Skip to content

Judicial Watch • Complaint Ohio NVRA

Complaint Ohio NVRA

Complaint Ohio NVRA

Page 1: Complaint Ohio NVRA

Category:General

Number of Pages:13

Date Created:August 30, 2012

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014

Tags:Census, obligations, maintenance, voter, Members, Plaintiffs, Attorney, Secretary, defendant, section, plaintiff, watch, State, judicial, states, united, EPA, ICE, CIA


File Scanned for Malware

Donate now to keep these documents public!

  • demand_answers

See Generated Text   ˅

Autogenerated text from PDF

THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OHIO 
EASTERN DIVISION 

JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., behalf certain its members; and  Case No.: 2:12-cv-792  
TRUE THE VOTE, its corporate  
capacity,  
Plaintiffs,  
vs.  
OHIO SECRETARY STATE  
JON HUSTED, his official capacity,  
Defendant.  

COMPLAINT 

Plaintiffs Judicial Watch, Inc. and True the Vote, their attorneys, bring this action for declaratory and injunctive relief and allege follows:     

INTRODUCTION Plaintiffs Judicial Watch, Inc. and True the Vote seek declaratory and injunctive relief compel the State Ohio comply with its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the National Voter Registration Act 1993 (NVRA), U.S.C.  1973gg-6.   

JURISDICTION AND VENUE 
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant U.S.C.  1331, the action arises under the laws the United States, and under U.S.C.  1973gg-9(b)(2), the action seeks injunctive and declaratory relief under the NVRA. 
Venue this Court proper under U.S.C.  1391(b), because substantial part the events omissions giving rise the claim occurred this district.   

PARTIES 
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. (Judicial Watch) non-profit organization that seeks promote integrity, transparency, and accountability government and fidelity the rule law. Judicial Watch brings this action behalf its members who are registered vote the State Ohio. 
Plaintiff True the Vote (True the Vote) non-profit organization that seeks restore truth, faith, and integrity local, state, and federal elections.  True the Vote brings this action its corporate capacity. 
Defendant Jon Husted the Secretary State the State Ohio (the Secretary) and has served this capacity since January 2011. Because the State Ohio has designated the Secretary the chief State election official responsible for coordination its responsibilities under the NVRA (see U.S.C.  1973gg-8, Plaintiffs Judicial Watch, Inc. and True the Vote bring this action against the Secretary his official capacity.   

FACTUAL BACKGROUND 
Section the NVRA requires that [i]n the administration voter registration for elections for Federal office, each State shall  conduct general program that makes reasonable effort remove the names ineligible voters from the official lists eligible voters reason  (A) the death the registrant; (B) change the residence the registrant   U.S.C.  1973gg-6(a)(4). Section the NVRA also mandates that any such voter list maintenance programs activities shall uniform, nondiscriminatory, and compliance with 

the Voting Rights Act 1965 (42 U.S.C.  1973 seq.), among other important protections. U.S.C.  1973gg-6(b)(1). 
Section the NVRA also requires that [e]ach State shall maintain for least years and shall make available for public inspection  all records concerning the implementation programs and activities conducted for the purpose ensuring the accuracy and currency official lists eligible voters.  U.S.C.  1973gg-6(i). 
The most recent and reliable, publicly-available data regarding voting age population and voting registration, county, for the State Ohio the 2010 Decennial U.S. Census (2010 U.S. Census), released the U.S. Government beginning February 2011, and the voter registration data provided the State Ohio the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC Report) for the general election held November 2010, published June 30, 2011. The 2010 U.S. Census contains data voting age population 2010, county, for the State Ohio. The EAC report contains data the number persons the voter registration rolls 2010, county, the State Ohio.  

10. 
Based examination the data the 2010 U.S. Census and the EAC Report, the number individuals listed voter registration rolls the following three counties the State Ohio exceeds 100% the total voting age population these counties:  Auglaize, Wood, and Morrow. (And both Auglaize and Wood, the voter registration rolls exceed 105% total voting age population.) This data demonstrating the discrepancy voter registration rolls total voting age population each these counties constitutes prima facie evidence that the State Ohio has failed comply with its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA. 

