Mississippi county agrees to take the dead, felons and the double-registered off its voter rolls.
HATTIESBURG, MS (Sept. 4, 2013) — Officials in Walthall County, Mississippi, were sued in April by the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (commonly called “Motor Voter”) for having more registered voters than voting-age-eligible residents.
Today, the parties have settled the case. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi entered a final consent decree that requires the defendants to clean up the county’s voter rolls.
“This is historic and should have been done 20 years ago,” said ACRU Chairman Susan A. Carleson. “It’s the first time since Motor Voter was enacted in 1993 giving private parties the right to sue over voting irregularities that any private party has won a case to require clean voter rolls. With the Justice Department on the warpath against state election integrity laws, it couldn’t come at a better time.”
J. Christian Adams, the former Justice Department (DOJ) Voting Section attorney who along with former Justice Department Voting Section chief Christopher Coates and former DOJ attorney Henry Ross filed the lawsuit, said the ACRU had to act because federal authorities have been delinquent.
“This case should have been called United States v. Walthall County instead of ACRU v. Walthall County,” said Mr. Adams. “We’re doing the job that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. won’t do. In fact, he’s too busy suing Texas for its new photo ID law and abusing power in other ways to harass states that are trying to ensure election integrity.”
The ACRU has also sued Mississippi’s Jefferson Davis County asking for a cleanup of their voter rolls under the Motor Voter law. As with Walthall, Jefferson Davis has more registered voters than eligible residents. A June 2014 trial has been set in ACRU v. Jefferson Davis County Election Commission.
“This is a huge victory for the American people,” Mrs. Carleson said. “Across the country, other counties have more registered voters than people alive. If they don’t clean up their rolls, they risk litigation. Every time an illegal voter casts a ballot, it steals someone else’s legal vote.”