Many of the groups named in Raffensperger’s request spoke out against Senate Bill 202 when it passed earlier this year.
The Justice Department acknowledged the records request but said it needed more time to respond given its scope and the need to consult with various government offices.
The federal government can take many months to produce public documents when it decides there are “unusual circumstances” surrounding the request, as it did in Raffensperger’s case.
“In an effort to speed up our process, you may wish to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive records,” the Justice Department stated in a Sept. 29 letter. “We regret the necessity of this delay, but we assure you that your request will be processed as soon as possible.”
Raffensperger’s office recently settled a separate lawsuit over its responsiveness to public records requests by American Oversight, a government watchdog organization. American Oversight had alleged state election officials stalled or ignored requests for communications with the Republican National Committee, documents involving an absentee ballot fraud task force and information about coronavirus response.
Under the agreement, the secretary of state’s office was required to pay $35,000, produce readily available records within three business days, improve training and require prepayment only when retrieval costs exceed $500.