V. Legal Updates
Arizona: Secretary of State Michele Reagan and Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes have reached a settlement with the United Latin American Citizens which had sued over the state’s two-tiered voter registration system. Under the proposed settlement, voters will still need to be citizens to vote in state elections, but will no longer have to provide proof of citizenship with their application. Their citizenship status will be checked automatically by the state against the Department of Motor Vehicles database.
Georgia: The clock is ticking on a lawsuit filed in July of 2017 that would force the state to use all paper ballots in the November 2018 election. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the plaintiffs, a group of election integrity activists and voters, say the courts need to step in to safeguard democracy in Georgia. Legislation to replace the state’s electronic voting machines failed to pass at the Georgia Capitol this year, and tech experts have repeatedly shown how malware could change election results.
Indiana: According to The Indiana Lawyer, Chief Judge Theresa Springmann recently certified a class of roughly 150 individuals who were held in the Allen County Jail on November 8, 2016. This paves the way for the inmates to sue the county sheriff for failing to provide them with a way to cast their ballot.
Maryland: Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge William Mulford rule against a Democratic candidate for governor who wanted ballots reprinted to include her name after her running mate died. According to The Sun, Mulford said he didn’t believe there was time to reprint ballots for the June 26 primary. He also said another potential remedy to apply stickers to ballots to show the change without adequate testing could gum up voting machines and potentially cause “havoc.”
New Jersey: Superior Court Assignment Judge Stuart Minkowitz ruled that a Morris County town with a large Hispanic population did not have to provide ballots or other election materials in Spanish for the June primary. Minkowitz ruled that director of the U.S. Census Bureau— not Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi— must determine the percentage of English-proficient Latino voters in Dover and whether the official ballot should be bilingual.
Tennessee: The Knox County board has settled a lawsuit with the Galesburg Election Commission. The election commission filed the suit after the county failed to pay the commission’s executive director and assistant director the amount commission had set.
Texas: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily block a lower court’s order that would have forced the state to implement online voter registration for Texas drivers.