VII. Legal Updates
Alabama: Secretary of State John Merrill has announced that there were 140 confirmed crossover voters in the September Republican runoff for Senate. Merrill also said that none will be investigated further for prosecution. "After these reviews and the conversations were completed, there were no instances in which a local Probate Judge deemed it necessary to pursue additional investigations that could potentially lead to prosecution," Merrill said. "Without new information being introduced in this review, this matter is now considered closed."
Connecticut: Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis is considering whether or not to order a new primary in a Bridgeport council race. According to the Connecticut Post, Bellis said she had serious concerns about the way absentee ballots were handled in the special election.
Idaho: A grand jury has indicted Richard Floyd Farley, Jr. on one federal voter fraud charge for submitting a voter registration form he knew was false. Farley voted on November 7 but was not eligible because he’s on felony probation.
Kentucky: Judicial Watch has added Kentucky to the list of states that it is suing over what it alleges are bloated voter rolls. The suit claims that 48 counties have more registered voters than the number of age-eligible citizens.
Also in Kentucky, former deputy director of the state board of elections, Matthew Selph, has filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court alleging that the state violated whistleblower laws when it terminated him after he filed formal complaints alleging mismanagement and potential violations of the law in the secretary of state’s office.
Maryland: A foreign national — whose real name prosecutors still don’t know — was convicted Friday in U.S. District Court of stealing a U.S. citizen’s identity and committing voter fraud, Social Security fraud and passport fraud over the course of 20 years. According to The Baltimore Sun, the defendant used the victim’s personal information to obtain driver’s licenses and other identification cards in the summer of 1997, according to evidence presented at his trial. He then built on these documents, acquiring a U.S. passport, Social Security card and registering to vote. He most recently voted in the 2016 presidential election, officials said.
Minnesota: Chiquita Baptiste, 24, has been charged with one count of unlawful voting for twice in the 2016 election. Alysse Miranda Fitzpatrick, 26, of Lake Crystal, Ashley Nicole Williams, 23, of Mankato, and Taylor Mitchel Spence, 27, of Mapleton, were charged Wednesday with voting while ineligible to vote in Blue Earth County District Court. Noah Summers, 45, of Mankato, was charged with registering to vote while ineligible.
New Hampshire: According to NHPR, the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 3 which adds tougher penalties for people who fail to provide certain kinds of documentation showing they live where they’re trying to vote heads to trial in August 2018.
New Mexico: Judge David Thomson has ordered the city of Santa Fe to implement the voter-approved ranked choice voting system beginning with the city’s March 2018 primary. Voters approved using the voting system in 2008, but since then it’s been tied up in court with local officials claiming that the election systems they employ could not handle the process.
Ohio: The U.S. Supreme Court announced that oral arguments in Husted v. A Philip Randolph Institute will begin on Jan. 10.
Virginia: A political rights activist has filed suit against the City of Virginia Beach alleging that the city’s at-large voting system violate the Voting Rights Act. According to WTKR, the lawsuit further alleges that the city is depriving elderly individuals and people with disabilities accessible or alternate polling places on Election Day, which is in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA).
Wisconsin: Jamie L. Sammons, 36, of Eau Claire has been charged with felony election fraud for registering to vote in the 2016 election even though she is a convicted felon.