11. 
The data the 2010 U.S. Census and the EAC Report also shows that the following thirty-one counties the State Ohio (in order highest lowest percentage) have voter registration rolls that contain between 90% and 100% total voting age population:  Lawrence, Cuyahoga, Henry, Medina, Mahoning, Delaware, Putnam, Hancock, Fairfield, Geauga, Van Wert, Lucas, Montgomery, Jackson, Ottawa, Stark, Hamilton, Miami, Franklin, Gallia, Greene, Jefferson, Trumbull, Lorain, Wyandot, Athens, Harrison, Clermont, Licking, Logan, and Erie Counties. This data further demonstrates that the State Ohio has failed satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA.  

12. 
According the U.S. Census Bureau, the average rate voter registration total voting age population during the presidential election year 2008 was 71%, yet Ohio, its counties have rate that exceeds 90%.    

13. 
The failure the State Ohio satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations contributing larger, nationwide problem.  According February 2012 study published the non-partisan Pew Center for the States entitled Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient, inaccurate voter registration lists are rampant across the United States.  The Pew study found that approximately million active voter registrations throughout the United Statesor one out every eight registrationsare either longer valid are significantly inaccurate.  The Pew study also found that more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed active voters nationwide, and that approximately 2.75 million people have active registrations more than one state. 

14. February 2012, Judicial Watch sent letter the Secretary notifying him that the State Ohio was violation Section the NVRA and that, the chief State election official the State Ohio, responsible for compliance with Section the 

NVRA. The letter explained that, according 2010 U.S. Census data and publicly available voter registration data, the number individuals registered vote three counties the State Ohio exceeds those counties total voting age population.  The letter identified each the three counties name and informed the Secretary that lawsuit may brought against him the State Ohio did not comply with its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA. 

15. 
The letter also requested that the Secretary make available for public inspection all records concerning the implementation programs and activities conducted for the purpose ensuring the accuracy and currency official lists eligible voters the State Ohio during the past two years, explaining that Section the NVRA required such records made available.   

16. 
The Secretary, through his Chief Legal Counsel, responded writing Judicial Watchs letter March 2012, stating We share your concerns about the accuracy our voting lists and identifying Directive, issued April 18, 2011, instructing the county boards elections procedures for conducting programs remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls due changes registrants residence.  The Secretarys letter did not identify any efforts the State Ohio ensure that the county boards election were following the procedures described the nearly one-year old directive.  Nor did identify any other programs activities undertaken the State Ohio remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls due changes registrants residence. copy the Directive was included with the letter. 

17. 
The Secretarys letter also did not identify any programs and activities undertaken the State Ohio remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls due the death the registrant, any efforts instruct county boards election procedures for removing 

deceased registrants from the voter rolls.  Nor did identify any other voter list maintenance programs activities undertaken the State Ohio.  

18. the letter, the Secretary asserted that the State Ohios efforts maintain accurate voter rolls have been hampered  the restrictions and seemingly inconsistent provisions the NVRA and noted that had written letter U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss possible solutions, but had not received response.    

19. 
The only other document produced the Secretary with his letter was copy the letter had sent Attorney General Holder, dated February 10, 2012. this letter Attorney General Holder, the Secretary admitted that the State Ohio has not fulfilled its duty under Section the NVRA make reasonable effort remove ineligible voters from its voter rolls. The letter from the Secretary also acknowledged that the voter rolls for two counties the State Ohio contained more registered voters than the total voting age population those counties. 

20. the date this Complaint, further response from the Secretary his office has been received the Plaintiffs. Nor has the Secretary produced any additional documents regarding any other voter list maintenance programs activities undertaken the State Ohio. 

21. light the Secretarys letter and the lack any further response from the Secretary, any further efforts secure compliance with Section the NVRA would futile.   

PLAINTIFF JUDICIAL WATCH 
22. 
Judicial Watch has approximately 9,480 members the State Ohio. membership organization, Judicial Watch represents the interests these members, least some whom are lawfully registered vote and have the right vote the State Ohio, including the right vote elections for federal office. 

