From Press & Staff Reports
Officials in Walthall County were sued in April by the American Civil Rights Union under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (commonly called “Motor Voter”) for having more registered voters than voting-age-eligible residents.
The parties settled the case on Sept. 4. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in Hattiesburg entered a final consent decree that requires the defendants to clean up the county’s voter rolls.
“This is historic and should have been done 20 years ago,” said ACRU Chairman Susan A. Carleson. “It’s the first time since Motor Voter was enacted in 1993 giving private parties the right to sue over voting irregularities that any private party has won a case to require clean voter rolls. With the Justice Department on the warpath against state election integrity laws, it couldn’t come at a better time.”
J. Christian Adams of Alexandria, Va., the former Justice Department Voting Section attorney who along with former Justice Department Voting Section chief Christopher Coates of Charleston, S.C., and former DOJ attorney Henry Ross of Eupora filed the lawsuit, said the ACRU had to act because federal authorities have been delinquent.
The ACRU has also sued Mississippi’s Jefferson Davis County asking for a cleanup of its voter rolls under the Motor Voter law.
The American Civil Rights Union, based in Alexandria, has a board that includes Ed Meese, who was attorney general under President Reagan, along with other nationally known conservatives.
Founded in 1998, ACRU has been described as a conservative civil liberties advocacy group that works to protect the civil rights of all Americans, by publicly advancing a constitutional understanding of civil rights; monitoring judicial nominees, judges and legal organizations, while resisting those that threaten civil rights; and filing amicus briefs in critical civil rights court cases.