Judicial Watch sues Kentucky over alleged 'dirty voting rolls'

A conservative watchdog group is suing Kentucky over its alleged failure to maintain accurate voter registration lists, claiming 48 counties in the state have more registered voters than citizens over the voting age of 18.

Judicial Watch filed the federal lawsuit against Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on Wednesday.

In its complaint, Judicial Watch claims that Kentucky leads the nation in the number of counties where total registration exceeds the citizen voting-age population. 

“Kentucky has perhaps the dirtiest election rolls in the country,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Wednesday. “Federal law requires states to take reasonable steps to clean up their voting rolls—and clearly Kentucky hasn’t done that.”

Fitton said the lawsuit aimed to “ensure” that Kentucky citizens have “more confidence” that elections in the state won’t be “subject to fraud.”

Kentucky is required by law to disclose to the federal Election Assistance Commission the inactive registrations it carries on its voter rolls. Judicial Watch claims the state “failed to do so.”

According to Judicial Watch, Kentucky also is required by the National Voter Registration Act to make registration-related records publicly available by request -- but the group claims the state did not make records available to them.

“Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections,” Fitton said.

But the Kentucky secretary of state’s office told Fox News the lawsuit is “without merit.”

“We are confident the facts will prove Kentucky is following the law and doing its due diligence to protect voters’ rights and franchise,” Grimes’ spokesman Bradford Queen told Fox News Wednesday.

Queen told Fox News that under Grimes’ leadership, Kentucky “has and will continue to” maintain the state’s voter rolls in accordance with all federal and state statutes, ​“including the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act.”

“Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization masquerading as a citizen advocacy group, and a majority of its lawsuits have been dismissed,” Queen said. “In reality, Judicial Watch wants to make it harder for people to vote, and the Commonwealth and its State Board of Elections won’t bow to their efforts.”

Judicial Watch is also currently suing the state of Maryland and Montgomery County over their alleged failure to release voter registration documents. 

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.