23. person becomes member Judicial Watch making financial contribution, any amount, the organization.  The financial contributions members are far the single most important source income Judicial Watch and provide the means which the organization finances its activities support its mission.  Each Judicial Watchs 9,480 members the State Ohio has made least one financial contribution Judicial Watch over the past two years and thus helped finance the activities the organization during this time period.    

24. 
Judicial Watch also solicits the views its members carrying out its activities support its mission, including the views its members the State Ohio.  The views Judicial Watchs members exert significant influence over how Judicial Watch chooses the activities which engages support its mission.   

25. 
Over 100 members Judicial Watch who are lawfully registered vote the State Ohio have informed Judicial Watch that they are concerned about the State Ohios failure satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA and wish Judicial Watch take action their behalf protect their right vote.  The views these members were substantial factor weighing favor the initiation this lawsuit.      

26. 
Protecting the rights members Judicial Watch who are lawfully registered vote the State Ohio directly germane Judicial Watchs mission promoting integrity, transparency, and accountability government and fidelity the rule law, ensuring compliance with the voter list maintenance obligations Section the NVRA and protecting 

the integrity the election process general. also well within the scope the reasons why members Judicial Watch join the organization and continue support its mission.   

27. 
Members Judicial Watch who are lawfully registered vote the State Ohio not only have the constitutional right vote elections held the State Ohio, including elections for federal office, but they also have statutory right the safeguards and protections set forth the NVRA, including the voter list maintenance obligations Section the NVRA. 

28. 
The failure the State Ohio satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA injuring the right vote members Judicial Watch who are lawfully registered vote the State Ohio.  More specifically, burdening members  constitutional right vote undermining their confidence the integrity the electoral process and discouraging them from voting.  Because the State Ohio has failed and failing satisfy its list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA, lawfully registered voters, including members Judicial Watch, are being deprived any certainty that their votes will given due weight and will not cancelled out the votes persons who are not entitled vote and therefore are being injured. 

29. 
The failure the State Ohio satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA also harming the statutory rights members Judicial Watch who are lawfully registered vote the State Ohio.  Specifically, because these members have registered vote the State Ohio, they have statutory right vote elections for federal office that comply with the procedures and protections required the NVRA, including the voter list maintenance obligations set forth Section the NVRA.  The State Ohios failure satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA therefore 

injuring the statutory rights members Judicial Watch who are lawfully registered vote the State Ohio. 

30. 
Absent action Judicial Watch, unlikely that any individual member Judicial Watch who lawfully registered vote the State Ohio would have the ability the resources take action protect his her rights redress his her injuries with respect the State Ohios failure satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA. 

PLAINTIFF TRUE THE VOTE 
31. 
True the Vote regularly obtains official lists registered voters from States across the nation, including the State Ohio, and uses these lists conduct programs furtherance True the Votes mission restoring truth, faith, and integrity local, state, and federal elections. Because True the Vote makes use these lists conducting its various programs, relies States, including the State Ohio, provide lists that are reasonably accurate and current and reasonably maintained.  

32. 
One such program True the Vote seeks analyze and verify official lists registered voters and detect errors those lists.  More specifically, True the Vote trains volunteers review voter lists and compare those lists other publically available data.  When volunteer identifies registrations that appear duplicates registrations persons who are deceased, have relocated, otherwise are ineligible vote particular jurisdiction, those registrations are flagged and complaints are filed with appropriate elections officials.  The goal this particular program improve the accuracy and currency voter lists above and beyond the minimum requirements the law.  This program among the largest, not the 

largest, all True the Votes various programs and essential, integral part True the Votes mission.   

33. part its voter list verification program, True the Vote obtained voter lists from the State Ohio, recruited and trained volunteers analyze and verify these lists, and began the process analyzing and verifying them.   

34. 
The failure the State Ohio satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA has injured and injuring True the Vote.  Because the State Ohio has failed satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations, the voter lists that True the Vote obtained from the State Ohio are inaccurate and out date, making more difficult for True the Vote use these lists furtherance its mission than would have been the State Ohio had satisfied its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA.  True the Vote has suffered injury result. 

