IV. Legal Updates
Kentucky: Clark County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Adams has ordered Clark County to conduct a second recount to determine who won one of three at-large seats in November. In his decision, Adams said he will appoint the recount commission and the recount manager himself.
Ohio: Although we’re almost a month past Ohio’s March 15 presidential preference primary, Secretary of State Jon Husted went to court this week seeking to overturn a judge’s ruling that kept some polls open an additional hour on the 15th. "We can't change it at this point," Husted spokesman Josh Eck told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Our appeal is based on principle. We don't want this to be a precedent going forward, that this kind of order is acceptable." The original order, which came about one minute before polls were set to close was unusual because there was no plaintiff and no hearing, Judge Susan Dlott made the decision herself after receiving phone calls from voters stuck in traffic. "It was simply too late for the order to be implemented uniformly, and the counties made best efforts in this difficult situation," Assistant Secretary of State Matt Damschroder said in his statement to the court.
Pennsylvania: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) against the Philadelphia City commissioners for their failure to respond to inquiries about voter roll maintenance. According to The Washington Free Beacon, the lawsuit says that for the years the number of registered voters in Philadelphia exceeded the number of people registered to vote.
Utah: San Juan County has filed a countersuit in the ongoing voting rights fight between the county and the Navajo Nation over vote-by-mail. The Navajo Nation argues that be limiting voting to vote-by-mail, the county is violating the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. The county’s countersuit argues that the county has already made changes to the vote-by-mail process and has plans to provide election-day voting at four locations in 2016. The countersuit also questions the standing of the seven residents in the original lawsuit.
Wisconsin: The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that a lower court should consider the ACLU’s latest lawsuit against the state’s voter ID law. "The right to vote is personal and is not defeated by the fact that 99% of other people can secure the necessary credentials easily," wrote Appeals Court Judge Frank Easterbrook. The ACLU’s suit argues that there should be an exception to the law for certain voters who an especially difficult time getting the documents they need to obtain a photo ID.