V. Legal Updates
Alabama: U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler has set a September 11, 2017 date for a review of Alabama’s voter ID law. The plaintiffs — Greater Birmingham Ministries and the NAACP — had asked for a June date so a decision could come before the municipal elections, but the state objected.
Illinois: The Chicago Board of Elections has been sued by the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project. The suit alleges “discrepancies and improprieties” during the audit of the March 15 primary. The lawsuit alleges that audit monitors observed discrepancies between the paper tape and official results from the electronic voting machines used by early voters. Members of the Ballot Integrity Project were serving as audit monitors.
Michigan: U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain has blocked Michigan’s ban on straight-party voting. In his ruling, Drain said the change would result in longer lines and wait times at polling places and would disadvantage black voters the most.
Ohio: The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday from the American Civil Liberties and Demos in their efforts to stop the state of Ohio from purging voters in advance of the November 2016 election. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a brief in the case supporting the plaintiffs.
Virginia: By a 4-3 vote, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s ex-felon voting rights restoration violated the state’s constitution. The court argued that McAuliffe violated the spirit of the law by restoring the rights en masse instead of individually.
Wisconsin: The state’s Attorney General has filed an appeal in the recent ruling by Judge Lynn Adelman that will allow Wisconsin voters without the proper ID to sign an affidavit before casting a ballot. The AG is asking the judge to stay the ruling. And he’s appealing the case to the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.