BY TOM FITTON
Too many jurisdictions are lax and sloppy with their voter rolls – and in violation of federal law. This week we’ve filed suit in Colorado.
We sued on behalf of Judicial Watch and three residents of Colorado against Jena Griswold, Colorado Secretary of State, and the State of Colorado for failing to clean the state’s voter rolls as required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) (Judicial Watch et al. v. Jena Griswold, Colorado Secretary of State and State of Colorado (No. 1:20-cv-02992)).
In the suit we argue:
- A 2019 study showed that 40 of Colorado’s 64 counties had voter registration rates exceeding 100% of the eligible citizen voting-age population. The share of Colorado counties with registration rates exceeding 100% was the highest in the nation.
- A study from last month confirmed that as many as 39 Colorado counties had registration rates exceeding 100% at any one time during the relevant reporting period.
- Data Colorado itself provided to the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) showed that Colorado was lagging in the processing and removal of certain classes of ineligible registrations belonging to those who had moved out of state.
- In eight Colorado counties, more than one in six registrations belonged to an inactive voter.
We note that registration rates over 100%, poor processing of out-of-date registrations, and high levels of inactive registrations “indicate an ongoing, systemic problem with Colorado’s voter list maintenance efforts.” Colorado’s “failure to comply with their … voter list maintenance obligations” injures lawfully registered voters by “undermining their confidence in the integrity of the electoral process, discouraging their participation in the democratic process, and instilling in them the fear that their legitimate votes will be nullified or diluted.”
We have asked the court to declare that Colorado and its Secretary of State are violating the NVRA and to order them to “develop and implement a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the registrations of ineligible registrants from the voter rolls in Colorado …”
It is a direct threat to free and fair elections that with record numbers of mail-in ballots this cycle, over half of Colorado counties have more people registered to vote than are eligible to register. With its inaction, Colorado has failed its citizens and opened itself up to potentially be the victim of massive voter fraud.
Earlier this year, we sued Pennsylvania and North Carolina for failing to make reasonable efforts to remove ineligible voters from their rolls as required by federal law. The lawsuits allege that the two states have nearly 2 million extra names on voter registration rolls.
In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld a voter-roll cleanup program that resulted from a Judicial Watch settlement of a federal lawsuit with Ohio. California settled a NVRA lawsuit with Judicial Watch and last year began the process of removing up to 1.6 million inactive names from Los Angeles County’s voter rolls. Kentucky also began a cleanup of hundreds of thousands of old registrations last year after it entered into a consent decree to end another Judicial Watch lawsuit.
In September 2020, we sue Illinois for refusing to disclose voter roll data in violation of Federal law.
Our 2019 study found 378 counties nationwide that had more voter registrations than citizens 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.