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Carnahan wins federal election lawsuit brought by partisan Bush DOJ

Read the Associated Press story here. From the story:

Missouri’s chief election officer has fulfilled her legal obligations
toward keeping local election authorities’ voter registration rolls up
to date, a federal judge ruled yesterday in a defeat for the U.S.
Department of Justice...

...Yesterday in a statement, Carnahan said the ruling "concluded that my
office not only complied with federal law but also went beyond its
requirements through our many efforts to assist the county clerks and
election boards with their responsibilities. The ruling also confirmed
that there is no evidence of voter fraud in Missouri.

"This is the culmination of 18 months of an unnecessary, unwise and
costly lawsuit by the Department of Justice," Carnahan added, "and I am
glad my office can now direct all of its attention on continuing to
ensure fair and accurate elections in Missouri."

Read the full court ruling here.

Some excerpts from the ruling:

In this case, the Government [DOJ] seems to have developed its interpretation of Missouri’s obligations under the NVRA either in preparation for litigation or during the course of litigation. Furthermore, notwithstanding inevitable state-to-state variations, the Government has not shown that its position with respect to Missouri’s obligations is consistent with its position as to any other state’s obligations.

While there are list maintenance problems by some [local election authorities] LEAs, the United States has not proven that the scope of the problem is as great as alleged. The Defendants have shown that some parts of the 2005 EAC survey were not accurate and some of the county clerks interviewed by the United States indicated their survey results were probably mistaken. Thus, it is difficult to tell from the record how extensive the problem is because the United States has not presented the actual voter registration lists and shown who should have been included or excluded and why.

It is also telling that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States. Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred.

Increased voter participation and elimination of fraud were the primary goals of Congress when it mandated that the States make reasonable efforts to maintain accurate voter registration lists. The absence of evidence of fraud or voter suppression during the relevant time period weighs heavily in favor of a finding that the Defendants’ efforts have been reasonable.

The partial summary judgment (from May) is available here.



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