LITTLE ROCK - The state Democratic Party said Friday a lawyer representing the party has sent a letter to the office of Secretary of State Mark Martin detailing ways the party believes the office has failed to comply fully with the state Freedom of Information Act.
The letter by Little Rock lawyer David Mitchell states that if Martin’s office does not fully comply with the FOIA, Chris Burks, legal council for the party, “is prepared to take all necessary and appropriate legal action, including filing a lawsuit for violation of the FOIA.”
Martin spokesman Chris Powell said Friday the office had no comment.
On Aug. 3, the Democratic Party submitted a request to the Republican secretary of state’s office for documents related to the office’s flagging of more than 7,000 registered voters as felons, and therefore not eligible voters, based on data the office later learned was flawed. Martin’s office notified county clerks of the problem on July 6.
Mitchell alleged in his letter Friday that Martin’s response to the party’s request for documents was not compliant with the FOIA because:
—He refused to provide documents in the form in which they were stored, namely, in electronic form.
—He failed to provided attachments to emails that he provided.
—He redacted email addresses and computer file names that are not exempt from the FOIA.
—With limited exception, he provided only email correspondence and apparently failed to provide some of the other public records that fell under the party’s request.
The Democratic Party will seek to recover attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs if the matter goes to court, Mitchell said in the letter.