VII. Legal Updates
Arizona: The League of United Latin American Citizens and the Arizona Students Association have filed suit charging that thousands of Arizonans are being illegally denied the right to vote in federal elections. The suit contends that state law is trumping federal law and disenfranchising thousands.
Mississippi: A candidate for the Mississippi House of Representatives will finally get the chance to challenge a 2015 election loss in court in April. The Enterprise-Journal reports that specially appointed Pike County Circuit Judge James Bell has scheduled the challenge for April 30. Bell also scheduled a ballot review in March. The candidate alleges voting irregularities, illegal campaigning and mishandled ballots. Myers and election officials deny wrongdoing.
Nevada: Democrats are asking a judge to halt three potential recall elections. The suit claims that the recalls would put a burden on the plaintiffs’ right to vote.
New Jersey: Judge Julio Mendez ruled this week that state law does not allow for the review of mail-in ballots before an election. At the center of the suit are 6,100 absentee ballots in Atlantic County. “It would create a very chaotic process that would delay, substantially, the ability of the board to count the votes and issue results, which would undermine the electoral process,” Mendez said, adding the campaign can review the materials as part of an election challenge.
New Mexico: First Judicial District Court Judge David Thomson ruled this week that the state government’s voting leave policy must extend to municipal elections. The suit was filed by two state employees in October.
Also in New Mexico, Judge Greg Shaffer issued an order commanding the city of Santa Fe to use ranked-choice voting in the March municipal election. Shaffer did allow the city at least one more chance to argue why it isn’t ready to switch to the new system.
New York: New York Supreme Court Justice Erika Edwards issued an order last week for the immediate relocation of five election districts back the Lefrak City. The city’s board of elections had removed the election districts from the housing complex. Edwards call the move “irrational, arbitrary and capricious.”
North Carolina: Judge Paul Ridgeway ruledthat he lacks the authority to prevent counties from using a software program to check in voters at polling sites Tuesday, despite the concerns of state elections officials. The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement had enough questions about the functionality and security of the EViD software that they determined it shouldn't be used in this year's municipal elections.