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Judicial Watch • Indiana NVRA Lawsuit (JW v. King et. al 12-cv-00800)

Indiana NVRA Lawsuit (JW v. King et. al 12-cv-00800)

Indiana NVRA Lawsuit (JW v. King et. al 12-cv-00800)

Page 1: Indiana NVRA Lawsuit (JW v. King et. al 12-cv-00800)

Category:Lawsuit

Number of Pages:14

Date Created:June 11, 2012

Date Uploaded to the Library:December 03, 2013

Tags:Indiana NVRA, True the Vote, JW and True the Vote v. King et. al, election integrity project


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Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT INDIANA
INDIANAPOLIS DIVISION
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., its
individual, corporate capacity and behalf certain its members;
and TRUE THE VOTE, its
individual, corporate capacity,
Plaintiffs, BRADLEY KING and TRENT
DECKARD, Co-Directors the
Indiana Election Division, their
official capacities; and CONNIE
LAWSON, Indiana Secretary
State, her official capacity,
Defendants.
___________________________________
Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-800
COMPLAINT
Plaintiffs, their attorneys, bring this action for violations Section the National
Voter Registration Act 1993 NVRA U.S.C. 1973gg-6.
Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief compel Defendants compliance
with Section the NVRA. Specifically, Defendants have violated Section failing
make reasonable effort conduct voter list maintenance programs elections for Federal
office and failing produce records related those efforts, required Section
Plaintiffs thus seek declaration and injunction requiring Defendants conduct and execute
voter list maintenance programs manner that consistent with federal law and further
requiring Defendants produce records about its list maintenance efforts.
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
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. Plaintiff Judicial Watch brings this action its individual, corporate capacity and behalf its members who are registered vote the State Indiana.
Plaintiff True the Vote non-profit organization that seeks restore truth,
faith, and integrity local, state, and federal elections. Plaintiff True the Vote brings this action its individual, corporate capacity only.
Defendants Bradley King and Trent Deckard are the Co-Directors the
Indiana Election Division. Pursuant Ind. Code 3-7-11-1, the Co-Directors the Indiana
Election Division are the State officials responsible for the coordination state responsibilities
under NVRA. Pursuant Ind. Code 3-7-11-2, the Co-Directors must oversee the
implementation and administration NVRA state, county, and local officials, and must
directly execute statewide NVRA Section obligations. Defendants King and Deckard are being
sued their official capacities.
Defendant Connie Lawson the Secretary State the State Indiana.
Secretary State, Defendant Lawson responsible for overseeing elections through the Indiana
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
Election Division, which one the four main divisions the office the Secretary State.
Defendant Lawson being sued her 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 requires that [a] State shall
complete, not later than days prior the date primary general election for Federal
office, any program the purpose which systematically remove the names ineligible
voters. U.S.C. 1973gg-6(c)(2)(A). Section the NVRA mandates that any such list
maintenance programs activities shall uniform, nondiscriminatory, and compliance with
the Voting Rights Act 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 seq.). U.S.C. 1973gg-6(b)(1).
States obligations under Section the NVRA are augmented the Help
America Vote Act HAVA which requires each State create single, uniform, official,
centralized, interactive, computerized statewide voter registration list defined, maintained, and
administered the State level. See U.S.C. 15483(a)(1)(A). HAVA also requires that
States computerized lists maintained regular basis, specifies how the maintenance shall performed, and mandates that the States election systems shall include provisions ensure
that voter registration records the State are accurate and updated regularly, including [a]
system file maintenance that makes reasonable effort remove registrants who are
ineligible vote from the official list eligible voters. U.S.C. 15483(a)(2) and (a)(4).
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
10.
Also under Section the NVRA, 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).
11.
The State Indiana has history failing comply with its obligations under
federal voter registration laws. 2006, the United States brought suit against the State
Indiana and the Co-Directors the Indiana Election Division regarding the State failure
comply with its Section obligations.
12.
The 2006 lawsuit, captioned U.S. State Indiana, al., Case No. 1:06-cv-
01000-RLY-TAB (S. Ind.), resulted Consent Decree and Order, entered about July 2006, requiring the State Indiana take specific actions remedy its failure comply
with Section the NVRA. Specifically, the Consent Decree and Order required the State
Indiana conduct all voter list maintenance activities required the NVRA, well the
Help America Vote Act, and make sure all counties the State Indiana implemented the
results these voter list maintenance activities removing verified ineligible
registrations. The Consent Decree and Order specifically required the State Indiana send
statewide mailings identify all apparently dead, duplicate, relocated individuals the voter
rolls, and ensure the removal update the registration list entries based responses
