Going to Court in the Allen West Contest

Today, True the Vote filed a federal lawsuit against the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections regarding the contest for the 18th Congressional District in Florida — the Allen West race. The case is brought under the 1993 Motor Voter law. (Full, yet totally unnecessary disclosure: I am one of the lawyers who brought the case, along with Michael Barnett).


In 1993, Motor Voter became law. Most people know about the voter registration requirements in motor vehicle offices — “Would you like to register to vote?”, asks the person renewing your vehicle registration. But Motor Voter was much bigger than just that — it also required voter registration be pushed in welfare offices and drug treatment facilities.

The Holder Justice Department is keen on enforcing that provision, known as Section 7, by teaming up with outside left-wing groups like the NAACP. They have even used clandestine electronic recording methods against Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to obtain evidence for a lawsuit against the state.

Republicans in 1993 fought like crazy to add another provision to Motor Voter: Section 8. Section 8 requires states and counties to clean up their voter rolls to ensure dead and duplicate voters aren’t voting. Eric Holder isn’t so fond of enforcing Section 8 — his DOJ spiked at least eight investigations  into states with more registered voters than people alive. After public attention, Voting Section Chief Chris Herren fired off some letters to offending states, but nothing else beyond bluster has issued forth from Herren.


T. Chris Herren

The Republicans who fought like crazy in Congress for Section 8 in 1993 then didn’t use it for almost two decades. Not a single private plaintiff brought a case to enforce the law, except by left-wing groups out to stop voter roll clean-ups.

This is typical of Washington, D.C. Insiders think a legislative fix will solve a problem, the Left picks the ball up and runs, and the right quits playing the game. Thus, it was not until Judicial Watch and True the Vote sued Indiana and Ohio for voter roll problems in 2012 that any effort was made to use the law to clean up the rolls.

Remember, when left-wing groups like Project Vote or the ACLU used the law for the prior 20 years, they only used it to stop voter roll clean-up. Nobody was using it to force voter roll clean-ups. Today, True the Vote used a physical public inspection requirement under Section 8 to demand access to voter and election records from the close contest in the 18th Congressional District.

Were non-citizens voting? Were people who live in New York half of the year voting in Florida? How many felons have been removed from the rolls in St. Lucie County? How many foreigners are on the rolls? The lawsuit is designed to obtain answers.


Ironically, the robust public inspection rights citizen groups enjoy under federal law were opposed by the Virginia attorney general in a lawsuit brought by Project Vote. Virginia lost that case in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and now conservative groups will start using the law to ensure our elections are run the way they are supposed to be, and that only eligible voters are voting.

Make no mistake, the Soros-fueled groups on the left will continue to outgun those fighting for election integrity. But after two decades of one side dropping the ball and quitting the game, it’s time folks who care about honest elections pick it up and run.



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