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Judicial Watch • Ohio NVRA letter 2 262012

Ohio NVRA letter 2 262012

Ohio NVRA letter 2 262012

Page 1: Ohio NVRA letter 2 262012


Number of Pages:3

Date Created:February 6, 2012

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014

Tags:262012, Ohio, NVRA, letter

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Because one above th.e law! 
February 2012 
The Honorable Jon Husted Ohio Secretary State 
180 Broad Street, 161h Floor Columbus 43215 
Re: 	Apparent Violations Section the National Voter Registration Act, u.s.c.  1973gg-6 
Dear Secretary Husted: believe that Ohio violation Section the National Voter Registration Act ("NVRA"), which requires States maintain accurate lists eligible voters for use conducting federal elcctions.1 you may know, Congress enacted Section the NVRA protect the integrity the electoral process. This letter serves advance notice that lawsuit may brought against you ifyou not take action correct this apparent violation Section within days. hope that litigation will not necessary. 
Allowing the names ineligible voters remain the voting rolls hanns the integrity the electoral process and undermines voter confidence the legitimacy elections. the 
U.S. Supreme Court has stated, "[P]ublic confidence the integrity the electoral process has independent significance, because encourages citizen participation the democratic process."2 the top election official Ohio, your responsibility under federal law conduct program that reasonably ensures that the lists eligible voters are accurate. The following information explains the NVRA violations allege and the remedial steps you need take comply with the law. 	The NVRA Requires You Undertake Reasonable Efforts Maintain Accurate Lists Eligible Registered Voters 
Under Section the NVRA, Ohio required undertake uniform, nondiscriminatory voter registration list maintenance program that complies with the Voting Rights Act 1965. U.S.C.  1973gg-6(b)(t). Specifically, Section requires Ohio make reasonable effort remove the names ineligible voters from the official lists eligible voters due (A) "the death the registrant" (B) change the residence the registrant" place outside the jurisdiction which she registered. U.S.C.  1973gg-6(a)(4). 
NVRA Section responsibility lies with the State Ohio and your office. See Harkless Brunner, 545 
445, 452-453 (6rh Cir. 2008); see also Ohio Rev. Code  3503.09, 3503.18(A)(2) and (D), 3503.2 l(B)(l) and (D). 

425 Third St., SW, Suite 800, Washington, 20024 Tel: (202) 646-5172 1-888-593-8442 rAX: (202) 646-5199. Email: 
The Honorable Jon Husted February 2012 
This obligation augmented the Help America Vote Act ("HA VA"), which among other duties, requires Ohio "ensure that voter registration records the State are accurate and updated regularly" and undertake "system file maintenance that makes reasonable effort remove registrants who are ineligible vote from the official list eligible voters." .S.C.  15483(a)(4) and 15483(a)(4)(A). HAVA also requires that Ohio coordinate its computerized statewide voter registration list with State agency death records. U.S.C.  5483(aX2)(A)(ii) 
Programs remove the names ineligible voters from the official lists eligible voters must completed days prior primary general election. U.S.C.  973gg6(c)(2)(A). This year's general election November your list systematic maintenance programs must both implemented and completed August 2012. Ohio Does Not Appear Maintaining Accurate Eligible Voter Lists 
Based our review 2010 census data and publicly available eligible voter lists, appears that Ohio failing comply with the voter registration list maintenance requirements Section the NVRA. For example, appears that there arc more people registered vote Auglaize County, Wood County, and Morrow County than there are adults over the age living each county. Even every single eligible voter these counties were registered vote, the eligible voter lists would still appear contain the names voters who have either moved out the county are dead. Furthermore, several other Qhjo counties, the number names the eligible voter lists approaches 100% the total voting age population. Particularly light the prior examples, these instances add our concerns that registered voter lists 
Ohio have not been properly maintained. 
This information strongly suggests Ohio has not been maintaining its eligible voter lists and therefore violation the NVRA. Equally importantly, your apparent failure maintain accurate, up-to-date voter registration lists creates risk that elections November 2012 and beyond may lack the integrity required the NVRA and Wldermine public confidence the electoral process. are hopeful that you will outline and begin implementation reasonable compliance program quickly. Failure Comply with NVRA Subjects You Lawsuits and Financial Costs you may know, lawsuit may brought against you under the NVRA you fail correct these violations within days your receipt this letter. You are receiving this letter because you are the designated chief state election official under the NVRA. 
While you may aware that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has prioritized enforcement Section the NVRA, which seeks expand opportunities register vote, the Attorney General has not demonstrated any similar interest prioritizing enforcement the list maintenance provisions Section the NVRA. Nonetheless, Section important counterpart Section The two provisions represent carefully crafted compromise the 
U.S. Congress increase both voter registration and the integrity voter rolls. passing 
425 Third St., SW, Suite 800, Washinglon, 20024 Tel: (202) 646-5172 1-888-593-8442 FAX: (202) 646-5199 Email: 
The Honorable Jon Husted February 2012 Page3 
NVRA, Congress authorized private right action enforce the provisions the NVRA, including Section U.S.C.  1973gg-9(b). Congress also authorized awards attorney's fees, including litigation expenses and costs, the prevailing party. U.S.C.  973gg-9(c). Consequently, initiate lawsuit under the NVRA and the court finds you violation, you 
will responsible for paying our attorney's fees, costs, and litigation expenses. Avoidance Litigation order avoid litigation, hope you will promptly initiate efforts comply with the NVRA that lawsuit will necessary. ask you please respond this letter writing later than days from today, March 22, 2012 inforn1ing the compliance steps you are taking. Specifically, ask you to: (1) conduct systematic, uniform, nondiscriminatory program (or take action under such existing program) remove from the list eligible voters the names persons who have become ineligible vote reason 
death change residence; and (2) complete this program less than days prior the November election. addition, also ask you begin all other steps outlined above for 
routine list maintenance between now and the November election. you have already taken 
steps maintain the accuracy your eligible voter lists that correct the problems described 
above part this letter, please identify those steps detail and advise the results 
those efforts. 
Finally, pursuant the requirements the NVRA, please make available all pertinent records concerning "the implementation programs and activities conducted for the purpose ensuring the accuracy and currency" Ohio's official eligible voter lists during the past years. U.S.C.  973gg-6(i). hope our concerns can resolved amicably. However, with the November 2012 election the horizon and light the importance Section the NVRA ensuring the integrity and legitimacy the electoral process, must emphasize the impo1tance timeliness. Accordingly, believe you not intend correct the above-identified problems, lawsuit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief may necessary. look forward your timely response. 
Thomas Fitton 
cc: Christian Adams, Esq. 
Election Law Center Crawford, al. Marion County Election Board, 553 181, 197 {2008). 
425 Third SL, SW, Suite 800, Washington, 20024 Tel: (202) 646-5172 1-888-593-8442 FAX: (202) 646-5199 Email: www.J11dicia!