This is a huge victory for citizens! Ruling and precedent out of the First Circuit Court of Appeals – voter rolls are PUBLIC RECORD. Public Interest Legal Foundation has been victorious in three other states.
This decision counters a growing trend: state efforts to dictate how concerned citizens may research voter files while acting under their NVRA inspection rights.
No more hiding voter rolls from the people.
To learn about election integrity efforts in Indiana, visit Indiana First Action.
FIRST CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS: VOTER ROLL IS A PUBLIC RECORD, MAINE CANNOT PUNISH VOTER ROLL RESEARCHERS
Public Interest Legal Foundation • February 5, 2024
Maine’s restrictions on the use of the voter roll were enacted to keep election watchdogs, like PILF, from analyzing and speaking about errors in the voter roll.
(Alexandria, VA) – February 5, 2024: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) secured a landmark ruling for transparency and clean elections. The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in PILF’s favor that under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) Maine’s voter roll is a public record. The Court’s opinion states:
“Whether voter registration rolls are accurate and current cannot be determined without inspecting the Voter File…In other words, the evaluation of voter registration rolls would be impossible if the results of Maine’s voter list registration and maintenance activities were not subject to public disclosure. For the above reasons, Maine’s Voter File is a record concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters and is thus subject to disclosure under Section 8.”
Additionally, the Court ruled that Maine’s fines and restrictions on the use of voter file data are illegal obstacles to achieving Congress’s intent for transparency and oversight under the NVRA. The Court’s opinion states:
“[T]he restrictions imposed by the Use Ban erect an impenetrable barrier for those seeking to use the Voter File to evaluate and enforce compliance with the NVRA nationwide.”
Read more here.