ON-Lion Letter

In April, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) in Plainfield, Ind., filed a lawsuit in federal court against Anna J. Leider, the general registrar of voters in the City of Alexandria, Va.  The suit alleges that the registrar has failed to properly maintain voter rolls and refused to permit the plaintiffs to inspect list maintenance records as required by federal law.

In the case, PILF is representing the Virginia Voters Alliance (VVA), an organization dedicated to election integrity, and David Norcross, a member of VVA and resident of Alexandria.

For years in Alexandria, the number of registrants who can vote has exceeded the number of citizens of voting age residing in the city.  In response to these unusual circumstances, the plaintiffs utilized protections in the National Voter Registration Act (commonly called the "Motor Voter" law) that require Alexandria to allow physical inspection of election records related to voter registration and list maintenance programs.

Instead of complying with federal law, Alexandria said VVA would be allowed to inspect records only after VVA provided a "chart" and other data.  Moreover, the city has failed to utilize readily available data about registrants who have moved, died, or are ineligible to vote because they are not citizens.

"When more are registered to vote than eligible citizens living in Alexandria, it is an invitation to voter fraud," according to PILF president and general counsel J. Christian Adams.  "Corrupted rolls are an invitation to election corruption.  Alexandria is not using all of the available tools to clean their voter rolls and prevent non-citizens from registering and voting.  Concealing list maintenance records from the public isn’t good government, and it violates Federal election law."

The suit asks the federal court to order Alexandria to open the requested records to the plaintiffs.  Section 8 of the NVRA gives Americans the right to review these records.

"When it comes to elections, transparency is the best policy," Adams said.  "It shouldn’t require a lawsuit to make that happen."

The suit also asks the court to order a remedial list maintenance plan in Alexandria.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports PILF.

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