Judicial Watch announced today it is continuing its efforts to force states and counties across the nation to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), by sending notice-of-violation letters to 19 large counties in five states that it intends to sue unless the jurisdictions take steps to comply with the law and remove ineligible voter registrations within 90 days. Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act requires jurisdictions to take reasonable efforts to remove ineligible registrations from its rolls.
Despite successful litigation by Judicial Watch to bring counties and states into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, voter registration lists across the country remain significantly out of date. According to Judicial Watch’s analysis of data released by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) this year, there are 378 counties nationwide that have more voter registrations than citizens living there and old enough to vote, i.e., counties where registration rates exceed 100%. These 378 counties combined had about 2.5 million registrations over the 100%-registered mark, which is a drop of about one million from Judicial Watch’s previous analysis of voter registration data. Although San Diego County removed 500,000 inactive names from voter rolls following Judicial Watch’s settlement with Los Angeles County, San Diego still has a registration rate of 117% and has one of the highest registration rates in the country.
In the latest round of warning letters, Judicial Watch explains that implausibly high registration rates raise legal concerns:
An unusually high registration rate suggests that a jurisdiction is not removing voters who have died or who have moved elsewhere, as required by [federal law].
Judicial Watch also considers how many registrations were ultimately removed from the voter rolls because a registrant [had moved]. If few or no voters were removed…the jurisdiction is obviously failing to comply . . . States must report the number of such removals to the EAC.
Judicial Watch found major voting list issues in California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado. The following counties have excessive registration rates or have failed to cancel sufficient numbers of ineligible registrations:
San Diego County
San Francisco County
San Mateo County
Santa Clara County
“Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections and Judicial Watch will insist, in court if necessary, that states follow federal law to clean up their voting rolls,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Previous Judicial Watch lawsuits have already led to major cleanups in California, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio – but more needs to be done. It is common sense that voters who die or move away be removed from the voting rolls.”
Judicial Watch is the national leader in enforcing the National Voters Registration Act, which requires states to take reasonable steps to clean their voting rolls.
In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld a massive voter roll clean up that resulted from a Judicial Watch settlement of a federal lawsuit with Ohio.
California also settled a similar lawsuit with Judicial Watch that last year began the process of removing up to 1.5 million “inactive” names from Los Angeles County voting rolls. Kentucky also began a cleanup of up to 250,00 names last year after it entered into a consent decree to end another Judicial Watch lawsuit.
Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper is the director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity initiative.