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electionlineWeekly — September 28, 2017

Table of Contents

 V. Legal Updates

Louisiana: Documents have been filed in a state appeals court seeking to overturn the law that prohibits Louisiana voters on parole from casting a ballot. The current law prohibits approximately 71,000 felons on probation from voting.

Michigan: Attorneys for Macomb County have filed a counter-complaint to the county clerk’s suit from earlier this year in which she alleged she was not permitted to fire employees. In the counter suit the county alleges that Karen Spranger is not a county resident and lied on her candidate form.

New Mexico: The New Mexico Supreme Court has denied an emergency petition seeking to have the court compel the Santa Fe City Council and mayor to implement ranked choice voting for the 2018 election cycle.

Ohio: Dozens of amicus briefs have been filed before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the state’s system of purging voters. The briefs come from 27 black congressional representatives, 17 former Justice Department officials; 36 current and former county elections officials and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D).

Pennsylvania: The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against a Philadelphia city commissioner that tried to force the city to purge convicted felons from the city’s voter rolls. “Contrary to the ACRU’s assertions,” judge Theodore McKee wrote for the court, the NVRA “places no affirmative obligations on states (or voting commissions) to remove voters from the rolls. As its text makes clear, NVRA was intended as a shield to protect the right to vote, not as a sword to pierce it.”

Texas: The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Hidalgo County have reached a settlement on access to the polls for voters with disabilities. “Under the terms of the settlement, accessibility will be a major criterion in the county’s selection of polling places,” a release read. “To make that assessment, the county will use an evaluation form for each prospective polling place based on ADA architectural standards. The county has agreed either to relocate inaccessible polling places to accessible facilities or to use temporary measures such as portable ramps, signs, traffic cones and remote signaling devices where appropriate to ensure accessibility on Election Day.”