In the wake of a lawsuit filed by Democrats over the purging of names from Virginia voter registries, a Loudoun County registrar has been ordered to purge names from her county’s list by the end of the week. Virginia Democrats filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, accusing them of purging — possibly in error — thousands of voters from registration lists. The Democratic Party of Virginia is accusing election officials, including Cuccinelli, of pressing forward with a plan to potentially purge up to 57,000 registered voters because an interstate database shows them registered in multiple states. The voter list was sent out from the State Board of Elections in late August, developed using a data exchange with some other states. The 57,000 names are those of voters who are registered in more than one state. Fairfax County immediately started to purge based on the list, and of the 7,934 names they were given, 7,106 were purged.
Loudoun County registrar Judy Brown decided this was a sensitive undertaking and decided to wait until after Election Day. But when the story broke Wednesday and her electoral board learned she was not doing the purge yet, they met and ordered her to start immediately.
Now Brown must purge names of voters that she’s confident are living in other states, based on the data. She’s been ordered to complete the task by the end of the week, and then conduct a more extensive review of the other names by Election Day.
The Democratic Party of Virginia is claiming that tens of thousands of voters are at risk of being wrongly purged from voter rolls ahead of the state’s gubernatorial election.
They say the list is filled with errors, and thousands could be wrongly disenfranchised.
The lawsuit claims that the interstate database has been created by Republicans who purport to be preventing fraud, but in reality are seeking to suppress vote totals in communities that traditionally vote Democratic.
Cuccinelli is running against Democrat Terry McAuliffe for governor in a race that is drawing national attention.
The lawsuit says state officials have told county registrars to use their “best judgment” in whether to purge voters. That approach, according to the lawsuit, will lead to voters being treated differently in different jurisdictions, violating constitutional guarantees of equal protection. The suit seeks an injunction barring the voter purges.