Virginia elections officials say they have already purged nearly 40,000 names from the voter rolls, despite an ongoing lawsuit filed by Democrats seeking to keep those voters registered. The Democratic Party of Virginia filed suit in federal court earlier this month over plans to purge as many as 57,923 names ahead of November’s gubernatorial election between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli. State officials pushed for the purge based on evidence from a multistate database that the voters had subsequently registered in other states. Democrats say the list is riddled with errors. Democrats are seeking an injunction that would order the purged voters restored to the rolls. A U.S. District Court judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday.
In a court filing late Tuesday, the State Board of Elections said it has already purged 38,870 names, while keeping more than 11,138 on the rolls after county registrars conducted their own reviews. Another 7,285 have been left on the rolls but designated “inactive,” which technically keeps them on the rolls but requires them to fill out extra paperwork to cast a ballot in next month’s elections.
Lawyers for the elections board say the fact that 11,000 were kept on the rolls shows that the reviews were conducted carefully.
“In short, the system worked and there is no basis to restore 38,000 out of state voters to Virginia’s voter registration lists,” wrote Virginia Senior Assistant Attorney General Joshua Lief, who is representing the elections board and the other defendants. The lawsuit also targets Gov. Bob McDonnell and Cuccinelli, who was sued in his capacity as the state’s attorney general.