From the InBox:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(HOUSTON, TX.) – January 22, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) gave notice to the office of the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector that it could face a lawsuit if it fails to reveal records of noncitizens that were registered to vote.
In a letter recently submitted to Harris County, officials were given final notice that they now face “federal litigation should [they] continue to deny access to the requested records” related to noncitizen voters on the rolls. Federal notice requirements provide the County time to fix their refusal to comply with federal inspection rights before a lawsuit is filed.
Harris County declined the PILF’s original request to inspect records related to registrants who were later removed following official discovery or admitted non-citizenship on January 11.
Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 allows individuals to request inspection or seek copies of records related to “records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters,” the PILF noted.
“Harris County is hiding public information about the extent of non-citizen registration and voting,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Harris County is no stranger to the issue of noncitizen voter registration. Evidence and testimony about the matter have been provided to the Texas Legislature and U.S. Supreme Court. This isn’t a question about the existence of alien voting—but the scale. We will go to federal court if we must to obtain these public records.”
On multiple occasions, noncitizen voter registration and voting has been documented in Harris County.
- In April 2015, the PILF submitted an amicus curiae brief before the U.S. Supreme Court detailing a sample of 13 cases where individuals admitted to noncitizenship or refused to declare a status at all when apply for voting, yet were registered anyway. The brief further noted testimony from the Harris County voter registrar’s office in 2006 that noncitizen voting “has and will continue to occur.”
- In May 2015, the Harris County voter registration officials testified before the Texas House Elections Committee that “thousands” of noncitizens were discovered in the voter registration system annually and were regularly handed over to the District Attorney for prosecution.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation has built a record case studies uncovering noncitizen voter registration and voting in a growing number of states.
- In October 2016, PILF found noncitizens registered to vote in Philadelphia. Half of those voted in at least one election.
- In May 2017, PILF found 5,556 voters removed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as “non-citizens”. Roughly 33% voted. This research followed an initial October 2016 sampling that yielded 1,000 noncitizens.
- In September 2017, PILF found 1,069 noncitizens within New Jersey’s voter registration system.
- In October 2017, PILF testified before the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee on the matter of noncitizen voting in the state and encouraged an official review to identify more ineligible voters. Testimony was taken again by the PA Senate State Government Committee in December 2017.
- In December 2017, PILF put the State of Pennsylvania on notice for failing to release records related to noncitizens removed from the voter rolls. Litigation can commence as early as January 2018.
- In January 2018, similar to Harris County, PILF put Bexar County, Texas, on notice that it will file a federal lawsuit if officials continue to refuse inspection of voter records belonging to noncitizens discovered or self-reported.
A copy of the data request letter can be found, here.
A copy of PILF’s final notice letter can be found, here. Federal law gives PILF the power to publicly inspect list maintenance documents relating to non-citizen registration.
Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.
There is no question in my mind that people that are not in this country legally are voting in Harris County elections. I’ve been an election judge and can tell you first hand that this is happening and as an election judge, there is nothing I can do about it because of the registration process. If someone is registered and shows up to vote, they vote. Even without photo identification or speaking English. That’s the law and it sucks.
Good for Christian Adams for continuing to fight this battle.