Fitton: Judicial Watch Testifies to Congress: Secure the Vote!

A voter cast her mail-in ballot at in a drop box in West Chester, Pa., prior to the primary election, Thursday, May 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

I was pleased to represent you in providing testimony to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties during a hearing titled “Protecting the Right to Vote During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

I reminded the committee that Judicial Watch has “been involved for almost a decade in ensuring the honesty and integrity of our electoral processes” and “is now the nation’s premier enforcer, public or private, of the election integrity provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).”

“The American people see what they conclude are disingenuous fights over electoral procedures and lose faith in the honesty of our elections,” I said. “With this background in mind I turn to measures proposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the more common suggestions now is to require greater reliance on mail-in ballots. For example, last month Governor Newsom issued an executive order requiring that county elections officials transmit mail ballots to every registered voter in the State. I view this as a real threat to the integrity of American elections.

“It is now about five months until election day, and the pandemic’s infection curve has flattened. Insisting now on all-mail ballot elections seems less like a response to a health crisis and more like a partisan application of the immortal words of Rahm Emanuel: ‘Never allow a good crisis to go to waste.’”

For more than 25 years, Judicial Watch has been known for its aggressive, leading edge use of public records laws and lawsuits, as well as taxpayer, civil rights, and whistleblower protection litigation to fight government corruption. In 2012, we launched a nationwide effort to promote voting integrity and protect voting rights. As part of this effort, we assembled a team of highly experienced voting rights attorneys who have fought gerrymandering in Maryland, stopped discriminatory elections in Hawaii, and cleaned up voter rolls in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, among other achievements.

In 2018, California settled a federal lawsuit with Judicial Watch and began the process of removing up to 1.6 million inactive names from Los Angeles County’s voter rolls. In April, Judicial Watch sued North Carolina and Pennsylvania to force them to clean up their voter rolls. We also just filed a lawsuit to stop the special, statewide vote-by-mail mandate issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Other participants in the hearing included:

  • Stacey Abrams, Chair, Fair Fight Action
  • J. Christian Adams, President and General Counsel, Public Interest Legal Foundation
  • Barbara Arnwine, President, Transformational Justice Coalition
  • Jocelyn Benson, Secretary of State, State of Michigan
  • Michelle Bishop, Disability Advocacy Specialist for Voting Rights, National Disability Rights Network
  • Dale Ho, Director, Voting Rights Project, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Myrna Pérez, Director, Voting Rights and Elections Program, Brennan Center for Justice

I suspect the Left wasn’t terribly happy with my testimony, as I called them out for using coronavirus to scare Americans from voting in person. This is the real voter suppression.

Thank you to Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Ranking Member Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) for running the hearing and allowing Judicial Watch the opportunity to make our case for more secure elections.

My written testimony is available here. Video from the hearing is available here.

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