Judicial Watch and AEF File Friend of Court Brief in Support of Virginia Efforts to Clean Voter Rolls
OCTOBER 16, 2013
Brief opposes Democratic Party of Virginia efforts to prevent state from removing up to 57,000 ineligible voters from voter registration rolls; says Democrats failed to produce “a single instance where a voter was erroneously and permanently removed from Virginia’s voter rolls”
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch ,the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has joined with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in filing an amicus curiae brief with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Alexandria Division (Case No. 1:13-cv-1218) in support of the Virginia Board of Election’s plan to remove as many as 57,000 voters deemed ineligible from the Virginia voter registration rolls in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). AEF is a charitable and educational foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life through education.
According to the Judicial Watch-AEF amicus brief filed today:
[The Democratic Party of Virginia], on the basis of almost no evidence, is asking this Court, sitting in equity, to issue an injunction that would retain and restore registrations that even the plaintiff believes to be invalid – thereby guaranteeing that Virginia’s voter rolls will become less accurate than they are at present. On its face, this relief is unreasonable and should be denied.
Stating that “the State Board of Elections has incorporated reasonably defined and prudent procedures for removing invalid registrations,” the Judicial Watch/AEF amici specifically argue:
- Virginia Democrats presented almost no evidence to support a request for an injunction that would preserve tens of thousands of invalid registrations and actually restore the registrations of voters who no longer live in Virginia:
“While the [Virginia Democrats’] motion is long on innuendo, inference, and implication, it is remarkably short on evidence. Missing from the plaintiff’s complaint, from all of its supporting declarations and affidavits, and from its brief, is any reference to even a single instance where a voter was erroneously and permanently removed from Virginia’s voter rolls because of the IVRCP data or the procedures used by registrars.”
- Virginia’s implementation of the multi-state crosscheck data to identify ineligible voters incorporates numerous safeguards to protect all truly eligible voters:
“[Virginia Democrats] argue that the registrars are acting without standards in deciding when to remove registrations. In making this argument, the plaintiff repeatedly quotes the directive to ‘use your best judgment’ contained in an email from the Board of Elections to the registrars … But … that paragraph starts by directing registrars to ‘closely review the data provided against the identified individual’s voter registration and voter history in VERIS,’ the State’s voter registration database, and it instructs the registrars to determine if ‘the individual may have registered in Virginia after their registration in another state’ … Finally, federal and state laws concerning provisional ballots ensure that even a voter whose registration was improperly cancelled can still cast a ballot on Election Day.”
- Virginia has developed a model program that allows it to comply with federal laws requiring states to remove the registrations of voters who have moved to other states:
“Virginia’s participation in the [multi-state crosscheck effort] is an excellent example of reasonable, well-constructed and thoughtfully implemented program. The list generated by the multi-state comparison only indicates a duplicate if two records show a 100% match in first and last names, dates of birth, and the last four digits of a Social Security number. Yet, even where there is such a match, registrars have been counseled to review the database records for any indication that the match might be inaccurate, and to resolve any doubts by retaining a registration.”
On October 3, 2013, the Democratic Party of Virginia filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the State of Virginia in an effort to prevent it from removing ineligible voters from its voter rolls. The Democratic Party alleges that the data used to conduct registration crosschecks with states participating in the Interstate Registration Crosscheck Program (IVRCP) is unreliable and that the procedures used by Virginia registrars to process the information generated are arbitrary. The Democratic Party lawsuit could force the state to restore voters deemed ineligible to its registration rolls while preventing any future use of the state’s IVRCP list to ensure that accurate voter registration rolls are maintained. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Oct. 18.
“What is at stake here is whether the integrity of next month’s Virginia election is going to be marred by dirty voting rolls,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Clean elections shouldn’t take a back seat to partisan politics.”
The amicus brief was filed by Robert Popper, former Deputy Chief of the Voting Section at the Department of Justice, and by J. Christian Adams, a former Trial Attorney in the Voting Section. Judicial Watch’s partner in the amicus filing, The Allied Education Foundation, is a charitable and educational foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life through education. In furtherance of that goal, the Foundation has engaged in a number of projects which include, but are not limited to, educational and health conferences domestically and abroad. AEF has frequently partnered with Judicial Watch to fight government and judicial corruption and promote a return to ethics and morality in the nations’ public life.