Virginia Democrats Sue Over Purging Of Eligible Voters Ahead of Election

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The Democratic Party of Virginia is suing the state for allegedly attempting to purge 57,000 voters from registration lists ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

Democrats are seeking to bar the state’s election board and registrars from purging the rolls. The suit, filed Oct. 1 in Alexandria federal court, names Republican Governor Robert McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as defendants.

According to Democrats, the state adopted an Interstate Voter Crosscheck Program (IVCP) created by Kansas Republican Kris Kobac, which they believe is designed to target the poor, elderly, and minorities. The complaint says the measure is in violation of the 14th Amendment's due process clause.

"The SBE [State Board of Elections] has identified approximately 57,000 registered Virginia voters for potential removal from voter registration lists and has instructed county and city registrars, functioning as the SBE's agents across the state, to 'use their best judgment' in deciding whether to purge these voters and prevent them from participating in the November election," the complaint states.

“The lists are riddled with errors and include thousands of qualified Virginia voters,” it says. Democrats “and thousands of other citizens will be at risk of having their voting rights unlawfully stripped away through standard-less, ad hoc determinations by county and city registrars.”

IVCP tactics include a photo identification requirement; signature verification and driver's license number requirement for absentee voters; and proof of citizenship requirements for new voters.

Cuccinelli denies that he is actively involved in the voting purge campaign.

His spokesman, Brian Gottstein, called it “an outright lie.”

“Suing the attorney general is a shameless stunt, as under the law, he is clearly not an appropriate party to the lawsuit,” Gottstein said in the statement. “He has had no personal communication with the state board or its legal counsel about the subject of this lawsuit.”

Sources: Courthouse News, Bloomberg