A nonprofit group has sued the election commissions in Jefferson Davis and Walthall counties in federal court, claiming each county has more registered voters on the books than residents eligible to vote. The American Civil Rights Union filed both lawsuits in U.S. District Court late last month, asking the court to declare violations of the National Voting Registration Act of 1993 and to force the counties to perform registration list maintenance, along with requesting attorney’s fees. “Defendant has violated (the NVRA) by failing to make a reasonable effort to conduct voter list maintenance programs in elections for federal office and by failing to produce records and data related to those efforts,” both very similar complaints state.
The Walthall County complaint alleges that more than 124 percent of residents eligible to vote were registered, with the 2010 U.S. Census indicating 11,368 eligible voters while 14,108 voters are registered.
The Jefferson Davis County complaint alleges the county has 10,078 registered voters with a voting age population of only 9,563 according to the 2010 census.
The complaint also alleges the unmaintained rolls have resulted in voter fraud — including in the 2007 race for circuit clerk.
“Circuit Judge Forrest Johnson of Natchez determined at least 26 cases of voting irregularities occurred in that contest, including at least one instance where a vote was cast in the name of a voter who had died,” the complaint states.
Jefferson Davis County Circuit Clerk Clint Langley said the numbers in the complaint are incorrect.
“We are somewhat overinflated, but not to the point of a lawsuit,” he said. “ … The rolls are as clean as they’ve been in years.”
He said over the past few years, the rolls have been purged from nearly 3,000 extra names down to about 400 currently.
“We continue to work on it every day,” he said.