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electionlineWeekly — April 23, 2015

Table of Contents

 IV. Legal Updates

Connecticut: The Hartford city council has decided not to appeal a ruling by Superior Court Judge Constance Epstein that said the council did not have the power to remove the city’s three registrars. Citing costs and time constraints, the council voted unanimously not to seek an appeal. "The entire council felt that it was just in the city's best interest to end the litigation," Councilman Kenneth Kennedy told the Hartford Courant. "We're still very concerned about the judge's ruling regarding the power of the council. We believe we have that power, and we would like the legislature to clarify our power in terms of removing someone for criminal conduct or for gross negligence."

Illinois: The U.S. Department of Justice and state elections officials have reached an agreement to ensure that military and overseas voters are able to cast a ballot in the upcoming special election to replace Rep. Aaron Shock. DOJ filed suit because state election laws for special elections conflict with UOCVA. As part of the agreement, state officials must provide a report to Justice officials no later than 43 days before the July 7 special primary election, certifying whether the absentee ballots were transmitted by 45 days before the election.

New Hampshire: The state’s highest court heard arguments this week on a 2012 law that requires people registering to vote in New Hampshire to also register their vehicles there. Lawyers for the state argued that the 2012 law is just clarifying other laws whereas plaintiffs argue that it amounts to a poll tax.

North Carolina: This week the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower court’s ruling that had upheld Republican-drawn electoral districts for federal and state races. According to WRAL, the justices order the state Supreme Court to consider anew whether the legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew voting districts following the 2010 Census.