Judge Rules for Conservative Group

(5MinNewsBreak.com) – In a new win for Republican efforts to guarantee election integrity, a federal judge has sided with a conservative organization by ruling that New Mexico officials broke the National Voter Registration Act by refusing to provide voter rolls for the group’s public online database.

This verdict came from Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court Judge James Browning, who largely supported the Voter Reference Foundation in its initiative to broaden access to a database of registered voters.

This move is aimed at enabling groups and individuals to independently investigate possible voting discrepancies or fraud, Breitbart News reports.

The pursuit by various conservative groups to access state voter rolls has sparked concern among election officials across multiple states and privacy advocates.

They argue that such information could end up in the wrong hands, which leads to possible voter disenfranchisement through intimidation tactics, including the threat of public exposure of personal details such as home addresses and political affiliations.

New Mexico’s election laws prohibit the public distribution of voter registration information, limiting its use to political campaigning and governmental non-commercial purposes.

However, Judge Browning concluded that this restriction significantly impedes the public distribution of voter data, thereby infringing upon federal disclosure standards.

“The data sharing ban largely deprives individuals and entities of the ability to engage with disclosed records in such a way that facilitates identification of voter registration-related irregularities,” the judge wrote.

This ruling is in alignment with a previous federal appeals court decision that mandated the state of Maine to provide its voter list to another conservative-aligned group, the Public Interest Legal Foundation. This organization is performing independent audits by comparing voter registration data across different states.

The Voter Reference Foundation operates the VoteRef.com database, which includes data from 32 states and the District of Columbia.

The database is managed by Gina Swoboda, a key figure in former President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign in Arizona and the current chair of the Arizona Republican Party.

“We are very gratified that the court has upheld the right of the public to have meaningful access to vote rolls,” Swoboda said in a statement.

“The intent of the public disclosure provision of the National Voter Registration Act is clear: namely, to allow the public to view the voter lists and associated list maintenance records to ensure proper voter list maintenance is being conducted. With this opinion the citizens of New Mexico can be assured of transparency in this key part of our elections process,” she elaborated.

The New Mexico secretary of state’s office plans to appeal the ruling, according to spokesperson Alex Curtas.

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