IV. Legal Update
Arizona: The Phoenix suburb of Goodyear has sued the state of Arizona and Secretary of State Ken Bennett arguing that the city charter trumps a state law that requires Goodyear to hold elections in even-numbered years. The suit is challenging a 2012 law forcing the city to move to even-numbered years for its elections. The city claims moving its elections to even-numbered years causes a number of conflicts.
Louisiana: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, early voting in the runoff election is two days shorter than normal this year and State Rep. Marcus Hunter challenged the decision of Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s decision. In his suit, Hunter challenged that the election is too important to cut early voting short. The judge denied Hunter’s motion and elections offices were closed on Thanksgiving and the Friday after. Hunter has appealed the lower court ruling and will seek to add two days.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a new mayoral election in the town of Turkey Creek. The Appeals Court tossed out four votes that a lower court judge had ruled were bought. Tossing the four ballots left the race in a tie.
New Mexico: An incumbent land commissioner has asked the State Supreme Court to temporarily halt an automatic recount. Land Commissioner Ray Powell contends that the state canvassing board has violated state law and election code. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Powell contends that there have been several irregularities in process, including the vote recount order.
Pennsylvania: President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca has approved a plan to allow the Washington County Elections Board to reduce the number of voting precincts in the county by eight. The plan still must be approved by the Department of State.
Texas: In documents filed before the Thanksgiving holiday, plaintiffs in the Texas voter ID case want a federal appeals court to speed up consideration of the case. The paperwork notes that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet scheduled the case. The plaintiffs worry that because a hearing has not been set, the law could still be in place for the upcoming May 2015 municipal elections.