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N.D. Ga.

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Format: 2019
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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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Common Cause of Georgia v. Kemp (Amy Totenberg, 1:18-cv-5102) and Brown v. Kemp (William M. Ray II, 1:18-cv-5121) (N.D. Ga.)
Two federal lawsuits filed on the day before and the day of a general election challenged a secretary of state’s election oversight. The first case alleged susceptibility to tampering of voters’ records. The second case challenged the propriety of a secretary of state presiding over an election in which he is running for governor. A related case from the previous year challenged the security of touchscreen voting machines. A federal judge ordered the use of provisional ballots as an interim remedy for voter record discrepancies, pursuant to the Help America Vote Act. Apparently the winner of the gubernatorial election, the secretary notified the judge in the other case of his resignation as secretary of state.
Subject: Voting procedures. Topics: Voting technology; provisional ballots; case assignment; Help America Vote Act (HAVA); laches; removal; enjoining certification.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Democratic Party of Georgia v. Burkes (M.D. Ga. 1:18-cv-212) and Democratic Party of Georgia v. Crittenden (Any Totenberg, N.D. Ga. 1:18-cv-5443)
Following a morning proceeding three days after an election, a federal judge signed a consent agreement extending the deadline for election officials to receive cast absentee ballots. Ballots were mailed late to voters because of a state court injunction and a hurricane. In another district in the same state, a consent order similarly ex-tended the deadline for absentee ballots statewide in a runoff election.
Subject: Absentee and early voting. Topics: Absentee ballots; enjoining certification.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Martin v. Kemp (1:18-cv-4776) and Georgia Muslim Voter Project v. Kemp (1:18-cv-4789) (Leigh Martin May) and Democratic Party of Georgia v. Crittenden (Steve C. Jones, 1:18-cv-5181) (N.D. Ga.)
Not quite two weeks before the 2018 general election, a district judge ordered election officials to regard absentee ballots with signatures apparently not matching signatures on file to be regarded as provisional ballots with an opportunity for the voters to resolve discrepancies. Before the election, the judge declined to order immediate relief from the rejection of absentee ballots for clerical errors. After the election, while absentee ballots were being counted, the judge ordered a county to not reject absentee ballots that arrived with a missing or incorrect year of birth, because only eligible voters would have received absentee ballots. In another case with election officials for an additional county as defendants, another judge issued a similar order on the following day.
Subject: Absentee and early voting. Topics: Absentee ballots; early voting; signature matching; provisional ballots; class action.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda v. Kemp (Eleanor L. Ross, N.D. Ga. 1:18-cv-4727)
A federal complaint challenged a statute that required the name on a voter registration form to exactly match—character and space and hyphen for character and space and hyphen—how the name appears in other government records. The complaint also challenged the flagging of voter registration applications as potentially from noncitizens just because the applicants had not yet become citizens when they received their driver’s licenses. One week after a motion for a preliminary injunction was filed and 11 days before a general election, the judge specified how voters could prove their citizenship and vote if their voter registrations had not become final because of citizenship questions.
Subject: Registration procedures. Topics: Registration procedures; citizenship; signature matching; laches; provisional ballots.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Georgia State Conference of the NAACP v. Georgia (Timothy C. Batten, Sr., N.D. Ga. 1:17-cv-1397)
Granting a preliminary injunction, a federal district judge found that a state statute requiring voter registration five Mondays in advance of an election to be eligible to vote in a later runoff election was inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act’s requirement that voter registrations for federal elections be accepted until no more than 30 days before an election.
Subject: Registration procedures. Topics: Registration procedures; National Voter Registration Act; recusal; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Davis v. Cooney (Eleanor L. Ross, N.D. Ga. 1:16-cv-3844)
A voter filed a suit to stop a referendum on the incorporation of a new city because two regions of the proposed city might not be included in the new city, depending on the results of other litigation, and so voters in those regions allegedly would dilute the plaintiff’s vote. The district judge determined that the Equal Protection Clause did not restrict who could vote on incorporation as the plaintiff alleged.
Topics: Enjoining elections; equal protection; ballot measure.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

City of College Park v. City of Atlanta (Julie E. Carnes, N.D. Ga. 1:08-cv-1464)
The City of College Park and one of its residents filed a federal complaint against the City of Atlanta in the Northern District of Georgia on April 18, 2008, claiming that Atlanta was violating section 5 of the Voting Rights Act by acquiring an apartment building in College Park to clear the land of structures and people for benefit of the airport without first obtaining preclearance for the change in College Park’s electorate. On the day that the complaint was filed, the district judge issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the property acquisition, but the property had already been acquired earlier in the day, so the judge vacated the order. The parties agreed to a settlement.
Topics: Section 5 preclearance; three-judge court.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Nu Mu Lambda Chapter v. Cox (William C. O’Kelley, 1:04-cv-1780) and ACORN v. Cox (Jack T. Camp, 1:06-cv-1891) (N.D. Ga.)
A 2004 complaint alleged that Georgia improperly required newly registered voters to submit their voter registration forms directly to the government rather than to coordinators of voter registration efforts. Thirteen days after the complaint was filed, the court granted the plaintiffs injunctive relief. The court of appeals affirmed in 2005. In 2006, a similar complaint alleged that Georgia was not complying with the earlier precedent. Again, the court granted the plaintiffs preliminary injunctive relief. Two years later, the court vacated the preliminary injunction because the parties had not moved the case forward.
Topics: Registration procedures; National Voter Registration Act; enforcing orders; interlocutory appeal.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Schwier v. Cox (Julie E. Carnes, N.D. Ga. 1:00-cv-2820)
On October 26, 2000, two voters filed a federal complaint challenging a requirement that they provide Social Security numbers as part of their voter registrations. On Friday, November 3, the district judge ruled that to vote the plaintiffs could file their Social Security numbers with election officials and with the court under seal; depending on the resolution of the case, the numbers would either be unsealed or destroyed. In 2002, the district judge ruled that an uncodified provision of the Privacy Act did not provide the plaintiffs with rights of action, but the court of appeals determined in 2003 that the uncodified provision was nevertheless applicable law that did afford private rights of action.
Topics: Registration procedures; voter identification; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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