IV. Legal Updates
Massachusetts: A lawsuit challenging Massachusetts’ 20-day voter registration cutoff deadline is working its way through the courts with a goal of finding a final resolution ahead of next year’s elections.
Rhode Island: The Cranston, Rhode Island police department is investigating eight voting irregularities in the November 2016 general election. Mayor Allan W. Fung told The Providence Journal the irregularities cropped up during a customary audit of the election by the board of canvassers.
New York: According to Newsday, attorneys for the Nassau County board of elections must file briefs by the end of February for a voter registration list lawsuit. The plaintiffs, four candidates for the upcoming municipal elections on March 21, allege that the voter rolls are bloated with those who have died or moved.
North Carolina: Last week the governor and attorney general ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt its review of North Carolina’s voter ID and now legislators angry over that decision have filed a court document seeking to be added to the ID case.
Tennessee: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee have accused two residents of buying votes in the 2017 U.S. Senate primary election. The 14-count federal indictment alleges that 13 people were paid to vote in the 2014 Senate primary.
Texas: On February 24 a federal judge denied a request from the U.S. Department of Justice and Texas AG Ken Paxton to delay a March hearing on the state’s voter ID law. Then on Monday February 27 the DOJ withdrew its appeal.
Also in Texas, Crystal Mason, 41, has been indicted on a charge of illegally voting in the 2016 election. Mason cast a ballot even though she was still on supervised release for a conviction. Mason claims she did not know she could not vote.
Utah: The state’s Republican Party has had a change of heart and is reversing its decision to drop a legal challenge to the Count My Vote law that allows candidates a pathway to a primary ballot by gathering signatures. The party voted to see through its appeal.
Wisconsin: A three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard arguments over claims that Republicans in Wisconsin had deliberately made it harder for minorities to vote by limiting early voting. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the judges seemed skeptical.
Also in Wisconsin, a recently released felon on parole cast a ballot for Donald Trump in the November 2016 election and now he’s facing additional charges because he had not yet regained his voting rights because he was still on parole.