J. Christian Adams, who leads the Public Interest Legal Foundation, tells AFN an Illinois lawsuit filed in 2019 demanded public access to voter rolls there as allowed by the National Voter Registration Act, the so-called “Motor Voter” law that dates back to 1993.
“We won,” Adams says. “And the federal court ordered the voter rolls released.”
The win in Illinois is important, Adams says, because election officials there were claiming they are removing dead voters and people who are registered in other states. That claim can now be challenged thanks to access to the voter rolls.
In a second lawsuit, this one in Maine, a federal judge has also ruled Public Interest has the right to review that state’s voter rolls to look for ineligible voters.
In a related op-ed at The Washington Times, however, Adams writes that a Maine law allows the law firm to be fined for uncovering fraud.
“You read that right,” Adams says in the column. "Maine might give you the voter rolls but has a law that punishes and fines anyone who reports problems, such as voters registered multiple times or registered and voting in other states in addition to Maine."
"Election integrity is about grunt work,” he tells AFN. “It's about the small, grinding issues like comparing voter rolls, things like that. It's not about big, snazzy, silver-bullet lawsuits.”
Looking ahead to the November midterm elections, and the presidential election in 2024, Adams says that “grunt work” must be done far ahead of Election Day in order to obtain and review the voter rolls.