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electionlineWeekly — October 26, 2017

Table of Contents

 VI. Legal Updates

Alabama: Secretary of State John Merrill said he will hand over the names of almost 700 crossover voters to prosecutors. According to the Associated Press, Merrill said he lpans to send the 674 names to the attorney general and district attorneys after local election officials check the list for errors. "It's the law. We're going to enforce the law. We're not bullying anybody. We're enforcing the law," Merrill told The Associated Press. Anyone found guilty of crossover voting could face up to five years in prison.

Arizona: A year-long inquiry has found that the failure of Secretary of State Michele Reagan to get ballot brochures out on time to about 200,000 households in 2016 broke the law. The report also said that Reagan knew about the delay more than two weeks before notified the public about it. The report found no evidence of criminal violations though.

California: Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Drew C. Takaichi has tentatively ruled that former councilman Manh Nguyen failed to prove that the county elections office botched the ballot count that lead to his defeat last year. “There is no reasonable conclusion that fraud occurred in the process,” Takaichi wrote his tentative ruling issued Oct. 4 after a week-long trial. He added that Nguyen failed to “prove fraud by clear and convincing evidence.”

Florida: Jennifer Scott, 52 of Flagler has been arrested and charged with two third-degree felony charges to making false allegations on a voter registration form and casting a ballot in 2016 before going through the state’s clemency process to have her voting rights restored.

Kansas: BuzzFeed has filed suit against Secretary of State Kris Koach alleging that he has violated the Kansas Open Records Act according the Lawrence Journal-World. BuzzFeed was seeking Kobach’s emails with regard to this role as informal advisor to the president and as vice chairman of the president’s election commission. The suit alleges that at first the secretary of state’s office demanded an unreasonable fee for the documents and then it denied access to the documents entirely.

New York: The New York City board of elections will acknowledge it broke the law when it purged more than 200,000 voters from the city’s rolls prior to the 2016 election cycle. In addition to admitting guilt, the BOE will agree to make changes to its practices. The actions come as part of settlement reached between the BOE and Common Cause New York after Common Cause filed suit.

North Carolina: The Scotland County Board of Elections requested that a sheriff’s deputy be stationed outside the BOE’s offices during early voting this week. "Unfortunately, I'm receiving a lot of phone calls that some voters are starting to feel a little bit intimidated. There's a lot of said that's been said and placed on Facebook that are making some people very uncomfortable. Due to that process and due to some issues that have happened on my property, we've asked a sheriff's deputy to just sit in today on our property. To make sure everything runs smooth. That nobody feels intimidated. And everybody feels safe,” Director Dell M Parker told WPDE.

Ohio: A grand jury voted not to charge 17 Cuyahoga County residents who were among dozens of non-U.S. citizens identified by Ohio Sec. of State Jon Husted's office as illegally voting or registering to vote in past elections. The grand jury voted not to hand up false voter registration charges against 16 people, and not to charge a 17th person with illegal voting. The dates of offenses listed in court records date back to September 1996.

Texas: JJ. Koch, a Republican candidate for Dallas County commission has asked a judge to remove Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole from office, alleging incompetence and official misconduct.

Utah: A lawsuit filed against San Juan County by the Navajo Nation alleging that the county’s move to vote-by-mail disenfranchises tribal voters will head to trial on March 16, 2018.