|Commonwealth of Kentucky v State Board of Elections et. al. and Secretary of State, Trey Grayson|
The complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief for a purge of approximately 8,000 Kentucky voters conducted by the State Board of Elections. The purge resulted from a pilot project in which Kentucky and the neighboring states of South Carolina and Tennessee compared voter registration lists to identify duplicate registrations. Voters whose names appeared on Kentucky’s list and another state’s list were purged if the voter’s Kentucky registration date was earlier than the registration date in the second state. The complaint alleged violation of Kentucky’s state law implementing the National Voter Registration Act, which prohibits, among other things, purges or systematic list maintenance programs that occur within 90 days of a federal election. The complaint also alleged the Defendants failed to send notice letters to voters whom the Defendants believe have changed addresses before canceling the voters’ registration, failure to place the voters on an inactive list, and failure to wait the requisite two federal election cycles before removing voters from the list.
On October 2, 2006, a Franklin Circuit Court judge ruled that the Defendants had conducted an illegal purge under Kentucky law. The court reasoned that "matching" the name of a voter in one state to the name of a voter in another state was "other sources" of information about a voter's change of address, not a request from the voter to cancel her registration. Consequently, election officials were obligated to follow the provisions of Kentucky law that dealt with a voter's change of address, including providing the voter with notice and waiting two federal elections before canceling the voter's registration status. These provisions implement the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
This lawsuit was brought on behalf of the purged voters by the Office of the Attorney General. The State Board of Elections and its individual members, along with Secretary of State Trey Grayson, were the defendants. Project Vote, League of Women Voters of Kentuckyand Common Cause of Kentucky filed an amicus brief through the pro bono services of Tom Schulz of Priddy, Cutler, Miller & Meade and the ACLU of Kentucky.
Defendants' Answer to Petition for Declaration. May 9, 2006.
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgement and Memorandum of Law. August 21, 2006.
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgement and Memorandum of Law. August 21, 2006.
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