IV. Legal Updates
Kansas: U.S. Magistrate James O’Hara has ruled that a document Secretary of State Kris Kobach was seen carrying into a meeting with the president could be relevant to the federal lawsuit against the state’s proof-of-citizenship law. O’Hara has ordered Kobach to produce the document as well a second internal office document.
Montana: In other Montana special election news, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ordered Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton to reduce the number of voter’s signatures needed to place a minor party and independent candidates on the May 25 special election ballot from 14,268 to 400. That being said, the judge did not extend the March 6 deadline and therefore the three candidates who sued for ballot access will still not gain access to the ballot.
North Carolina: Joy Yvette Wilkerson, 41, of Henderson is facing multiple counts of fraudulently altering voter registrations to restore voting privileges to 250 ineligible felons. Wilkerson was a temporary elections worker at the time.
Pennsylvania: They aren’t often on the same side, but last week, Pennsylvania’s Republican and Green parties both sued to void a Philadelphia special election. They accused Democrats of intimidating voters. According to Courthouse News Services, the 29-page complaint says that election board workers “virtually all of whom are registered Democrats” were directing voters at the polls to cast their vote for the Democratic write-in candidate.
Texas: U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has ruled — again — that the 2011 Texas voter ID law is in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Ramos said that the civil rights that sued the state had provided evidence establishing that discrimination was “at least one of the substantial or motivating factors behind passage” of the law by the GOP-controlled Legislature in 2011.
In other legal news, Laura Pressley, who lost a 2014 race for Austin City council has appealed to the state Supreme Court. In the 432-page filing, Pressley reiterates her contention that the Travis County clerk’s office broke the law by not securing “ballot images” from its electronic voting machines.
Virginia: The Virginia Attorney General’s office has declined to issue a legal opinion on whether it’s a conflict for a Botetourt County elected official to share office space with the voting machines scheduled to be used in the next election.