Kentucky Forced to Clean Up Voter Rolls

July 22, 2018 Last Updated: July 22, 2018

WASHINGTON—In a small step toward increased voter integrity, Kentucky has been forced to clean up its voter rolls after being sued by Judicial Watch.

Kentucky signed a consent decree with Judicial Watch and the Justice Department on July 16 to say it will make a reasonable effort to remove registrants from its rolls who have become ineligible due to a change in residence.

Judicial Watch found that 48 counties in Kentucky had more registered voters on its rolls than citizens over the age of 18.

“It’s a pretty good indication that they’re not keeping their election rolls clean,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. He said Kentucky is the worst state in the country in this regard, but Judicial Watch has also sued Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, and California over dirty voter rolls.

“California statewide is a mess,” Fitton said. “Generally speaking, California doesn’t remove you from their voter rolls, despite you never voting, despite you dying—it looks like—they just don’t do it. What a recipe for fraud.”

The case against California is ongoing, as is one against Los Angeles County, but Fitton is hoping for a favorable outcome in both, especially since the Justice Department stepped in to support the lawsuit against Kentucky.

In Los Angeles County, there are 144 registered voters for every 100 citizens of voting age, according to a Judicial Watch report from 2017.

States are mandated to maintain accurate voter rolls by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the Help America Vote Act.

The NVRA requires states to remove names of voters who are not eligible to vote from voter rolls for a number of reasons, including when the registrant dies or moves out of state. The states are also required to make sure that non-citizens cannot register to vote.

Fitton said by his calculation, around 1.1 million non-citizens voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election.

“And of course every one of those illegal votes is a stolen vote of an honest American,” he said. “They vote in substantially large numbers, and anyone that tells you otherwise is blowing smoke in your ear.

“So that’s a significant crisis and that’s why we need, in my view, citizenship verification in order to register to vote, or to vote,” he said.