those mailings. The Consent Decree and Order also required the State Indiana develop
written Compliance Plan for voter list maintenance activities. Under the Consent Decree and
Order, the State Indiana was required create procedures the Compliance Plan for
removing ineligible voters from its statewide computerized database registered voters and
track whether counties were complying with Section the NVRA across nine (9) categories
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
list maintenance activity. Finally, the Consent Decree and Order also required the State
Indiana initiate litigation against county the Compliance Plan tracking data revealed the
county was failing conduct list maintenance activities required the NVRA.
13. result, Indiana made substantial efforts clean its voter rolls 2006
compliance with Section the NVRA. Specifically, approximately two months after signing
the Consent Decree and Order, September 11, 2006 the State Indiana advised the court
filing that had taken substantial steps towards full compliance with the July 2006 Consent
Decree and Order. Specifically, the State Indiana informed the court that had mailed over
200,000 notices based registration entries that appeared either duplicates deceased
persons, had removed over 120,000 entries from its voter rolls, and had inactivated over 300,000
registrations statewide.
14.
However, those compliance efforts did not continue through the present. Despite
these efforts comply with the 2006 Consent Decree and Order, the State Indiana has since
failed continue comply with its obligations under the NVRA. Based comparison
2010 Census data and voter registration data provided the State Indiana the U.S. Election
Assistance Commission EAC for the November 2010 general election, the number
persons listed voter registration rolls counties the State Indiana exceeds 100%
the Total Voting Age Population TVAP those counties. The counties with voter
registration rolls that exceed 100% TVAP are: Scott, Spencer, Crawford, Warrick, Tipton,
Franklin, Warren, Union, Orange, Brown, Hancock, and Newton counties. Three these
counties Scott, Spencer, and Crawford have voter registration rolls that exceed 110% their
TVAP.
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
15. addition, another counties the State Indiana have voter registration
rolls that contain between 90% and 100% TVAP. These are: Clark, St. Joseph, Starke,
Vanderburgh, Harrison, Martin, Floyd, Fountain, Posey, Carroll, Boone, White, Hamilton,
Howard, Ripley, Delaware, Dearborn, Allen, Pike, Pulaski, Clay, DuBois, Madison, Parke,
Fayette, and Rush counties.
16. March 2011, the State Indiana chief election official, then-Secretary
State Charles White, was indicted seven felony counts, including false voter registration,
submitting false ballot, and perjury. White was subsequently removed from office, found
guilty the charges, and sentenced one year house arrest.
17.
Indiana lack voter list maintenance contributing larger nationwide
problem. According research conducted the Center for the States the non-partisan Pew
Charitable Trusts Pew inaccurate voter registrations are rampant. Pew independent
research published February 2012 indicates that approximately million active voter
registrations throughout the United States one out every eight registrations are either
longer valid are significantly inaccurate. Pew 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.
18.
The failure the State Indiana comply with its obligations under federal
voter registration laws has undermined the confidence Indiana registered voters the
integrity the voter registration rolls and, accordingly, the integrity elections held the
State Indiana.
19. February 2012, Plaintiff Judicial Watch, its own behalf, behalf
members Plaintiff Judicial Watch who are registered vote the State Indiana, and
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
behalf Plaintiff True the Vote, sent letter then-Secretary State White and Defendants
King and Deckard, notifying them that the State Indiana was violation federal voter
registration laws. The letter explained that, according 2010 Census information and publicly
available voter registration data, separate counties, the State Indiana had more registered
voters the official list registered voters than the counties had TVAP. The letter also
identified each the counties.
20.
The February 2012 letter also requested that the State Indiana 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, explaining that the State Indiana was required make such records available under
Section the NVRA.
21.
The February 2012 letter also notified then-Secretary State White and
Defendants King and Deckard that lawsuit may brought against them ensure compliance
with the requirements federal voter registration laws.
22. letter dated March 15, 2012, Defendants King and Deckard, acting their
official capacities and behalf themselves and Defendant Lawson, issued order formally
denying what they characterized complaint grievance filed Plaintiff Judicial
Watch: THEREFORE ORDERED That Co-Directors having determined that
the complaint grievance filed Justice Watch, Inc. (sic) with the Election
Division (and designated 2012-1) does not set forth violation NVRA
IC3-7 even the facts set forth the complaint grievance are assumed
true, hereby DISMISS the complaint grievance (emphasis original).
The order was sent the office Interim Indiana Secretary State Jerold Bonnet.
explanation other than blanket denial was provided. Nor did Defendants King and Deckard
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
state whether when the State Indiana would make available its records concerning the
