Virginia Ruling Upholds Transparency For Voter Records | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

In Tom Hanks' iPad App, Typewriters Make Triumphant Return (Ding!)

For iPad users who are nostalgic for the clickety-clack of keystrokes and "ding!" of the carriage return, Hanks has created Hanx Writer, an app that simulates using a typewriter.
NPR

New U.S. Rules Protect Giant Bluefin Tuna

To reduce the number of giant bluefin tuna killed by fishing fleets, the U.S. is putting out new rules about commercial fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the western Atlantic.
WAMU 88.5

Jury Deliberating 14 Counts In McDonnell Trial

As of Tuesday afternoon, there is no word yet from the seven men and five women who are deliberating 14 separate counts against the McDonnells.
NPR

The Troubling Implications Of The Celebrity Photo Leak

To learn more about the recent celebrity photo hack, Melissa Block speaks with Matthew Green of Johns Hopkins University. They discuss how the photos might have been obtained.

Leave a Comment

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