League of Women Voters of Texas, Texas NAACP, Ruthann Geer v. Rolando Pablos, et. al.
On July 20, 2017, the Brennan Center and co-counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Texas, the Texas NAACP, and Ruthann Geer seeking to prevent Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos from producing voter registration information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in a manner that does not comply with state law and could harm millions of registered Texas voters.
On June 28, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach – who serves as vice-chair of the Commission – requested names, addresses, birthdates, the last four digits of a voter’s social security number if available, voter history, military status, and felony conviction history from states across the country. Kobach, who has a long-time history of supporting voter suppression efforts, stated that the Commission requested this information to “fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting.”
In Secretary Pablos’ public response to the Commission’s request, he stated that his office would provide the Commission with only the information on Texas voters that was publicly available. But Texas law affords voters even greater privacy protections and safeguards before the state can hand over information in its voter registration database. The parties filed this lawsuit to ensure compliance with Texas law.
Currently, there have been seven federal lawsuits filed challenging the action, including five in Washington D.C., one in Florida, and one in New York. In addition, lawsuits have been filed in state court in New Hampshire, Indiana, and Idaho. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have declined to provide any data, and others — like Texas — have said they will provide publicly available data.
The organizational plaintiffs in the suit —The League of Women Voters of Texas and the Texas NAACP — are represented by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, Kirkland and Ellis LLP, and the Law Office of Charles McGarry.