implementation programs and activities for ensuring the accuracy and currency official lists eligible voters, required Section the NVRA. the date this Complaint,
such records have been made available.
PLAINTIFF JUDICIAL WATCH
23.
Plaintiff Judicial Watch membership organization. person becomes
member making financial contribution, any amount, Plaintiff Judicial Watch.
Members financial contributions are far the single most important source income
Plaintiff Judicial Watch and provide the means for financing the activities the organization.
24.
Plaintiff Judicial Watch regularly files lawsuits against government agencies and
government officials federal and state courts across the United States. Not only are Plaintiff
Judicial Watch lawsuits integral part its public interest mission, but these lawsuits also
provide means for the organization members advance their collective views and protect
their collective interests promoting integrity, transparency, and accountability government
and fidelity the rule law.
25.
Plaintiff Judicial Watch has least 5,720 members the State Indiana. Each these members made least one financial contribution Plaintiff Judicial Watch between
April 25, 2009, and April 25, 2012, and thus helped finance the activities the organization
during this time period.
26. least some Plaintiff Judicial Watch 5,720 members the State Indiana
are registered vote the State Indiana. These members have particular interest the
accuracy and currency official lists eligible voters the State Indiana, the accuracy
and currency these lists directly affects their right vote.
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
27.
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson actions have injured and continue
cause injury members Plaintiff Judicial Watch who are registered vote the State
Indiana because undermining their confidence the integrity the electoral process and
the effectiveness their vote.
28. least members Plaintiff Judicial Watch who are registered vote the
State Indiana have communicated directly with Plaintiff Judicial Watch and requested that
Plaintiff Judicial Watch take action protect their interests the accuracy and currency
official lists eligible voters the State Indiana and redress the injury they have suffered
their right vote result Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson actions
29. unlikely that any individual member would have the ability the resources take action protect their individual interests redress the injury their right vote absent
collective action Plaintiff Judicial Watch.
30. integral part its public interest mission, Plaintiff Judicial Watch regularly
utilizes open records laws and other laws requiring that government records made available
the public. Plaintiff Judicial Watch makes hundreds such record requests each year. After
Plaintiff Judicial Watch obtains the records has requested, analyzes them and disseminates
its findings the public through various educational and outreach programs, including its
website, blog, and monthly newsletter.
31.
Plaintiff Judicial Watch has been and continues harmed the refusal
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson allow access records concerning the State
Indiana voter list maintenance programs and activities, issue substantial public
importance especially election year. Not only has the refusal Defendants King, Deckard,
and Lawson denied Plaintiff Judicial Watch the ability obtain records and information about
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID issue substantial public importance, but also preventing Plaintiff Judicial Watch from
analyzing such records and information and disseminating its findings the public.
Consequently, Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson are injuring the ability Plaintiff
Judicial Watch carry out its public interest mission.
PLAINTIFF TRUE THE VOTE
32. integral part its public interest mission, Plaintiff True the Vote obtains
and examines official lists eligible voters and other voter registration data from states,
counties, and localities across the United States, including the State Indiana, carry out its
various programs.
33.
For one such program, Plaintiff True the Vote reviews and analyzes official lists eligible voters and other voter registration data order verify that such lists and data are
accurate and current possible. More specifically, Plaintiff True the Vote uses trained
volunteers review official lists eligible voters and voter registration data and compare
these lists and data other publically available data identify possible inaccuracies and
deficiencies. Registrations that appear duplicates registrations persons who are
deceased, have relocated, otherwise are ineligible vote particular jurisdiction are
flagged and citizen complaints are filed with the appropriate elections officials. This particular
program among the largest, not the largest, all Plaintiff True the Vote various
programs and also integral part Plaintiff True the Vote public interest mission. The
program builds and supplements, but cannot duplicate replace, the list maintenance
programs required federal voter registration laws.
34.
Plaintiff True the Vote has recruited and trained volunteers analyze and verify
the accuracy and currency official lists eligible voters and other voter registration data for
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
the State Indiana for the November 2012 election and plans recruit and train additional
volunteers the State Indiana for this effort.
35.
Plaintiff True the Vote efforts analyze and verify the accuracy and currency official lists eligible voters and other voter registration data, including official lists and
