Judicial Watch put two states and the nation’s capital on notice that it will file a federal lawsuit if they don’t clean up their voter registration rolls within 90 days.
Iowa, Colorado and the District of Columbia have one thing in common — they have more registered voters than people eligible to vote.
In a Monday press briefing, Judicial Watch officials said they sent letters to the secretaries of state in Iowa and Colorado and the Board of Elections supervisors in the District of Columbia, saying:
We write to bring your attention to violations of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) … This letter serves as statutory notice that Judicial Watch will bring a lawsuit against your office if you do not take specific actions to correct these violations of Section 8 within 90 days. In addition, by this letter we are asking you to produce certain records to us which you are required to make available under Section 8(i) of the NVRA. We hope that litigation will not be necessary to enforce either of these claims.
Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as the “motor voter law,” requires states to make voter registration available at motor vehicle offices or similar facilities.
Section 8 of the act requires each jurisdiction to establish a system to routinely purge rolls of ineligible voters — those who have died, moved away or lost their eligibility through a felony conviction or other means.
Judicial Watch’s senior attorney, Robert D. Popper, who served as deputy chief of the voting section at the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said that during his tenure, the George W.??? Bush administration in its final three years filed five lawsuits over improper maintenance of voter rolls.
By comparison, Popper told reporters Monday, “there’s been not a single lawsuit” from the Obama administration.
“There has been to my knowledge a demonstrated lack of interest in the Justice Department in pursuing these lawsuits,” he said. “In fact, the one claim that had anything to do with this list maintenance coming out of this Justice Department concerned the lawsuit that it commenced and then lost, in which it tried to force the state of Florida to stop removing non-citizens who are on the voter rolls in the run-up to the 2012 elections. Other than that, the Obama administration has no interest in pursuing Section 8 lawsuits.”
In 24 Iowa counties, more people were registered to vote than were eligible in 2012. In 2010, there were 10 such counties. In Colorado during the same two-year period, the number of counties with uneven rolls rose from 10 to 22.
“Dirty voter rolls can mean dirty elections,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said at Monday’s press briefing. “Many states are shirking their legal responsibilities to maintain clean voter rolls. This undermines confidence in our election system. Outrageously, the Obama Justice Department simply refuses to enforce the federal law that requires states to take reasonable steps to clean voter rolls. Judicial Watch is now doing the job of the U.S. Justice Department.”