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MADISON - This afternoon, Attorney General Van Hollen filed a motion for summary judgment for a peremptory writ of mandamus or, in the alternative, declaratory or injunctive relief in the suit against the Government Accountability Board. The motion asks the court to order the Government Accountability Board to comply with the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), as required by state law. Specifically, the motion asks the Court to order the Government Accountability Board to treat in a non-discriminatory fashion all individual voter registrations after January 1, 2006, the date on which Wisconsin was required to come into compliance with HAVA.
"This litigation is about making sure this law is followed," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said in a statement. "Compliance with the law isn't merely an option to be considered. It is a mandate."
"Make no mistake, following the law disenfranchises no one," Van Hollen's statement continued. "Our law creates safeguards to ensure that every eligible voter can cast a ballot on Election Day and have it count. Contrary to what critics are suggesting, this lawsuit doesn't change that. No one is disenfranchised when the law is followed. But disenfranchisement can occur by not following the law. The right to vote includes the right to have one's vote protected from being diminished and diluted by ineligible, illegal, or fraudulent votes. Every unlawful vote disenfranchises those entitled to vote by making lawful votes count less than they should. HAVA is one attempt to protect the right to vote against unlawful voting."
In addition to the motion and the brief in support, the Department of Justice also served requests for admission to the defendants and filed those requests with the Court. A copy of the papers filed today is attached here.
In related election integrity news, earlier this morning in Milwaukee, Attorney General Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced a new multi-jurisdictional action team established to evaluate complaints of election fraud, and investigate and prosecute those cases where appropriate. The Department of Justice and the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office will work cooperatively with local law enforcement as needed when investigation is required.