VI. Legal Updates
Federal Lawsuit: A nonpartisan campaign reform group wants a federal judge to compel the Justice Department to un-redact names from a chain of emails secured through a Freedom of Information Act request that it says shed light on the inner workings of President Trump’s now defunct voter fraud commission.
Arizona: The Justice Department’s Civil Rights division has sued Arizona and Secretary of State Michele Reagan claiming that the state failed to give absentee voters enough time to consider the finalized and official ballot ahead of a Democratic special primary election. “The inability of the state to transmit the final absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters receiving a Democratic Party ballot by the 45th day before the February 27, 2018 special primary election for the House of Representatives violates the United States of America under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act” wrote John Gore, an assistant attorney general with the civil rights division of the justice department. On Tuesday, the DOJ and the state reached an agreement.
Maine: Supporters of ranked-choice voting in Maine — joined by eight Democratic candidates — filed a lawsuit to ensure that the voting method is in place in time for the June primaries. The lawsuit comes two weeks before the deadline for Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) to certify signatures designed to place on the June 12 ballot a referendum question that could decide the long-term fate of ranked-choice voting.
New Hampshire: This week, a judge heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the state law that requires additional documentation from voters who move to the state within 30 days of an election. According to Seacoastonline, lawyers for the state argued the lawsuit failed to allege any injury from the law. They said the plaintiffs had no trouble voting, arguing two were already registered voters and a third eventually voted in a local election.
New York: Supreme Court Justice Thomas Nolan dismissed a petition to recount ballots in Saratoga Springs’ November charter vote. The petition sought a recount of all ballots cast in the City of Saratoga Springs by a hand or by a review of the image files, or .TIF files, scanned by the voting machines used in the election. The idea was to look for discrepancies. Nolan said there was no factual support for the petitioner’s request.
Utah: A settlement agreement has been reached between the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and San Juan County. The commission had sued the county arguing that its vote-by-mail system violated the voting rights of Navajo voters. In the settlement agreement, the county has agreed to implement various measures to create equal opportunities for Navajo voters.