35. addition, the failure the State Ohio satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA has injured and injuring True the Vote impairing True the Votes ability achieve essential, integral part its mission, namely, its voter list verification program.  True the Votes voter list verification program relies the States conduct the reasonable voter list maintenance programs and activities required Section the NVRA. The goal True the Votes voter list verification program improve the accuracy and currency voter lists above and beyond the minimum requirements the law.  True the Votes non-for-profit, volunteer efforts supplement the voter list maintenance programs and activities required the States under Section the NVRA, but cannot duplicate replace the States taxpayer-funded voter list maintenance programs and activities.  Because the State Ohio has failed satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the 

NVRA, True the Vote impaired its ability carry out its voter list verification program successfully the State Ohio and injured result.      

36. 
Moreover, the State Ohios failure satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA also has injured and injuring True the Vote causing divert resources away from other programs order devote those same resources its voter list verification program.  For example, among its various programs restore election integrity, True the Vote trains and mobilizes volunteers work election monitors. part this program, True the Vote creates instructional videos recruit election monitors, holds training sessions and produces reference guides educate election monitors, and directs volunteers who wish serve election monitors appropriate channels.  Because the State Ohio failed satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA, True the Vote has had expend less its scarce resources programs such its election monitoring program order expend more resources its voter list verification program.   

37. August 10, 2012, True the Vote has expended over 150 hours organizational time training volunteers analyze and verify the voter lists that True the Vote obtained from the State Ohio for True the Votes voter list verification program. this same date, True the Vote has only expended approximately hours support its election monitoring program the State Ohio.  True the Vote estimates that, due the failure the State Ohio satisfy its voter list maintenance obligations under Section the NVRA, has diverted approximately 100 hours organizational time away from its election monitoring program order devote those same scarce resources its voter list verification program, causing injury True the Vote result.   

CLAIM FOR RELIEF 
(Violation the NVRA: Failure Conduct List Maintenance) 

38. Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs through fully stated herein.   
39. 
Defendant has failed fulfill the States obligation make reasonable efforts remove the names ineligible voters from Ohios voter registration rolls, violation Section NVRA (42 U.S.C.  1973gg-6). 

40. 
Plaintiff True the Vote and members Plaintiff Judicial Watch have suffered irreparable injury direct result Defendants failure fulfill the State Ohios obligation make reasonable efforts remove the names ineligible voters from Ohios voter registration rolls violation Section the NVRA. 

41. 
Plaintiff True the Vote and members Plaintiff Judicial Watch will continue suffer irreparable injury Defendants failure fulfill the State Ohios obligation make reasonable efforts remove the names ineligible voters from Ohios voter registration rolls violation Section the NVRA unless and until Defendant enjoined from continuing violate the law. 

42. 
Plaintiff True the Vote and members Plaintiff Judicial Watch have adequate remedy law. 

PRAYER FOR RELIEF 
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for entry judgment: Declaring Defendant violation Section the NVRA; 
Enjoining Defendant from failing refusing comply with the voter list maintenance obligations Section the NVRA the future; 
Ordering Defendant pay Plaintiffs reasonable attorneys fees, including litigation expenses and costs, pursuant U.S.C.  1973gg-9(c); and Granting Plaintiffs any and all further relief that this Court deems just and proper.    
Dated: August 30, 2012 Counsel: Christian Adams ELECTION LAW CENTER, PLLC 300 Washington Street, Ste. 405 Alexandria, 22314 Respectfully submitted, 
Paul Orfanedes* 
Chris Fedeli* 
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. 
425 Third Street S.W., Ste. 800 
Washington, 20024 
Tel: (202) 646-5172 
Fax: (202) 646-5199 
Email: porfanedes@judicialwatch.org  cfedeli@judicialwatch.org 
/s/ David Langdon 

David Langdon (OH Bar No. 0067046) 
Trial Attorney 

Joshua Bolinger (OH Bar No. 0079594) 
LANGDON LAW LLC 
8913 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd. 
West Chester, Ohio 45069 
Tel: (513) 577-7380 
Fax: (513) 577-7383 
Email: dlangdon@langdonlaw.com jbolinger@langdonlaw.com 
Attorneys for Plaintiffs 
*pending admission pro vac vice



Sign Up for Updates!