Public Interest Legal Foundation files suit against Pennsylvania for records concerning noncitizen voter registrants

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Mar 8, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) – A nonpartisan public interest organization based in Indiana alleges Pennsylvania failed to comply with its records request in violation of federal law.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) – A nonpartisan public interest organization based in Indiana alleges Pennsylvania failed to comply with its records request in violation of federal law.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a complaint on Feb. 26 in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg Division against Robert Torres, in his official capacity as acting secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and Jonathan M. Marks, in his official capacity as the commissioner of the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation over alleged violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that "non-U.S. citizens have been registering and voting in Pennsylvania for decades. Defendants possess records and data showing the extent to which noncitizens are participating in the commonwealth’s elections. Federal law grants the public the right to inspect and duplicate that information. Defendants are shielding that information from the public, in violation of federal law."

The plaintiff is seeking permission to inspect records concerning the "maintenance of voter registration lists." It alleges it contacted Marks in October 2017 to inspect records concerning noncitizen registrants but was not permitted to do so.

The plaintiff seeks an order for the defendants to provide the requested records, payment for attorney's fees, and grant further relief that the Court deems just and proper. It is represented by Linda A. Kerns of Law Offices of Linda A. Kerns LLC in Philadelphia and by Public Interest Legal Foundation attorneys J. Christian Adams and Noel H. Johnson in Indianapolis, Indiana.

U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania Harrisburg Division case number 1:18-cv-00463-CCC

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