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Election Litigation

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August 27, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Conservative Party of New York State v. New York State Board of Elections (Jed S. Rakoff, S.D.N.Y. 1:10- cv-6923)
Minor parties in a state that allows candidates to appear as nominees of multiple parties filed an action against a rule established for new voting technology that would give voting preferences in some cases to the major parties. The judge denied immediate relief because the action was brought too close to the election, but the case ultimately resulted in a consent judgment and an award of $199,000 in attorney fees.

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PDF icon Case Study 3 pages
August 27, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Chesnut v. Democratic Party of Nevada (James C. Mahan, D. Nev. 2:08-cv-46)
In 2008, voters challenged Nevada’s Democratic Party’s plans for nominating caucuses in which some voters would be able to participate in at-large caucuses at times other than the scheduled time for regional caucuses. The court determined that the party had not exceeded its authority in determining its nominating procedures.
Topics: Party procedures; intervention; recusal.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
August 27, 2012
Margaret S. Williams

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was created by the 2002 Help America Vote Act. It is a clearinghouse for data and information on administering elections. This outline summarizes resources available on EAC's website.

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August 27, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Doe v. Attorney General (George Z. Singal, D. Me. 1:00-cv-206)
One month before the 2000 general election, three women under psychiatric guardianships filed a federal complaint challenging Maine’s exclusion of persons under such guardianships from the right to vote. Approximately three weeks later, the court denied injunctive relief. On a more complete record the following year, the court invalidated the franchise exclusion.
Topic: Equal protection.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
August 27, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Project Vote v. Blackwell (Kathleen M. O’Malley, N.D. Ohio 1:06-cv-1628)
In July 2006, public interest organizations challenged new voter registration laws as overly burdensome, and the court enjoined the new laws. The court awarded the plaintiffs $321,485.28 in attorney fees and costs.
Topics: Registration procedures; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
August 17, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Ohio ex rel. Skaggs v. Brunner (Algenon L. Marbley, S.D. Ohio 2:08-cv-1077)
Ohio’s secretary of state removed a mandamus action from Ohio’s supreme court concerning validity requirements for provisional ballots. The case was assigned to a judge who was already presiding over related cases. The judge granted summary judgment to the state, but the court of appeals ordered the matter referred to the state court, which held the secretary of state’s validity requirements to be too lax. The court of appeals affirmed the district judge’s denial of attorney fees.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
August 14, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

ACLU v. Brunner (Kathleen M. O’Malley, N.D. Ohio 1:08-cv-145)
A January 2008 complaint challenged the selection by a county of new voting machines because the machines would not give voters notice of errors and opportunities to cure them. The district judge determined that by the time the complaint had been filed there was not time for a remedy that would not excessively disrupt the March presidential primary election.
Topics: Voting technology; laches.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
August 13, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Boustani v. Blackwell (Christopher A. Boyko, N.D. Ohio 1:06-cv-2065)

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
August 13, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections v. Vu (Paul R. Matia, N.D. Ohio 1:04-cv-2147)
In a challenge to a county’s voter registration procedures, claiming that they were so strict as to disfranchise voters, the court determined, on the case’s third day, that provisional ballot procedures were sufficient to protect voters from disfranchisement.
Topics: Registration procedures; provisional ballots.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
August 13, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Brown v. Rokita (Richard L. Young, S.D. Ind. 1:08-cv-1484)
On the day before the 2008 general election, a voter filed a class action challenging the nullification of her voter registration because she had not used the latest version of the voter registration form. At a temporary restraining order hearing that day, the parties announced an agreement that would permit voters who submitted old registration forms to cast provisional ballots that would be counted if the registration applications included all necessary information.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page

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