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electionlineWeekly — December 11, 2014

Table of Contents

 IV. Legal Update

Alaska: U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason is urging the state and a groups of Alaska Native plaintiffs to see if they can reach a settlement over the plaintiffs voting rights lawsuit.According to The Associated Press, Gleason is reviewing a plan the state submitted—per her ruling—and is asking the parties to come to terms. New Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott told the news service that his desire is to settle the case.

Georgia: A voter in Douglas County as filed suit against the county and county elections officials claiming his civil rights were violated when he was asked to remove his NRA hat before entering a polling place to vote. According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit challenges what it calls a per se ban on clothing referencing the NRA at county polling places.

Indiana: Attorneys for former Secretary of State Charlie White argued their appeal before three judges of the Indiana Court of Appeals. The attorneys presented three arguments: ineffective assistance of counsel; insufficient evidence; and the jury and judge not properly applying the law. According to the Journal Gazette, a decision is expected in the next few weeks.

Kentucky: A civil suit has been filed in the recent judge executive race in Magoffin County. The suit claims that absentee ballots may have been improperly cast and that ineligible voters may have also cast ballots.

New Jersey: A judge in Hackensack ordered that the voting machines and all other materials related to the November 4 mayoral election in Bogota be preserved and presented to the state’s attorney general who is investigating reports that poll workers cast ballots on behalf of some elderly and Spanish-speaking voters.

New Mexico: On Wednesday, the New Mexico Supreme Court lifted a stay it had imposed on the recount in the race for land commissioner. The court lifted the stay and denied a petition to halt the recount by one of the candidates after state elections officials and the candidates came to an agreement on how to recount the ballots.

Oregon: Sponsors of Measure 92 — currently undergoing a statewide recount — filed an emergency lawsuit this week challenging the method used by elections officials to make sure signatures on ballot measure envelopes are not forged. According to The Associated Press, the suit seeks to force officials to count 4,600 ballots disqualified because signatures on the vote-by-mail envelopes didn’t match those on registration cards. Multnomah County Judge Henry Kantor denied the request saying that he did not find the state’s rules on matching ballot signatures to unreasonable or illegal.

U.S. Virgin Islands: The Virgin Islands Daily News has filed a petition with the V.I. Superior Court asking the court to intervene and allow the public — and media — to witness the recount process as written in the V.I. Code. The suit comes after the board of elections failed to allow the press or members of the public to witness the recount process. A second suit was also filed to halt the recount process entirely. On Monday, a judge granted a temporary restraining order and an injunction and ordered the St. Croix BOE to allow public access to the recount process.