Right Wing Organization Files New Lawsuit To Gain Access To South Carolina Voter Rolls

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A right wing legal group led by Cleta Mitchell has filed yet another lawsuit seeking to gain access to voter rolls ahead of the 2024 elections, this time in South Carolina. 

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an “election integrity” group, filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday arguing that South Carolina’s voter rolls should be made available to the group. PILF claims that in February the group requested a copy of South Carolina’s voter registration list. 

The group’s request was denied in a letter from the state explaining that the information was only “available for a fee to qualified electors in the State of South Carolina” and that “the South Carolina Elections Commission has consistently refused to allow out of state residents or organizations to purchase voter lists.”

The lawsuit argues that the executive director of the South Carolina Election Commission, Howard Knapp, is violating the National Voter Registration Act, which requires states to maintain publicly accessible voter registration records, by refusing to provide a copy of the voter roll to PILF.The group says that it would use the requested voter information to “further study and investigate South Carolina’s voter list maintenance activities and South Carolina’s compliance with state and federal law, and other best practices.” 

PILF asks the court to order Knapp to produce the voter records and data requested and allow PILF to inspect and copy the state’s voter registration list. 

This lawsuit comes as protecting voter data will be a key concern ahead of the 2024 elections with groups such as PILF and a separate group, Voter Reference Foundation, pursuing relentless legal action in an attempt to make voter records public. Democracy Docket is currently tracking four active lawsuits by PILF and two by Voter Reference Foundation that either seek to make vote records publicly available or purge voters from states’ voter rolls. 

Read the complaint here.

Learn more about the case here.