State of Hawaii

Hawaii Voter Roll Access Challenge (PILF)

Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Nago

Lawsuit filed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) against Hawaii Chief Election Officer Scott Nago challenging the state’s laws limiting public access to voter rolls. Hawaii’s laws require counties to maintain an electronic voter registration system (VRS) with the name and district or precinct designation of every registered voter. The law also requires counties to keep any other information taken from a voter’s registration confidential, unless it will be used for “election or government purposes in accordance with rules adopted by the chief election officer”. 

In April 2023, PILF made a request to Nago for a complete file of state’s VRS data, which Nago’s office did not fulfill because the state delegates the responsibility of maintaining voter rolls to counties. PILF alleges this violates the National Voter Registration Act’s (NVRA) public disclosure provision, which requires all states to maintain a publicly accessible statewide roll of registered voters, not separate private voter rolls on a county by county basis. PILF also argues that the state’s policy of only providing VRS data for election or government purposes violates the NVRA which requires statewide voter rolls to be accessible to the general public. PILF is asking the court to strike down Hawaii’s law and order the state to provide a copy of the statewide voter roll.

STATUS: On June 28, 2024, the judge granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss this case, but preserved the opportunity for PILF to amend its complaint. PILF has until Oct. 28, 2024 to file an amended complaint.

Case Documents

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