III. Legal Update
Florida: A group of residents of Mount Dora are seeking an injunction to stop a tied race for city council being decided by chance — drawing lots or a coin flip. The group is being represented by a former city councilmember who argued that the city’s charger states that a candidate cannot occupy a seat on the council without a majority of the votes. On Tuesday, a Lake County circuit judge granted a temporary injunction.
Georgia: Garry Hall, a candidate for Willacoochee mayor lost his election bid by one vote and is suing the Atkinson County Board of Elections claiming that staffers working for the BOE made mistakes that cost him the election. Hall had previously lost a bid for Willacoochee mayor by three votes.
Louisiana: Allen Parish District Judge Joel Davis dismissed a challenge to the results of the Turkey Creek mayor’s race. GOP candidate Heather Cloud lost to Independent Bert Campbell by four votes. Cloud filed suit claiming a Campbell campaign worker paid four people to vote for Campbell. Davis dismissed the case based on a 1998 ruling that said evidence of voters receiving compensation is not grounds to disqualify their votes in an election.
Massachusetts: According to the State House News Service, the state is close to settling a voting-rights lawsuit filed by the NAACP, Demos and other voting rights groups on behalf of welfare recipients. The suit seeks assurances that the state comply with the National Voter Registration Act.
New Jersey: A lawsuit filed by Rutgers University students will move forward after a state appeals court said the trial judge was wrong to dismiss the case in 2013. The suit argues that the state law requiring residents to register to vote at least 21 days before an election is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was dismissed in December 2013 by a Superior Court judge who, according to Gannett, said the burden caused by the rule was minimal and that college students should know how to meet deadlines. The appellate court ordered the case to be heard again.