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electionlineWeekly — December 7, 2017

Table of Contents

 V. Legal Updates

Connecticut: Perhaps the third time will be the charm. Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis has ordered a third primary for a Bridgeport city council race. Bellis concluded that there was meddling with absentee ballots. The new primary will be February 6 although the city said it has plans to appeal.

Mississippi: A Lowndes County grand jury has indicted Cory Ferraez on voter fraud. Ferraez, a former candidate for a state House seat has plead not guilty to swearing to a false application for an absentee ballot and voting outside his legal district.

New York: After the Manhattan Democratic Party filed suit to prevent the speaker of the city council from appointing a friend to the board of elections, a judge issued temporarily barred the appointment. The court order bars the Council from holding a vote to approve a BOE pick before Dec. 20, when there will be a hearing.

North Carolina: The North Carolina State Board of Election on Wednesday said the special election for an unexpired seat on the Winterville Town Council cannot be certified, and the case is heading to Wake County Superior Court. In a letter to the Pitt County board of elections, the SBOE said that because of voting irregularities, the election cannot be certified.

Texas: According to an article in the Texas Tribune, it appears that the state may be conceding an appellate court ruling against it in the case of language interpreters at the ballot box. In its August ruling, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s finding that Texas ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act by restricting the interpretation assistance that English-limited voters may receive and that the law should be struck down. The state has said nothing since the ruling leading many to believe that the state may be conceding this one.

Also in Texas, attorneys for the state argued before a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that problems with the state’s voter ID law have been remedied with a provision that allows people who lack to sign an affidavit stating that there was a reasonable impediment to them getting one.

Virginia: A Pittsylvania County circuit court judge has ordered a recount in a county board of supervisors race. There is a 14-vote margin in the race.

Also in Virginia, Democrats have formally requested a court-ordered special election in the 28th House of Delegates race where the margin of victory was 82, but where at least 100 voters voted in the wrong precinct.