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Judicial Watch • JWvK Doc 1 Complaint f061112

JWvK Doc 1 Complaint f061112

JWvK Doc 1 Complaint f061112

Page 1: JWvK Doc 1 Complaint f061112

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Number of Pages:14

Date Created:June 11, 2012

Date Uploaded to the Library:March 24, 2014

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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, Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-800 BRADLEY KING and TRENT DECKARD, Co-Directors the Indiana Election Division, their official capacities; and CONNIE LAWSON, Indiana Secretary State, her official capacity,
 Defendants.)
 ___________________________________
 
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. 

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 

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] 

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 States 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 

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.  

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 Indianas 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.   

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).  
17. Indianas 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.  Pews 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 Indianas 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 

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 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 Watchs lawsuits integral part its public interest mission, but these lawsuits also provide means for the organizations 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 Watchs 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.  

27. 
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawsons 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 Lawsons 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 Indianas 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 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 citizens complaints are filed with the appropriate elections officials. This particular program among the largest, not the largest, all Plaintiff True the Votes various programs and also integral part Plaintiff True the Votes 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 

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 Votes 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 States failure fulfill its legal obligations. 

36. 
Defendants King, Deckard, and Lawsons 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 Lawsons violation federal voter registration laws has thus injured Plaintiff True the Vote impairing its ability carry out public interest mission. 

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 Indianas 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 Kings, Defendant Deckards, and Defendant Lawsons failure make reasonable efforts conduct voter list maintenance 
programs violation Section the NVRA. 
43. Plaintiffs True the Vote and Judicial Watch will continue suffer irreparable 
injury Defendant Kings, Defendant Deckards, and Defendant Lawsons 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 Indianas 
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 Kings, Defendant Deckards, and Defendant Lawsons failure 
produce records violation Section the NVRA. 
48. Plaintiffs Judicial Watch and True the Vote will continue suffer irreparable 
injury Defendant Kings, Defendant Deckards, and Defendant Lawsons 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. 

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 attorneys 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: Paul Orfanedes Christian Adams Paul Orfanedes Election Law Center, PLLC Chris Fedeli 300 Washington Street, Ste. 405 (Pro Hac Vice Applications Pending) Alexandria, 22314 
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