Frivolous Lawsuit Targets Maryland’s Voter Rolls and Voting Systems

The case is part of a nationwide strategy to sow doubt in the 2024 election ahead of November.

April 9, 2024

In Maryland, two election denial groups are exploiting the courts to help lay the groundwork to undermine the 2024 election. The effort, part of a string of challenges to voter rolls and election procedures by an expansive network of activists and organizations, injects distrust into our electoral process.

The groups, Maryland Election Integrity and United Sovereign Americans, filed a lawsuit in March falsely claiming that Maryland’s voter rolls are inaccurate, its voting systems are unreliable, and the Maryland Board of Elections has “lost control of the voting system.” This legal effort, and similar ones across the country, are intertwined with the election denial movement that has for years sought to disrupt the democratic process. These suits threaten to wreak havoc in 2024.

Among other things, the plaintiffs claim that Maryland’s election system is out of compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, a law that is designed to increase voter registration and includes safeguards to ensure eligible voters are not accidentally removed from the rolls.

Claiming tens of thousands of errors within a state’s voting system does not make it so. To push back against this faulty suit, last week the Brennan Center filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the Maryland State Board of Elections’ motion to dismiss. The brief argues that the suit’s claims are based on glaring methodological errors that leave the plaintiffs’ allegations without any basis in fact. It also highlights the dangers of suits like this one, designed to sow doubt in the integrity of the election system leading up to November. One of the plaintiff groups — United Sovereign Americans — has made clear that the Maryland lawsuit is part of a broader scheme, publicly stating that the group plans to file similar suits in at least 23 states on an “emergency basis.”

Under the National Voter Registration Act, states are required to make a “reasonable effort” to remove voters who have died or moved. The plaintiffs are relying on unsound statistical analysis to cast Maryland’s voter rolls as inflated with ineligible voters and call into question its entire election system. The groups have asked the court to block Maryland from administering or certifying any election until the alleged voter registration errors are remedied. However, these claims hinge on fundamentally flawed data analysis of the state’s voter rolls, and the groups bringing the lawsuit failed to meet the minimum legal requirements to show that the federal court has the authority to rule on their claims. 

Other groups have already filed suits across the country demanding unwarranted voter purges. Last week, the Brennan Center filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Michigan in a case brought by the Republican National Committee in Michigan. That lawsuit seeks to force the state to purge the voters rolls more aggressively, potentially putting eligible voters’ registrations at risk.

These lawsuits, riddled with misleading allegations, are nothing more than a smoke screen set up to confuse voters and lead to distrust in our elections. Creating unwarranted confusion and distrust was also a strategy around the 2020 vote, when lies and conspiracy theories shaped an entire movement aimed at overturning a legitimate election. It is precisely this distrust that has been fueling increased threats, harassment, and intimidation against elections officials. Election officials are already understaffed and overworked, and frivolous lawsuits like this strain election offices’ already limited resources, time, and taxpayer dollars.

This suit, and others based on similarly flawed claims, should be quickly and resoundingly rejected.

Brennan Center Article

After midterms, Wyoming lost over 80,000 registered voters, raising concerns

Routine voter purges cut 1 out of 4 Wyoming voters, and crossover voting is gone. Election advocates worry that voters won’t know about the changes until it’s too late.

After the 2022 midterm elections in Wyoming, over 80,000 registered voters were removed from the state’s voter rolls. During the 2023 legislative session, the state passed bills that prohibit crossover voting during primaries and shorten the early and absentee voting period.

Registered voters in the Cowboy State who did not participate in 2022’s general election will receive a letter from their county clerk stating their registration status will be removed unless they take action. Based on the latest numbers from the Secretary of State, more than 25% or one in four voters have been purged.

According to Laramie County Clerk Debra Lee, while the purge is standard procedure, the size of the lingering gap in registered voter numbers is not.

Lee, however, is more focused on how Wyoming voters will react to other changes, particularly the state’s elimination of crossover voting.

“Wyoming voters are very used to having the freedom to change, even on the election day. And I think we’ll see some very unhappy people,” Lee said.

‘Crossover voting’ was a practice in which voters could vote in whichever of Wyoming’s primaries they chose, regardless of party affiliation on election day. Now, registered voters must declare their party affiliation by May 15 to vote in the August 20 primary, but the filing period for candidates opens on May 16. according to Nate Martin, director of the non-profit Better Wyoming, this means that voters are forced to pick a party without knowing who represents it.

