Five states warned on voter registration irregularities

by WorldTribune Staff, January 10, 2020

Five states have been put on notice that their voter rolls are beset with irregularities. They have been warned not by government, but by a private legal watchdog.

Judicial Watch has warned California, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia that they must clean up their voter rolls or face a federal lawsuit.

The five states called on to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) by sending notice-of-violation letters to counties which Judicial Watch intends to sue unless the jurisdictions take steps to comply with the law and remove ineligible voter registrations within 90 days.

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act requires jurisdictions to take reasonable efforts to remove ineligible registrations from its rolls.

“Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections and Judicial Watch will insist, in court if necessary, that states follow federal law to clean up their voting rolls,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Previous Judicial Watch lawsuits have already led to major cleanups in California, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio – but more needs to be done. It is common sense that voters who die or move away be removed from the voting rolls.”

According to Judicial Watch’s analysis of data released by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), there are 378 counties nationwide that have more voter registrations than citizens living there and old enough to vote.

Although San Diego County removed 500,000 inactive names from voter rolls following Judicial Watch’s settlement with Los Angeles County, San Diego still has a registration rate of 117 percent, one of the highest registration rates in the country.

In the latest round of warning letters, Judicial Watch explains that implausibly high registration rates raise legal concerns:

An unusually high registration rate suggests that a jurisdiction is not removing voters who have died or who have moved elsewhere, as required by [federal law].

Judicial Watch also considers how many registrations were ultimately removed from the voter rolls because a registrant [had moved]. If few or no voters were removed…the jurisdiction is obviously failing to comply . . . States must report the number of such removals to the EAC.

In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld a massive voter roll clean up that resulted from a Judicial Watch settlement of a federal lawsuit with Ohio.

California also settled a similar lawsuit with Judicial Watch that in 2019 began the process of removing up to 1.5 million “inactive” names from Los Angeles County voting rolls. Kentucky also began a cleanup of up to 250,00 names last year after it entered into a consent decree to end another Judicial Watch lawsuit.


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