Group files lawsuit claiming Chesterfield is concealing non-citizen voting records

Group files lawsuit claiming Chesterfield is concealing non-citizen voting records

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield Registrar Larry Haake is one of two registrars in the state facing a federal lawsuit that says they refused to disclose "election records showing foreigners improperly registered to vote in Virginia."

In August, the Public Interest Legal Foundation says it asked to publicly inspect and duplicate election records related to foreigners who registered to vote in Chesterfield and Manassas.

The foundation, however, says those two localities did not comply. Similar requests were made to other localities throughout Virginia, the foundation says, and had no compliance issues.

"Under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (or Motor Voter), the public has the right to physically inspect election records related to maintaining accurate voter rolls," the group says. "If election officials do not provide the requested inspection, they may be sued in federal court and may be liable to pay attorney's fees under the statute for failing to provide the records. These are the second and third cases the Foundation has filed seeking election records in Virginia."

Haake said Tuesday that he no comment on the issue until he talks to his lawyers and fully reviews the case.

  • Click here to read the full complaint against Chesterfield County

The group says that previous data shows that more than 1,000 registrants were removed from voter rolls for citizenship problems in eight counties that complied with the request.

In September, the group released a report titled "Alien Invasion in Virginia" that said state election officials are "obstructing access to public records that reveal the extent to which non-citizens are participating in our elections" and said the issue was "a massive problem."

  • Click here to read the full "Alien Invasion in Virginia" report

"Transparency in the election process is essential," said J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, in a news release. "Federal law requires election records to be available to the public. Concealing the extent of non-citizen voting registration harms the integrity of the election process."

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