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Keeping Polls Open Late Because of Excessive Registration Purging

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
January 16, 2013
Available Online Only

Maine Democratic Party v. City of Portland (Kermit V. Lipez, D. Me. 2:00-cv-360)
A large number of voters went to the polls in Portland, Maine, for the 2000 general election to discover that their voter registrations had been canceled. Poll workers referred them to city hall, where lines grew very long. On the afternoon of the election, the Democratic Party sought a temporary restraining order to keep the polls open an extra two hours. All district judges were out of town, so a local circuit judge heard the motion. The judge declined to keep the polls open late but ordered the polls to let voters correct registration errors at the polls and ordered that all voters in line by the time the polls closed be able to vote.
Topics: Registration challenges; National Voter Registration Act; polling hours.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.