A federal lawsuit filed by the Virginia Democratic Party claims that tens of thousands of voters in the state may be kept from casting a ballot in November after their names were wrongly placed on a list meant to weed out fraud. The court action names Gov. Robert McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II as defendants and alleges that there were political motivations behind a “purge list” of about 57,000 voters whose names were also found on voter rolls in other states. The lawsuit, which comes as the contentious governor’s race enters its last month, contends that the list is inaccurate and that many of those voters are eligible to vote Nov. 5 in Virginia. Filed Oct. 1 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., the complaint seeks to stop state and local election officials from striking those names from voter rolls. The names were discovered as part of a data-sharing program with 25 other states, which the lawsuit contends is “deeply flawed.”
“At best, Defendants’ conduct reflects inadvertent sloppiness in attempting to ensure that unqualified voters do not vote in Virginia’s election,” the complaint reads. “At worst, the conduct is driven by partisan politics.”
Cuccinelli”s office called the legal action a “spurious and baseless” attempt to affect the outcome of his race for governor against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
“Suing the attorney general is a shameless stunt, as under the law, he is clearly not an appropriate party to the lawsuit,” Cuccinelli’s communications director, Brian Gottstein, said in a statement.