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E.D. Va.

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Format: 2020
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De La Fuente Guerra v. Democratic Party of Florida (Robert L. Hinkle, N.D. Fla. 4:16-cv-26), De La Fuente v. Kemp (Richard W. Story, 1:16-cv-256) and De La Fuente v. Kemp (Mark H. Cohen, 1:16-cv-2937) (N.D. Ga.), De La Fuente v. South Carolina Democratic Party (Cameron McGowan Currie, D.S.C. 3:16-cv-322), De La Fuente Guerra v. Winter (Robert C. Brack, D.N.M. 1:16-cv-393), De La Fuente v. Krebs (Roberto A. Lange, D.S.D. 3:16-cv-3035), De La Fuente v. Cortés (John E. Jones III, M.D. Pa. 1:16-cv-1696), De La Fuente v. Wyman (Benjamin H. Settle, W.D. Wash. 3:16-cv-5801), and De La Fuente v. Alcorn (Liam O’Grady, E.D. Va. 1:16-cv-1201)
A prospective candidate for president in 2016 filed federal complaints challenging his exclusion from primary election and general election ballots in several states. In 2018, the candidate achieved a change to ballot access rules in Virginia.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; laches; primary election; matters for state courts; Electoral College; absentee ballots; interlocutory appeal; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Joshua Cole for Delegate v. Virginia State Board of Elections (Claude M. Hilton, 1:17-cv-1295) and Lecky v. Virginia State Board of Elections (T.S. Ellis III, 1:17-cv-1336) (E.D. Va.)
In an election that would narrowly determine which party controlled the state legislature, a district judge denied a motion to order the counting of absentee ballots that were delivered late, allegedly because of postal service error. A second district judge declined to enjoin certification of a close election after it had been discovered that hundreds of voters were given ballots for a different district.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: Election errors; absentee ballots; enjoining certification; intervention; presiding remotely.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Hispanic Leadership Fund v. Federal Election Commission (John A. Jarvey, S.D. Iowa 4:12-cv-339) and Hispanic Leadership Fund, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission (T.S. Ellis III, E.D. Va. 1:12-cv-893)
A group wishing to run a political advertisement filed a federal complaint against the Federal Election Commission in the South-ern District of Iowa because the Commission’s advisory to another group suggested that the Commission might not approve the plaintiff’s advertisement. Ten days after the complaint was filed, the district court dismissed the action, determining that it should have been filed in Washington, DC. Following the filing of a second complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia, the second district court decided on October 4 that three of five draft advertisements were electioneering communications subject to regulation because they referred to the presidential candidate for reelection.
Subject: Campaign activities. Topics: Corporate electioneering; campaign materials; case assignment; campaign finance.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Raiklin v. Virginia Department/Board of Elections (John A. Gibney, Jr., E.D. Va. 3:18-cv-288)
A district judge denied immediate relief to a pro se plaintiff who filed an action challenging his exclusion from a primary election ballot, because he filed the complaint after early voting had started.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; laches; pro se party; primary election; early voting; absentee ballots.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Correll v. Herring (Robert E. Payne, E.D. Va. 3:16-cv-467)
A delegate to a national presidential nominating convention sought an injunction against a state statute that criminalized failure to vote for the state’s primary election winner on the first ballot. The district judge concluded that the statute unconstitutionally infringed on the plaintiff’s right to vote his conscience consistent with party rules.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Party procedures; primary election; class action; intervention; laches; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Perry v. Judd (3:11-cv-856) and Shuttleworth v. Moran (3:12-cv-257) (John A. Gibney, Jr., E.D. Va.)
Two weeks before absentee ballots were to be ordered from printing companies for the 2012 Republican presidential primary in Virginia, Texas Governor Rick Perry filed a federal complaint alleging that his ballot petition was wrongfully rejected four days previously. Among his claims, Perry alleged that Virginia unconstitutionally required persons collecting petition signatures to be Virginia residents. The judge instructed the parties to provide other disqualified candidates with notice of the suit so that they could seek to intervene. On the day that ballot printing was to be ordered, the judge ruled that the ballots should not be printed until after a hearing four days later. The district judge and the court of appeals determined that Perry should have challenged ballot petition rules at the beginning of the petition period rather than at the end. The district judge also opined that it was unconstitutional to require signature gatherers to be residents. A few months later, a would-be candidate for a congressional primary election challenged the residency requirement because it caused him to be just a few signatures short of the requirement for the primary ballot. Perhaps in light of the district judge’s earlier opinion, the candidate was certified for the ballot.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; laches; primary election.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Schintzius v. Showalter (John A. Gibney, Jr., E.D. Va. 3:16-cv-740 and 3:16-cv-741)
A case removed to federal court in September sought to get a plaintiff candidate on the November ballot for mayor, claiming that plaintiff ballot petition signers were wrongfully disqualified because they gave their residence addresses instead of their registration addresses under circumstances in which the plaintiffs claimed that the signers could lawfully vote using the old addresses. The district judge denied immediate relief.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; removal.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

New Virginia Majority Education Fund v. Virginia Department of Elections (Claude M. Hilton, E.D. Va. 1:16-cv-1319)
On the last day of voter registration, the state’s online registration website crashed, and state officials had no authority to extend the registration deadline as a remedy. Two organizations and two prospective voters filed a federal complaint, and the district judge granted a brief extension to voter registration, to which state officials agreed.
Topics: Registration procedures; voting technology.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Parson v. Alcorn (M. Hannah Lauck, E.D. Va. 3:16-cv-13)
Days before the distribution of absentee ballots was to begin, three voters filed a challenge to a party’s requirement that voters in its presidential primary election sign a statement that the voters are members of the party. The district judge heard the case one week after it was filed and denied the plaintiffs immediate relief, reasoning, “A private, unenforceable pledge does not pose a severe burden.” The party decided not to use the loyalty oath after all, and the plaintiffs dismissed their appeal.
Topics: Party procedures; primary election; absentee ballots.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Saunders v. Andrews (4:04-cv-20) and Lowe v. Davis (4:04-cv-21) (Raymond A. Jackson, E.D. Va.)
A college student wishing to run for city council filed a federal complaint challenging the denial of his voter registration. On the following day, three other students filed a similar complaint. The federal judge ruled against the students, but a state judge granted one of the students relief. By the time of the general election, two of the students could register because they obtained driver’s licenses at their local address.
Topic: Student registration.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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