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electionlineWeekly — February 16, 2017

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 V. Legal Updates

Georgia: The Georgia secretary of state’s office has settled a federal lawsuit and will no longer reject voter registration applications that don’t exactly match identifying information in state and federal databases.

Illinois: Mexican national who has lived in Urbana since 2005, allegedly using a stolen identity, was arraigned Thursday on seven federal counts, including four related to voting by an illegal immigrant.

New Mexico: Judge Sarah Singleton has ruled that no voter fraud was committed in the Espanola municipal election in 2016.

North Carolina: Dewey George Gidcumb Jr., of Haywood County was sentenced to probation and community service for voting twice in the March 2016 primary election.

Also, a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina alleges that black voters in Jones County are prevented from electing candidates of their choice because commissioners are elected at-large rather than by districts.

The North Carolina Supreme Court has issued an order reinstating the state board of elections — for now. The court has issued a stay while the court system figures out if lawmakers are or are not allowed to authorize a merger of the board of elections and ethics panel.

Texas: According to court documents, Rosa Maria Ortega, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for voting illegally had been offered a plea deal for two years’ probation but rejected it because it would have likely lead to her being deported. Another deal, initially approved by the attorney general’s office and the Tarrant County district attorney’s office that would have given her probation and kept Ortega in the country was subsequently rejected by Tarrant County.

Travis County is suing the state attorney general’s office to block the release of records sought by a former Austin City council candidate who has been involved in litigation surrounding a 2014 election. The lawsuit challenges the state’s ruling that the county must turn over documents including nine pages the county says it does not want to turn over, alleging they pose a significant security risk to the county and its election process.