It took a federal lawsuit, but it appears California and Los Angeles County finally will comply with the National Voter Registration Act requirement to remove inactive names from voter rolls.
The National Voter Registration Act instructs election officials to remove inactive registrants from voter rolls after two general federal elections.
Those mostly are people who have moved or have died.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the settlement “vindicates Judicial Watch’s groundbreaking lawsuits to clean up state voter rolls to help ensure cleaner elections.”
“Judicial Watch and its clients are thrilled with this historic settlement that will clean up election rolls in Los Angeles County and California – and set a nationwide precedent to ensure that states take reasonable steps to ensure that dead and other ineligible voters are removed from the rolls.”
Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper, the director of the its Election Integrity Project, led the Judicial Watch legal team in the litigation.
Los Angeles County has more than 10 million residents, and California has some 40 million. Judicial Watch’s lawsuit was filed in 2017 to force the cleanup of voter rolls.
Its case alleged Los Angeles County has more registrations on its voter rolls than it has citizens who are old enough to register.
“Specifically, according to data provided to and published by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Los Angeles County has a registration rate of 112 percent of its adult citizen population,” Judicial Watch noted.
For California, the rate is about 101 percent.
“Eleven of California’s 58 counties have registration rates exceeding 100 percent of the age-eligible citizenry,” the complaint alleged.
Neither the state nor the county had been following the registration-law requirements for at least 20 years.
The settlement agreement requires that all of the 1.5 million potentially ineligible registrants be notified and asked to respond.
“If there is no response, those names are to be removed as required by the NVRA,” Judicial Watch said.
It’s only the third statewide settlement achieved by private plaintiffs under the NVRA. Judicial Watch was the plaintiff in each of those cases. The other statewide settlements were with Ohio in 2014 and this year with Kentucky, which agreed to a court-ordered consent decree.
Judicial Watch also has been active on the issue in North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.