IV. Legal Updates
California: According to the Los Angeles Times, attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice have requested documents from the secretary of state’s office and Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye after accusations that the state and courts are unlawfully denying voting rights to some intellectually disabled residents.
Missouri: Secretary of State Jason Kander announced this week that his office has turned over investigative findings to Boone County law enforcement officials who have filed felony charges against four people who are accused of forging more than 1,000 signatures on a ballot initiative to put early voting on the ballot.
New Hampshire: The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled that legislation requiring a voter to be a resident of the state and not just domiciled there is unconstitutional. In more simple terms it would require anyone wishing to register to vote to have a driver’s license from New Hampshire. In their opinion, the court noted that the language of the law is confusing and inaccurate and could potentially cause voter confusion.
New Jersey: A Superior Court judge has refused to issue an injunction for Passaic County freeholders that has sought to void a labor contract between Election Supervisor Sherine El-Abd and Local 1032. Without the injunction, the contract will remain in place as the lawsuit continues.
New York: Prosecutors in the Bronx have charged Hector Ramierz, a failed candidate for state Assembly, with voter fraud alleging that he used fake absentee ballots.
North Carolina: Former Hanover County Elections Director Marvin McFadyen has filed an unlawful termination suit in Superior Court. The suit seeks reinstatement and compensatory damages. In January the county elections board voted 2 to 1 to petition the state to be allowed to terminate McFadyen. The state board of elections granted the county’s request.
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has filed charges against four elections officials who allegedly tampered with voting machines at one city polling place during the 2014 general election. It is alleged that the officials added six votes to one of the voting machines and that they did not live in the district where they were working.
Tennessee: A lawsuit against the state election commission and Elections Coordinator Mark Goins alleges that they are ignoring court order to restore the voting rights of former felons. Tennessee is one of 11 states that permanently disenfranchises felons unless they apply to a circuit court to have their rights reinstated.
Texas: Two losing candidates for Dallas city council seats have filed a challenge to the election in district court alleging that the results were rigged. The losing candidates are asking for access to election records, expedited hearings and a new election.
Virginia: The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a letter to officials in Augusta County telling them that they must correct access for voters with disabilities at 21 of the county’s 25 voting precincts. According to the letter, an investigation of the precincts conducted in July of 2013 found that the county is violating Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act by denying persons with disabilities access on election day. The investigation was based on a citizen complaint.