New York City removed 441,083 names from its voter rolls and will enter into a settlement with the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. The organization filed a federal lawsuit in July under the National Voter Registration Act which said the city had removed only 22 names over the last six years, a number the group described as “ludicrously small.”
As part of the settlement, New York City will cancel registrations in accordance with the National Voter Registration Act in odd-numbered years following a federal election. It will also provide Judicial Watch with reports on the number of removals through 2025.
“This historic settlement is a major victory for New York voters who will benefit from cleaner voter rolls and more honest elections,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “We look forward to working together under this federal lawsuit settlement to ensure New York City maintains cleaner rolls for future elections.”
Judicial Watch wanted New York City to complete voter list maintenance, which occurs when registrations are canceled for people who do not respond to an address inquiry and do not vote in two federal elections. Municipalities practice voter list maintenance to remove names of people who have passed away or moved so their registration can’t be used fraudulently.
The Supreme Court ruled in its 2018 Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Inst. decision that Ohio’s voter maintenance process, which follows a very similar practice of checking on people who don’t vote by sending an address inquiry, is constitutional.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, the city had 5.2 million registered voters as of Nov. 1, 2022.
Judicial Watch frequently files voter list maintenance suits. It settled another case this year with North Carolina, which led to 430,00 names being removed from rolls. In 2019, it settled a case with California that ultimately led to 1.6 million names being removed in Los Angeles County.