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U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton has denied a request by the Virginia Democratic Party to reinstate the names of approximately 38,000 Virginia voters who have been purged from the voting rolls in that State.  According to The Washington Post:

The lawsuit stemmed from an anti-voter fraud program, known sometimes by the shorthand Crosscheck, that allows officials in the states that use it to compare voter rolls and weed out those who are registered in more than one place. This year, the program flagged more than 300,000 names, and the state forwarded more than 57,000 of those to local election officials for further review and possible removal.

In the lawsuit filed in federal district court in Alexandria, the Democratic Party alleged that the program was rife with error, citing three examples of Virginians who were improperly removed from the voting rolls. They also argued that local election officials were treating the 57,000 names they were supposed to review in different ways. Some, the Democrats said, removed names without any review, while others did not remove any names at all.

Approximately 38,000 names were removed from the voter registration rolls.  This purge has taken place within weeks of the election for Governor and other state offices in Virginia.  According to The Washington Post, some local election officials have indicated that they were given insufficient time to research the names.

Loudoun County Registrar Judy Brown said in an interview that she had to race to meet her local electoral board’s deadline.

“My main concern was the lack of time to be able to devote to the list to make sure we weren’t taking people off without first trying to find out if they were still here or if they had left,” Brown said. “I believe that kind of stuff deserves my attention.”

After Brown decided to delay the purge, the state Board of Elections called her local elections board, which voted to require Brown to scrub Loudoun County’s voter rolls. They gave her one week. Brown said she sent letters to both in-state and out-of-state addresses she had for voters on the list, just a week before the state’s Oct. 15 registration deadline. She’s already heard from some who say they still live in-state.
“We’ve had a few phone calls from people who have actually been voting here for the last couple of years,” Brown said.

The legal advisor for the Virginia Board of Elections is none other than Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for Governor.  Cuccinelli's office filed paperwork with the court in support of the Board of Elections.  

This seems to me to be a huge conflict of interest since Cuccinelli could personally benefit from the purge.  

In fact, according to The Richmond Times Dispatch

The 58,000 voter registrations that are the subject of the lawsuit represent a little more than 1 percent of the nearly 4.8 million active voter registrations in Virginia.

The only silver lining in this is that at least one registrar Lawrence C. Haake III  of Chesterfield County has refused to purge any voters

In an affidavit, Haake says he conducted a preliminary review that found nearly 10 percent of the names given to him by the state for potential purging were, in fact, eligible voters.

He concluded that the risk of purging legitimate voters was too great.

The Virginia Democratic Party is considering whether to take further action.  

Originally posted to night cat on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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