(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a federal lawsuit against New York State and New York City election officials failing to remove potentially hundreds of thousands of ineligible voters from New York City voter registration rolls as federal law requires. The lawsuit, filed under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), details how New York City removed only 22 names under the federal law over six years (Judicial Watch v Valentine et al. (No.1:22-cv-03952)).
The NVRA requires states to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove” from the official voter rolls “the names of ineligible voters” who have died or changed residence. Among other things, the law requires registrations to be cancelled when voters fail to respond to address confirmation notices and then fail to vote in the next two general federal elections. In 2018, the Supreme Court confirmed that such removals are mandatory (Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Inst. (138 S. Ct. 1833, 1841-42 (2018)).
The Judicial Watch lawsuit details that New York City’s “own recent data concedes that there were only 22 total” removals under this provision “during a six-year period, in a city of over 5.5 million voters. These are ludicrously small numbers of removals given the sizable populations of these counties.” The lawsuit elaborates:
For context, the estimated number of voting-age citizens changing residence, per year, during the five-year period from 2016 through 2020, in the five counties of New York City was:
about 194,000 in Kings County,
about 127,000 in Queens County,
about 190,000 in New York County,
about 82,000 in Bronx County, and
about 21,000 in Richmond County.
In all, “more than 600,000 voting-age citizens, per year, are estimated to have changed residence in New York City during the five-year period from 2016 through 2020.”
--See more on website