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electionlineWeekly — February 23, 2017

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III. Legal Updates

Arizona: Alan Faygenblat, 38 of Scottsdale, has been sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and 160 hours of community restitution for filing false voter registration. Faygenblat argued that he was trying to prove a point that Maricopa County’s voter registration process is flawed.

North Carolina: Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein have withdrawn the state’s petition for a high court review of a voter ID law.

Texas: U.S. District Court Judge Orland Garcia has sanctioned the state of Texas for disregarding court orders to provide documents in a lawsuit over the state’s voter registration practices. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the judge said the months-long delay wasted time and money and was disruptive to the case. He also singled out the attorney general’s office for deficient performance.

Also in Texas, the 13th Court of Appeals has stayed a lower court’s ruling pending an appeal which puts a special city council election in Hidalgo on hold for the time being. The election had been scheduled for March 6.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas attorney general’s office have both asked for a delay in a hearing on the state’s voter ID law. According to NewsHour, in the joint filing DOJ and AG Ken Paxton asked to delay the February 28 hearing until summer because the Texas Legislature is considering changes to the existing law.

Utah: According to Fox 13, settlement talks are underway in a lawsuit filed against San Juan County by the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah over Navajo voters’ access to the ballot. “The parties continue to explore possible settlement. The parties have (met) and are in ongoing discussions. Defendants have agreed to this extension of time,” ACLU of Utah Legal Director John Mejia wrote in the filing.