Frankfort, KY, Sept. 22, 2020 – Nonpartisan ethics watchdog American Oversight today sued the Office of the Attorney General in Kentucky through counsel Strobo Barkley PLLC for failing to release public records related to the Ballot Integrity Task Force, a newly launched partnership between state election officials and law enforcement aimed at investigating and deterring incidents of supposed “voter fraud.”
“Misinformation about voting by mail and voter fraud is pervasive and it discourages voters from exercising their right to vote,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “The public is entitled to see what these election administrators and law enforcement officials are doing behind the scenes.”
In July, the watchdog group filed open records requests to the Office of the Attorney General for meeting notices, agendas and minutes, and reports created by the Ballot Integrity Task Force, as well as emails sent by members of the task force containing key terms related to voter fraud. Today’s suit seeks to enforce these requests.
This lawsuit is the latest in American Oversight’s investigation into the voter fraud task forces that have been launched in states across the country. Shaped after President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity — which disbanded in 2018 after failing to find any credible evidence to support Trump’s accusations of widespread voter fraud — these groups have the potential to dissuade voters from participating in democracy.
American Oversight is using its open records expertise to investigate threats to democracy across the country as part of its State Accountability Project. The watchdog is investigating voter suppression tactics, from voter fraud task forces to gerrymandering, in key states including Florida, Texas, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, among others. More information on this investigation, including documents and outstanding requests, is available here.
Today’s complaint filed in Franklin County Circuit Court is available here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/7215537-Complaint-American-Oversight-v-Kentucky-Office.html
American Oversight is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit ethics watchdog and is the top Freedom of Information Act litigator investigating the Trump administration. American Oversight has filed more than 200 public records lawsuits since March 2017, uncovering and publishing tens of thousands of documents exposing conflicts of interest, abuse of power, and misuse of taxpayer resources at the highest levels of the government. In 2019, American Oversight launched its State Accountability Project to investigate voter suppression and has filed dozens of records requests in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Follow us at @weareoversight and learn more at http://www.americanoversight.org.