‘One of the most effective strategies for protecting the integrity of American elections is keeping voter rolls clean…’
(Dan E. Way, Liberty Headlines) Nearly 60 percent of U.S. states have counties with more registered voters than adult residents, and the Public Interest Legal Foundation is going to court to clean up the mess in preparation for the 2020 presidential election.
The foundation said there are 244 counties in 28 states that exceed 100 percent voter registration. Another 279 counties in 31 states have registration rates of 95 to 99 percent, which the foundation said are implausibly high.
The foundation conducted public-records research and voter-roll audits prior to launching litigation activities. Those include sweeping voter-registration records request letters, and comprehensive voter-list audits.
Solutions could include formal consent agreements outlining corrective strategies, or federal litigation under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, commonly known as “Motor Voter.”
Under that law, state and local elections officials must properly maintain voter rolls and ensure that only eligible voters are registered. PILF said voter rolls listing more registrants than adults living in the jurisdiction indicates election officials have failed to properly maintain voter rolls.
“One of the most effective strategies for protecting the integrity of American elections is keeping voter rolls clean,” said PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams.
“Carefully maintained records will better prepare state and local governments to quickly recover from any future cyber-attacks,” Adams said. “In addition to fraud concerns, unkempt rolls can serve as a warning signal to future corruption and failures in local governments.”
States with counties of concern are: Kentucky (58), Michigan (29), South Carolina (25), Mississippi (22), Colorado (19), Alabama (14), Illinois (13), South Dakota (11), Kansas (8), Texas (8), Nebraska (6), Georgia (5), West Virginia (4), Iowa (3), Montana (3), Missouri (2), Washington state (2), Louisiana (2), Florida (1), New Mexico (1), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Indiana (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Virginia (1), and Wyoming (1).
Although they do not have counties, Alaska and Washington, D.C. also join the list.
PILF brought nine separate lawsuits in the last two years in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania to ensure voter-registration lists are properly maintained.
But it is not the only elections watchdog group attempting to root out impossibly bloated voter rolls.
In one of the biggest potential voter fraud situations to date, Judicial Watch entered into a settlement agreement with Los Angeles County, California, in January, ordering it to clean up its voter registration list. It had not been scrubbed in 20 years.
The settlement followed a federal lawsuit in which Judicial Watch cited evidence that at least 1.5 million people listed as inactive voters were never removed from registration lists as required by federal law and a U.S. Supreme Court decision. That is equivalent to more than 20 percent of all county voters.
Critics of outdated voter-registration lists worry they leave the system open to voting mischief. While voter ID opponents claim voter fraud is virtually nonexistent, The Heritage Foundation maintains a national election fraud database whose findings include 1,199 proven instances of voter fraud, 1,037 criminal convictions, 48 civil penalties, 85 diversion program sentences, and 29 judicial and official findings of fraud.
A PILF infographic includes information showing 19 noncitizens were charged for voting in the 2016 election in North Carolina.