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Inadvertent Use of Wrong District Lines in a Primary Election

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
December 6, 2016
Available Online Only

Harris County Department of Education v. Harris County (Lee H. Rosenthal, S.D. Tex. 4:12-cv-2190)
A county’s department of education filed a federal complaint after a primary election for its board of trustees was held using malapportioned district lines instead of interim lines imposed by a federal judge in another case while preclearance of new lines was pending. The district judge presiding over the new case found no constitutional violation because of a lack of intent, and she found that the equities weighed against the plaintiff because it was unlikely that the districting error had an effect on the election’s ultimate outcome.
Subject: District lines. Topics: Election errors; enjoining elections; malapportionment; intervention; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; primary election.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.