WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Ruling Upholds Transparency For Voter Records

Play associated audio
A ruling by the 4th Circuit of Appeals is expected to increase transparency in Virginia voting records.
Michael Pope
A ruling by the 4th Circuit of Appeals is expected to increase transparency in Virginia voting records.

A court ruling that gives members of the public access to Virginia's voter registration applications could have national implications, according to the advocacy group that filed the lawsuit.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week unanimously upheld a lower court's ruling that a federal law mandating openness of voter records trumps a Virginia law restricting access to the information.

The nonprofit group Project Vote brought the lawsuit against election officials in Norfolk after being denied access to voter registration applications of Norfolk State University students who claimed they were prohibited from voting in the 2008 presidential election.

The court ruling does not give the the public access to those documents, in part because they contain Social Security numbers, says Catherine Flannagan of Project Vote.  But it creates an important precedent for making the documents available to the public, Flannagan adds.

"The trial court said that the public wasn't aware that its applications would be made public, so there was an expectation of privacy that would be adjusted by its decision that rejected applications are available for public display," she said.

Back in March, a State Integrity Investigation ranked and graded each of the fifty states on government accountability, transparency and risk of corruption. Virginia earned an F.

NPR

Chinese Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Restricted To 20-Day U.K. Visa

Ai says he was denied a six-month visa because U.K. officials said he didn't list a criminal conviction in his application. Ai was imprisoned in China, but he notes he was never charged with a crime.
NPR

Humans Aren't The Only Ones To Go Ape Over Diets: Chimps Detox, Too

A group of Ugandan chimps has found a great way to boost their mineral intake and neutralize bitter compounds in their diet: by eating clay.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - July 31, 2015

Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

NPR

Debris Found In The Indian Ocean May Be From Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

Investigators believe a piece of debris found on the French island of RĂ©union in the Indian Ocean could be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in March 2014.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.