Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch is not pleased with a question they received from the head of the Maryland State Board of Elections. The organization filed a lawsuit against State Administrator Linda Lamone and other officials over their alleged failure to comply with the National Voter Registration Act, and their refusal to turn over a list of registered voters.
The group claims that at the time they filed the complaint, Maryland had more registered voters than actual citizens of voting age, and that this was the result of their failure “to remove ineligible registrations from the voter rolls.” Such ineligible voters could be people who moved or those who have died. The lawsuit says they sent a letter asking for a list of registered voters, but Maryland said they weren’t entitled to it because only registered Maryland voters had a right to it. Judicial Watch sued, claiming this denial violated federal law.
As the lawsuit has progressed, Lamone, et al., served Judicial Watch with a set of written interrogatories, or questions for the group to answer with sworn written responses. Most of the questions have to do with any documents or other evidence Judicial Watch may have that would support their allegations, or possible witnesses they might call. The last question, however, was a little more pointed:
Identify any Russian nationals or agents of the Russian government with whom you have communicated concerning this lawsuit, Judicial Watch’s request for a copy of the list of registered voters in Montgomery County, Maryland, the purposes for which you are seeking a copy of the list of registered voters in Montgomery County, Maryland, and/or any broader effort to obtain copies of similar lists from other jurisdictions of which Judicial Watch’s request for a copy of the list of registered voters in Montgomery County, Maryland, is a part.
Judicial Watch blasted the State of Maryland for asking such a thing. The group published a blog post that called it an “absurd implication.”
Law&Crime reached out to the Maryland Board of Elections for comment, but they have yet to respond.
In Judicial Watch’s response to the questions that they filed with the court on Monday, they said:
This request is frivolous. There is no allegation in any pleading or document associated with this case of any “communications” Plaintiff “had with any Russian nationals or agents of the Russian government concerning” any of the topics listed in Request No. 14 (or any other topics). Nor is there an allegation, let alone any evidence, of such a communication in any other lawsuit, nor in any news report, anywhere.
Robert Popper, director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project, called the question “completely outrageous,” saying that the Maryland board “is taking Democratic talking points to beat someone up for suing them.”
The lawsuit is one of several filed against various states by the watchdog group as part of their Election Integrity Project. That initiative is meant to get them to “clean up” their voter rolls.
[Image via Omer Messinger/Getty Images]
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