: Essex, Somerset.
New York: Nassau.
North Carolina: Buncombe, Camden, Chatham, Cherokee, Clay, Dare, Durham, Guilford, Madison, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Orange, Union, Watauga, Yancey.
Failure to maintain accurate, up-to-date voter registration lists “has created the risk that the 2018 federal elections will lack the integrity required by federal law and by expectations” of citizens of these counties “and will therefore undermine public confidence in the electoral process,” Judicial Watch said.