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Thursday, September 28, 2023
Lawsuit: Hawaii Breaks Law on Voter Rolls
By Heritage Foundation @ 4:36 PM :: 2203 Views :: Ethics, Office of Elections

Election Watchdog’s Lawsuit Claims Hawaii Breaks Law on Voter Rolls

by Fred Lucas Daily Caller, September 27, 2023

An elections watchdog group is suing Hawaii, claiming that the state breaks federal law on maintaining voter registration lists. 

Public Interest Legal Foundation filed the lawsuit alleging that Hawaii’s Chief Election Officer Scott Nago violated Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires states to regularly update voter registration rolls. 

The organization’s lawsuit also alleges that Hawaii state law restricting who may access voter rolls violates the federal law’s provision on public disclosure.

Hawaii ranks last place on The Heritage Foundation’s Election Integrity Scorecard, scoring 26 points out of 100. On accuracy of voter registration lists, specifically, Hawaii scores only 13 points out of 100. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

“Unfortunately, some states like Hawaii conduct their elections in the shadows,” J. Christian Adams, president of Public Interest Legal Foundation, said in a public statement. 

“Federal law requires transparency, and voter rolls are an important list-maintenance document the public can inspect,” Adams said. “We have fought this fight and won it in court in three other states. We are confident that this lawsuit will bring transparency to Hawaii’s elections.”

Nedielyn Bueno, a spokesperson for Hawaii’s Office of Elections, told The Daily Signal that the office doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The National Voter Registration Act, better known as the “Motor Voter Law,” also requires states to maintain voter lists to ensure that dead voters or those who have moved out of state no longer are listed. 

Public Interest Legal Foundation said it requested a copy of Hawaii’s statewide voter rolls in April. State officials told the legal foundation to contact the five individual Hawaii counties for their lists of registered voters. 

Access to voter rolls also was denied, according to the foundation, because of a Hawaii law that doesn’t allow such access unless for an election or government purpose. 

Public Interest Legal Foundation already has won legal victories in federal courts to get access to voter rolls in Maryland, Illinois, and Maine. Maine’s secretary of state has appealed the adverse ruling. 

Maryland, Illinois, and Maine also have low scores on the Election Integrity Scorecard, each ranking below 30 out of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

DD: Court Cases - Hawaii Voter Roll Access Challenge (PILF)

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