ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 27, 2015) — The American Civil Rights Union today filed a complaint in federal court against another Mississippi county that has corrupted and inflated voter registrations.
Voter rolls maintained by Clarke County actually contain more people registered to vote than citizens eligible to vote. The complaint argues that Clarke County’s election commission is violating Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Hattiesburg Division.
“Clarke County has had longstanding problems maintaining plausible numbers of registrants on the rolls,” the complaint filed against the Clarke County Election Commission says. “During the 2010 federal general election, over 101 percent of living citizens eligible to vote in Clarke County were registered to vote.”
ACRU’s review of databases revealed that as of 2015, more than 100 percent of Clarke’s voting-eligible citizens were registered. This strongly indicates the county has failed to purge the names of people who had died, moved away or been convicted of disenfranchising felonies.
In 2013, the ACRU won consent decrees in the same federal court for Walthall and Jefferson Davis counties to clean up their voter rolls. It was the first time in history that a private party had sued under the NVRA (better known as Motor Voter) and reached a consent decree to compel counties to clean up their voter rolls.
“Mississippi has statewide elections this year. It’s important that the outcome is not tainted by ineligible or improper voters casting ballots,” said Susan A. Carleson, Chairman/CEO of the ACRU.
In the Clarke complaint, the ACRU “seeks injunctive relief commanding Defendant to permit inspections of election records…. Plaintiff also seeks a declaration and an injunction requiring Defendant to conduct and execute effective voter list maintenance programs in a manner that is consistent with federal law….
“Section 8 of the NVRA also requires that Defendant shall ‘complete, not later than 90 days prior to the date of a primary or general election for Federal office, any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.’”