NYT: Culling Voter Rolls: Battling Over Who Even Gets to Go to the Polls
On Nov. 25, the New York Times ran an article by Michael Wines citing the ACRU that examines the nationwide battle over cleaning up voter rolls. Here are excerpts:
WASHINGTON—-On its face, the notice sent to 248 county election officials asked only that they do what Congress has ordered: Prune their rolls of voters who have died, moved or lost their eligibility—-or face a federal lawsuit.
The notice, delivered in September by a conservative advocacy group, is at the heart of an increasingly bitter argument over the seemingly mundane task of keeping accurate lists of voters—-an issue that will be a marquee argument before the Supreme Court in January….
On Wednesday, Demos and two other advocacy groups, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School, offered legal help to any of the 248 county election officials who tried to oppose the notice.
The author of the notice to county officials, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, responded quickly. “It seems like we’ve arrived to the point where asking election officials to do what the law requires makes P.I.L.F. subversive,” the group’s president, J. Christian Adams, said in a statement.
Mr. Adams is among several conservatives appointed by President Trump to the White House’s Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity, the voter fraud panel mired in a partisan feud over its operations and political intentions.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation is one of four conservative advocacy groups that have pursued often-overlapping campaigns to purge voter rolls. Three of the groups—-the foundation, Judicial Watch and the American Civil Rights Union—-rely on former lawyers in the Justice Department’s civil rights division during the George W. Bush administration. The fourth, True the Vote, is an offshoot of a Tea Party group based in Houston.
The groups argue that election officials are ignoring a requirement in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 that a “reasonable effort” be made to cull ineligible voters—-the dead, people who have moved, noncitizens and felons whose voting rights are restricted.