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electionlineWeekly — April 21, 2016

Table of Contents

V. Legal Updates

Arizona: The Democratic Party and the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are suing Arizona over problems voters—mostly in Maricopa County—faced during the March primary. The state’s “alarmingly inadequate number of voting centers resulted in severe, inexcusable burdens on voters county-wide, as well as the ultimate disenfranchisement of untold numbers of voters who were unable or unwilling to wait in intolerably long lines,” the lawsuit says.

In other primary lawsuit news, Judge David Gass refused to dismiss a case seeking to throw out the results of the March 15 primary. He said he will hold an evidentiary hearing on Monday, April 25.

In yet more Arizona litigation news, on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state’s voting map and the legality of the nonpartisan redistricting commission.

Connecticut: The U.S. Department of Justice informed Connecticut officials that it is investigating the state’s participation in Motor Voter. The April 15 letter says, in part: This is to notify you that I have authorized a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut and appropriate state officials to enforce compliance with Section 5 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993," which applies to local 'motor voter' programs in the states," Vanita Gupta, a deputy assistant U.S. attorney general, wrote April 15 to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.

Kansas: Following a four-hour hearing there was still no decision on a preliminary injunction to block Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law. The ACLU, which sued the state in February to stop the law, hopes for a ruling before elections in August and November.

New Mexico: The secretary of state’s office lost a long-running lawsuit over legal fees in a public records case that the ACLU filed against former Secretary of State Dianna Duran. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the original case stems from Duran’s since-discredited claims that 117 non-citizens voted in 2011. The state will now be required to reimburse the ALCU more than $90,000.

New York: According to The New York Daily News, more than 200 New York voters have joined a lawsuit claiming their party affiliations on their voter registration was changed without their consent and therefore they were unable to vote in this week’s primary. The suit calls for New York to be an open primary state, allowing anyone to vote in primaries regardless of party affiliation.

Virginia: The Public Interest Legal Foundation, on behalf of the Virginia Voters Alliance Inc., has sued Anna Leider, the general registrar of voters for the City of Alexandria. The suit alleges that Leider did not maintain proper voter rolls with the city having more registered voters than eligible citizens.