Suit Filed After Kobach Expands Sweeping Effort to Purge Voters From Rolls, As Outlined In Breitbart Column

September 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.— On behalf of registered voters from Florida, Texas, and New York, Democracy Forward filed a complaint against Kris Kobach, Vice-Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, to halt his unprecedented and unlawful investigation into individual American voters.

The suit follows a recent column authored by Kobach for Breitbart in which he makes unsubstantiated claims about specific instances of voter fraud.  Despite the bipartisan rebuke he received after Tuesday’sCommission meeting in New Hampshire, Kobach continues to stand by the claims to justify the creation of a federal body within the White House that is conducting an unauthorized investigation into millions of Americans under the cloak of an “Advisory Commission.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit seeks to enjoin the Commission’s continued collection, use, and dissemination of the politically sensitive voting data of millions of Americans.  It further seeks to halt the Commission’s plan to cross-check this voter data against, according to Mr. Kobach’s latest directive, “whatever data” within the federal government, is “helpful” to the Commission, including private data held by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Mr. Kobach’s unprecedented investigation into the voting history of American citizens is operating outside the Constitution and federal law,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy. “The Commission is simply a cover for Mr. Kobach to hawk voting fraud conspiracy theories to justify purging voters from the rolls.”

Given Mr. Kobach’s failure to disclose where and how the data is stored, and reports Commission staff use personal email accounts to conduct official business, the suit also seeks to expose whether the Commission has put this data at risk.

“The government can’t go on a fishing expedition for personal data on Americans’ constitutionally-protected activities,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause. “We’ve seen how this played out before – and after Watergate the Congress said, no more. It’s time to uphold that promise.”

This suit builds on an earlier case brought by Democracy Forward, with voters joining Common Cause to sue the Commission, DHS, and now, Mr. Kobach.


Democracy Forward is nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.

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