U.S. Judge Approves Online Publication of New Mexico Voter Records

Santa Fe, New Mexico (AP) — A conservative initiative to publish national voter registration records online beyond the opposition of New Mexico’s election regulators ordered in preliminary opinion. I did.

Judge James Browning of the Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court issued an order last Friday banning New Mexico prosecutors from pursuing allegations of potential election law violations against the creators of VoteRef.com. I put it out.

The VoteRef.com website provides searchable access to voter registration records by name and address. This often indicates when you voted in past elections.

Online records do not state which candidates people voted for or how they voted for the initiative. Some states list voters’ political affiliations, but not all.

The VoterReference Foundation, which created the website, advocates accountability for voting by making voter information more accessible to the general public.

Following the ruling, the Foundation has announced that it will post a list of New Mexico voters online starting Tuesday.

This decision does not apply to New Mexico voters who are enrolled in a confidential address program aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence and stalking.

Election regulators in New Mexico claim that the effort violates state restrictions on the purchase and distribution of voter registration records. Knowing that some of your voting information is publicly available may opt out and may discourage voter participation.

In March, Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver referred to the Attorney General’s office for possible prosecution of the Voter Reference Foundation, which published online New Mexico registration records obtained from outside the state. work. State law limits the use of voter registration information to political movements and election or government-related activities.

The Foundation, backed by former GOP senator candidate Dougtor Ax, Illinois, took the New Mexico record offline accordingly, claiming a breach of due process and freedom of speech guarantees in federal court. I sued.

The judge’s order blocked prosecution while the case went to trial, and said the voter reference foundation was likely to win the allegations of election regulators as victims of perspective discrimination. “No voter reference (or any organization) prohibits the posting of voter data online,” Browning said.

The creator of VoteRef.com said, “The Secretary of State’s referral to the Attorney General for criminal prosecution and her public statement on the referral are unconstitutional prior restrictions on protected speech. There is a real chance of success with the benefits of their claims, “Browning said.

Trueax is the founder of the Restoration of America organization that funded VoteRef.com, and his group was “for some reason threatened by politicians who didn’t want easy access to the election records paid by the people. It won’t happen. ” For. “He requires a photo ID and advocates restricting voting access to direct voting on election days without registration on the day.

VoteRef.com has already published voter registration information online from at least 28 states and Washington, DC.

Alex Kerrtus, a spokesman for Toulouse Oliver, called the judge’s opinion “a blow to protect the privacy rights of all New Mexico voters.”

“The current concern is that voters will be less likely to participate in elections because voting information (name, address, political party, voting history, date of birth) will be readily available online to anyone. “Operate,” said Cartas.

Several parts of New Mexico this year have been the focus of door-to-door canvassing by volunteers from a group called the New Mexico Audit Force, which promotes unproven conspiracy theories about the 2020 elections.

Knocking on the door has created fears of threatening voters and a threatening counter-argument to campaigners, apparently to confirm individual voter registrations in people’s homes.