December 17, 2021
A conservative nonprofit is suing Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold over records of registered voters in the state who have potentially died, claiming she violated federal law by withholding data.
The Indianapolis-based Public Interest Legal Foundation on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Colorado, alleging that Griswold had denied the organization’s request to maintain voter registration records despite regulations on voter registration. transparency under the national voter registration law.
PILF “exists to help states and others support the cause of electoral integrity,” according to its website. He has ties to former President Donald Trump, who baselessly claimed the 2020 election was stolen from him, and has a habit of making unfounded or misleading claims about mail-order electoral fraud.
In this case, PILF wanted data on potentially deceased voters in Colorado, and the lawsuit expresses particular concern about “deceased voters” who remain on the lists. He cites three examples dating back to 2005 of coloradans voting on behalf of deceased people. In two cases cited, the person voted on behalf of their deceased mother.
Federal law requires states to make public the records they use to maintain voters lists.
“Colorado is hiding voter registration documents to which the public is legally entitled,” PILF President Christian Adams said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “Elections must be free and transparent so Americans can trust their results. Secretary Griswold and ERIC block transparency and violate federal law.”
ERIC refers to the Electronic Registration Information Center, an organization of state election officials whose mission is to improve the accuracy of voter lists. ERIC collects voter registration data and motor vehicle license holders from Member States, and then sends reports back to those States with information such as voters who have moved, duplicate registrations, and voters likely to have moved. ‘be deceased. Colorado uses these reports, along with other sources, to maintain its voters lists.
In June, PILF requested records of voter registration maintenance activities carried out in conjunction with ERIC – in particular, it requested data on registered voters identified as deceased. The group wanted these records to include unique voter identification numbers, county or town, full names, addresses and dates of birth.
The Secretary of State’s office provided a spreadsheet containing the records the department used to maintain the list of deceased voters, but some sensitive data was redacted.
PILF alleges that by not providing all of the requested information, Griswold violates the public disclosure provision of the NVRA.
Griswold’s office, however, wrote in its August rejection letter to PILF that it does not view reporting with ERIC data “as its implementation of list maintenance activities for deceased voters, and therefore these reports are not required to be maintained or produced for public inspection “under the public disclosure provision.
ERIC’s statutes direct its member states not to disclose ERIC data without a court order requiring them to do so. This is the basis of PILF’s argument: that the ERIC statutes contradict the public disclosure provision.
In the lawsuit, PILF argues that by failing to receive the requested information, Griswold’s “violations of the NVRA cause the Foundation concrete informational harm because the Foundation does not have records and information to which it is entitled under. of federal law “.
Griswold’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Claims that the 2020 elections were fraudulent or compromised have been refuted by experts, courts and election officials on both sides.
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