True the Vote Files Federal Lawsuit in #MSSEN Seeking Records of Voters Voting in Democratic Primary

Press release via email:

TRUE THE VOTE FILES SUIT AGAINST MISSISSIPPI, STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY

REQUESTS IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO ELECTION RECORDS AHEAD OF CERTIFICATION DEADLINE

 OXFORD, MS. — July 1, 2014: True the Vote (TTV), the nation’s leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today filed suit in federal court against the Mississippi Secretary of State and the State Republican Party, asking the Court to immediately order that election records be shared to inspect for illegal votes ahead of certification for the June 24 U.S. Senate Primary Runoff Election (True the Vote, et. al v. State of Mississippi, et. al. (3:14cv144-MPM-SAA)).

True the Vote and associated plaintiffs argue that the defendants failed to properly abide by federal election record maintenance and open records provisions codified in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Records made partially available to the plaintiffs indicated “double-voting” from Democratic to Republican primaries — potentially diluting votes in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

“All we are asking is that the MS State Republican Party follow the law; allow their designated county representatives to inspect the poll books and ballots, give them the review time they are permitted by law, and allow them to uphold their responsibility to MS voters,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “True the Vote has been inundated with reports from voters across Mississippi who are outraged to see the integrity of this election being undermined so that politicos can get back to business as usual. Enough is enough.”

“This isn’t about personality, party, or politics. Senators come and go,” Engelbrecht continued. “What must withstand the test of time is the integrity of the process by which we elect our representatives and establish our government.  No candidate or party should ever be allowed to twist election laws or subvert voters’ rights in the interest of political ambition.”

True the Vote has closely followed developments surrounding the Mississippi Republican Primary Runoff from the beginning. On June 21, TTV released figures demonstrating unusual voter turnout patterns based on historic data. On June 25, the organization formally requested that MS Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef delay certification of the election and share voting records for independent review. Finding no assistance from the state party, TTV and the collected 13 plaintiffs were left no option but to pursue the matter in federal court.

True the Vote’s lawsuit consists of three counts:

Count One:  Violation of NVRA’s Public Disclosure Provision. Shortly before the Republican Primary Runoff Election, True the Vote, via its volunteer base, made a valid and timely request to review voter rolls and poll books under the NVRA, but it was denied access to those records.

Count Two:  Individual Plaintiffs Allege a Violation of NVRA Based on Conflict with State Laws. Plaintiffs seek a declaration that the NVRA preempts any state requirement calling for public election information to be redacted at the cost of the requestor.

Count Three:  Individual Plaintiffs Allege an Equal Protection Violation. Discovering potential instances of “double-voting” between Democratic and Republican primaries are unlawful dilutions of individual votes.

True the Vote engaged legal representation with the firm of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons L.L.P. TTV’s complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division.

A copy of the complaint has been made available here.

 

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