“The state is now stopping unaffiliated people from being able to know which candidates are running prior to their registering to vote in a primary,” Martin said. “There are a lot of independent-minded people in Wyoming who would rather vote for the person rather than the party.”

In addition to eliminating crossover voting, the number of days available for absentee voting has been reduced from 45 days ahead of an election to 28. Marguerite Herman, a Wyoming’s League of Women Voters representative, worries that changes to the Cowboy State’s election systems have not been publicized.

“The League of Women Voters and other groups that value civic engagement are concerned that voters are not aware of recently enacted restrictions,” Herman said.

The Secretary of State’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Visit USA Today’s Wyoming election guide to stay up-to-date on upcoming races, voter registration information, and more.

Cy Neff reports on Wyoming Politics for USA Today. You can reach him at, or on X, formerly known as Twitter @CyNeffNews

USA Today Article

Trump campaign, RNC pledge to deploy 100,000 attorneys and volunteers to monitor the vote

Democrats and election experts say the figure is unrealistic, but expressed concerns the effort could hamper normal election operations and intimidate voters.

April 19, 2024, 2:27 PM CDT

By Jane C. Timm

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee announced a massive “election integrity” operation on Friday, promising to deploy 100,000 volunteers and attorneys to battleground states to “protect the vote and ensure a big win” in November.

In a press release, officials said they wanted the volunteers and lawyers to monitor logic and accuracy testing, early voting, ballot tabulation, mail ballot processing and Election Day voting, as well as post-election canvasses, audits, and recounts. The release suggests they may intend to recruit poll workers, too.

“Having the right people to count the ballots is just as important as turning out voters on Election Day,” Trump said in the release..

“The RNC is hiring hundreds of election integrity staff across the map — more than ever before because our Party will be recruiting thousands of more observers to protect the vote in 2024. These campaign officials in states are tasked with recruiting, training, and when possible, shifting poll watchers and poll workers day in and day out,” added RNC co-chair Lara Trump.

Poll watching is a normal part of elections — both parties do it — but experts warn that unruly operations can be a problem. And as Trump and his allies continue to make false claims about the 2020 election, some experts worry that empowering these sort of observers at polling sites could hamper normal election operations or intimidate voters.

The GOP release notes they plan to work with “passionate grassroots coalitions who are deeply invested in fighting voter fraud.”

The planned operation would double the RNC’s promised 50,000-person operation from 2020, though some experts said both numbers figures were aspirational and unrealistic. The RNC did not respond to a request for data on how many people had volunteered or been staffed in recent elections.

“I’ve actually run a program like this with real people,” said Justin Levitt, a former advisor in the Biden White House on democracy issues who has previously worked in the Department of Justice on voting issues. “We did really well and got multiple tens of thousands.”

Recruiting individuals in particular to monitor for voter fraud, he said, is even harder than staffing poll workers.

“They’re recruiting people to stand there and watch for something that’s not going to happen. Can you please show up and watch, wait for the UFO for 15 hours?” he said.

Marc Elias, a leading Democratic election lawyer, agreed the 100,000 number was unrealistic, but said he was still concerned about the plans.

“I think they are going to have a massive voter suppression operation and it is going to involve very, very large numbers of people and very, very large numbers of lawyers,” he said. “I think we need to take the RNC literally and seriously — except on their numbers.”

Lauren Groh-Wargo, executive director of Fair Fight PAC, the political advocacy arm of the Georgia voting rights group of the same name, said the effort would harm election administration.

“The Republican National Committee’s new voter suppression unit is just the latest version of their cynical playbook to divide and intimidate voters and steal American’s voices by building an operation based on the lie of voter fraud,” she said in a statement.

Until 2018, the RNC’s poll watching plans were limited by a consent decree, which required it seek court approval to prove that any poll watching work wasn’t discriminatory.

That decree was put into place after Democrats sued and accused the RNC of sending armed, off-duty police officers to patrol the polls in minority neighborhoods in 1981. The decree required them to seek prior court approval for poll watching operations, but expired at the end of 2017 after 35 years.

Poll observers are a normal and beneficial part of the election process when they are well trained and do not interfere with administrators work, said David Becker, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation and Research, a group that helps support election officials. An army of 100,000 would present a different dynamic, he said, but noted that election workers are prepared to handle unruly observers if they appear.

“They will protect the right of their voters to vote free of intimidation. If observers are acting any way contrary to voters interests or interfering with poll workers, they will be dealt with under the laws of the state,” he said.

NBC Article