V. Legal Updates
Maine: Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court has agreed to review a set of questions regarding the legality of ranked-choice voting which was approved by the voters in November 2016. According to the Portland Press Herald, the court indicated it would take the matter up and invited the Legislature, the state’s Attorney General, the Governor’s office and the Secretary of State to all submit written arguments on the new law.
New Mexico: The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the state’s system of closed primary elections, ruling the practice is constitutional and not overly burdensome. The decision means primary elections can continue to be closed to voters who aren’t registered as members of the political parties with candidates on the ballot and unaffiliated voters will only be able to vote in general elections.
New York: Essex County will appeal a ruling by State Supreme Court Justice Martin Auffredou that ordered the county to release electronic ballot scans and cast vote records.
North Carolina: Four Guilford County residents filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. Middle District Court after being accused of illegally casting ballots during the 2016 General Election. The lawsuit asks for at least $25,000.
Oregon: A Multnomah County sheriff's deputy who, on Election Day, drove past a line of people waiting to vote in Southeast Portland and chanted "Trump, Trump" over the loudspeaker of a county vehicle violated election law, according to an investigation by the Oregon Secretary of State, Election Division. Deputy Jason Vetter faces a fine of $75 for violating OR S 260.432 "by engaging in political advocacy while on the job during work hours as a public employee."
Texas: The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that the city of Pasadena’s May election will proceed as planned using a 2011 system.