Fresno · Politics

Fresno Co. facing possible suit over lack of updated voter rolls

Fresno County is under fire for removing a low number of voter registrations during four-year period, potentially in breach of Federal election laws.

Non-partisan educational foundation Judicial Watch sent a letter to Fresno County in November threatening a lawsuit for potential violations of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which outlines the requirements for removing registrations from the voter rolls. 

The National Voter Registration Act requires states to make a “reasonable effort to remove” people from official voter rolls who have died or moved, among other provisions. 

The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) publishes reported data regarding voter registration removal programs every few years in a report to Congress. 

As was reported by the EAC in August, Fresno County only removed two voter registrations from November 2016 to November 2020. 

As of November 2020, Fresno County has 573,873 registered voters. 

Judicial Watch also sent similar letters to 13 other counties across the nation. 

“About 10 percent of Americans move every year,” said Judicial Watch senior attorney Robert Popper. “Those counties should generate hundreds of thousands of cancelled registrations. There is simply no way to comply with federal law while removing so few outdated registrations under its key provision.” 

Wide-scale voter roll cleanups are not unheard of. In 2020, Judicial Watch sent a similar letter to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County, which resulted in 69,000 outdated registrations removed from voter rolls. 

The Sun reached out to a Fresno County spokesperson for comment but did not receive a response by publication.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.