Judge grants Judicial Watch partial victory in lawsuit over Colorado voter rolls

In the eyes of many Americans, questions remain regarding the integrity of the nation’s elections in the wake of the chaos that was November 2020 and the weeks that followed. Now, one conservative group has just clinched a major win in its efforts to find the truth.

Amid questions over whether state voter rolls are being kept up to date, government watchdog group Judicial Watch had sued Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, claiming she failed to maintain her state’s registration records in accordance with federal law. Now, the group says a federal judge has allowed that lawsuit to proceed.

The lawsuit was initially filed in October 2020. Soon after, the state moved to dismiss the suit in its entirety, which U.S. District Judge Phillip Brimmer declined to do his ruling.

Voter roll integrity

At issue in the suit is a clause within Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), which requires all states to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove from the official lists any voters ineligible by reason of death or change of address.”

Judicial Watch, along with three individual registered voters in Colorado, alleged in the suit that the state had failed to comply with that statute.

As evidence, the organization pointed to various data points derived from both federal and state sources indicating numerous counties in the state had registration rates higher than 100%, paired with a substantially below-average rate of removals of inactive or ineligible voters from the rolls.

Further, the individual voters in the suit argued that the state’s noncompliance with the NVRA requirements had burdened and harmed them by way of “undermining their confidence in the integrity of the electoral process, discouraging their participation in the democratic process, and instilling in them the fear that their legitimate votes will be nullified or diluted.”

Judge gives the green light

Colorado had moved to throw out the suit, saying the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, failed to provide proper statutory notice, and failed to adequately prove the allegations of noncompliance. They also said the state was immune to the suit by way of the 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In the 27-page ruling, however, Judge Brimmer determined that while Colorado itself was immune to the suit, the individual plaintiffs and Judicial Watch had proper standing to sue. The statutory notice prior to filing suit was not applicable in this case, he added.

As such, the claims against the state of Colorado itself were dismissed, while the motion to dismiss was granted in part and rejected in part, meaning the lawsuit will continue.

“Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement following the decision.

He added: “This court victory highlights how Colorado citizens and voters have a right to expect that the state’s voting rolls are reasonably kept up to date, as federal law requires.”

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