other voter registration data the State Indiana, are dependent substantial part States 
fulfilling their voter list maintenance obligations under federal voter registration laws. State
does not make reasonable effort conduct the voter list maintenance programs required
federal voter registration laws, then not only are the lists and voter registration data obtained and
examined Plaintiff True the Vote inaccurate and unreliable, but Plaintiff True the Vote not
able use its limited resources make official lists eligible voters and other voter
registration data accurate and current possible. Instead, can only hope make for
small part the State failure fulfill its legal obligations.
36.
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson violation federal voter registration
laws has impaired and will impair Plaintiff True the Vote from carrying out its public interest
mission. Not only are the official lists eligible Indiana voters and other Indiana voter
registration data obtained and examined Plaintiff True the Vote inaccurate and unreliable, but
Plaintiff True the Vote not able complete its work ensuring high degree accuracy and
currency the official lists eligible voters and other voter registration data the State
Indiana.
37.
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson violation federal voter registration
laws has thus injured Plaintiff True the Vote impairing its ability carry out public interest
mission.
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
38.
Plaintiff True the Vote also regularly utilizes open records laws and other laws
that require government records made available the public. Plaintiff True the Vote makes
numerous such requests each year. After Plaintiff True the Vote obtains the records has
requested, uses them for its ongoing analysis and verification official lists eligible voters
and voter registration data, among other programs.
39.
Plaintiff True the Vote has been and continues harmed the refusal
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson allow access records concerning the State
Indiana voter list maintenance programs and activities. Not only has the refusal Defendants
King, Deckard, and Lawson thus denied Plaintiff True the Vote the ability obtain records and
information about these programs and activities, but also restricting the ability Plaintiff
True the Vote analyze and use such records carrying out its public interest mission.
Consequently, Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson are injuring the ability Plaintiff True
the Vote carry out its public interest mission.
COUNT
(Violation the NVRA: Failure Conduct List Maintenance)
40.
Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs through fully stated herein.
41.
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson have failed make reasonable efforts
conduct voter list maintenance programs, violation Section NVRA, U.S.C. 
1973gg-6.
42.
Plaintiff True the Vote and Plaintiff Judicial Watch, through its members, have
suffered irreparable injury direct result Defendant King Defendant Deckard and
Defendant Lawson failure make reasonable efforts conduct voter list maintenance
programs violation Section the NVRA.
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
43.
Plaintiffs True the Vote and Judicial Watch will continue suffer irreparable
injury Defendant King Defendant Deckard and Defendant Lawson failure make
reasonable efforts conduct voter list maintenance programs violation Section the
NVRA unless and until they are enjoined from continuing violate the law.
44.
Plaintiffs True the Vote and members Plaintiff Judicial Watch have
adequate remedy law.
COUNT
(Violation the NVRA: Failure Produce Records)
45.
Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs through fully stated herein.
46.
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawson have failed produce otherwise make
records available Plaintiffs Judicial Watch and True the Vote concerning the State Indiana
implementation programs and activities for ensuring the accuracy and currency official lists eligible voters the State Indiana, violation Section the NVRA, U.S.C. 
1973gg-6.
47.
Plaintiffs Judicial Watch and True the Vote have suffered irreparable injury
direct result Defendant King Defendant Deckard and Defendant Lawson failure
produce records violation Section the NVRA.
48.
Plaintiffs Judicial Watch and True the Vote will continue suffer irreparable
injury Defendant King Defendant Deckard and Defendant Lawson failure produce
records violation Section the NVRA unless and until they are enjoined from continuing violate the law.
49.
Plaintiffs Judicial Watch and True the Vote have adequate remedy law.
Case 1:12-cv-00800-WTL-TAB Document Filed 06/11/12 Page PageID
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs Judicial Watch, Inc. and True the Vote pray for judgment:
Declaring that Defendants are violation Section the NVRA;
Enjoining the Defendants from failing refusing comply with the voter
registration list maintenance requirements Section the NVRA;
Ordering the Defendants pay Plaintiffs reasonable attorney fees, including
litigation expenses and costs, pursuant U.S.C. 1973gg-9(c); and
Grant Plaintiffs further relief that this Court deems just and proper.
Dated: June 11, 2012
Respectfully submitted, Counsel: Christian Adams
Election Law Center, PLLC
300 Washington Street, Ste. 405
Alexandria, 22314
Paul Orfanedes
Paul Orfanedes
Chris Fedeli
(Pro Hac Vice Applications Pending)
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
Joshua Bolinger
LANGDON LAW LLC
11175 Reading Road, Ste. 104
Cincinnati, 45241
Tel: (513) 577-7380
Fax: (513) 577-7383
Email: dlangdon@langdonlaw.com
jbolinger@langdonlaw.com
Attorneys for Plaintiffs