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electionlineWeekly — October 1, 2015

Table of Contents

 IV. Legal Updates

Alabama: The Alabama Supreme Court has reversed a lower court’s ruling that dismissed a case contesting the results of the 2013 Tuscaloosa school board election. The case focuses on 397 potentially illegal votes.

Arkansas: Protect Fayetteville, the organization that opposed a civil rights ordinance passed by voters in a special election, has filed a motion to dismiss the Washington County Election Commission as defendants in its lawsuit.

Iowa: An Iowa judge has upheld a state law that revokes felons’ voting rights. However, despite upholding the existing law, the lower court said that the state Supreme Court needs to sort out the confusion the upper court caused last year when it ruled not all felons are automatically disenfranchised.

Kansas: Voters have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to prevent Kansas from requiring proof-of-citizenship in order to register to vote and to prevent the state from removing “suspended” voters from the rolls. According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit against Secretary of State Kris Kobach argues that both the citizenship requirement and the voter purge violate the potential voters’ rights to due legal process.

New Mexico: According to the Albuquerque Journal, Sandoval County will pay $215,000 to attorneys representing three Rio Rancho Republicans who filed a federal lawsuit over the number of voting locations and machines assigned to the city. The county settled the lawsuit.

South Carolina: A candidate for Orangeburg city council is challenging the election after losing by one vote. After the unofficial results—which ended in a tie—were recounted and following a ballot hearing, Shirlan Mosley-Jenkins lost by one vote. The city’s election commission chose not to count a provisional ballot because the commission said the provisional ballot should have never been counted because the voter did not provide a valid reason for not having a photo ID.

Virginia: Attorneys representing the Commonwealth of Virginia have asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit against the state’s voter ID law. The attorneys argue that the plaintiffs don’t have the standing to file the case.

Also in Virginia, according to SCOTUSblog, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday told lawyers involved in a case on the constitutionality of a congressional election district in Virginia to file new briefs on whether the case can go forward. In the order, the court questioned whether current and former members of the House had a legal right to pursue their appeal.