The Voter Reference Foundation (VRF) filed a federal lawsuit against New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Democrat Attorney General Hector Balderas in an attempt to secure more transparent voter rolls.
According to a press release from the group, it “filed a First Amendment lawsuit in federal court against top Democrat officials in New Mexico to ensure the public’s right to view public voter rolls is not blocked.”
The organization has published voter rolls for 22 states and the District of Columbia, giving the public access to who is eligible to vote and whether people did.
However, the state officials pushed back after the group published New Mexico’s data. Oliver argued that the action was illegal, referring the matter to Balderas.
“The taxpayers of New Mexico pay for election administration, and they have an absolute right to view the records that are produced,” said Doug Truax, founder and president of Restoration Action, which created VRF. “Confidence in American elections is at a low ebb and one reason is a lack of transparency.”
However, the new suit claims the law to prevent the publication is illegal, arguing that it violates the First and Fifth Amendments.
Until the cases work through the legal system, the organization has pulled the voting data off its website.
“We are not going to be deterred by partisan election officials who believe the election records taxpayers pay for are their personal possessions. The public has a right to see them and if they try to block us, we will assert that right in court,” Truax added.
However, New Mexico is not the only state with laws that prevent such actions. The VRF did not rule out legal action in those states.
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