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Getting on the Ballot

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Acevedo v. Cook County Officers Electoral Board (Elaine E. Bucklo, 1:18-cv-293) and Kowalski McDonald v. Cook County Officers’ Electoral Board (John J. Tharp., Jr., 1:18-cv-1277) (N.D. Ill.)
Two cases challenged the larger number of signatures required to get on a primary election ballot in Cook County than would be required to get on a primary election ballot for statewide office. Both district judges and the court of appeals ruled against the plaintiffs.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Libertarian Party of Maryland v. Maryland State Board of Elections (George L. Russell III, D. Md. 1:18-cv-2825)
A federal district judge declined to block a state court’s removal of a minor party’s nomination because the nomination violated party rules against nominating members of other parties.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; matters for state courts; party procedures.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Napierski v. Guilderland Democratic Committee (Glenn T. Suddaby, N.D.N.Y. 1:18-cv-846)
A district judge denied relief to a prospective candidate who challenged the plaintiff’s party picking nominees for local offices using a caucus instead of a primary election, as other parties used. Receptive to claims that the caucus would not be adequately accessible to persons with disabilities, however, the judge obtained remedial assurances from the defendants.
Subject: Voting procedures. Topics: Getting on the ballot; party procedures; primary election; enjoining elections; equal protection; recusal; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Schmitt v. Husted (Edmund A. Sargus., Jr., S.D. Ohio 2:18-cv-966)
As an election approached, a district judge enjoined local election board discretion to keep an initiative off the ballot without review more available than a writ of mandamus. The court of appeals, however, concluded that mandamus relief was not so insurmountable as to require federal judicial intervention.
Subject: Ballot measures. Topics: Ballot measure; getting on the ballot.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

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.

Available Online Only

Hyman v. City of Salem (Thomas S. Kleeh, N.D. W. Va. 1:19-cv-75)
A district judge enjoined removal of a marijuana decriminalization initiative from a city’s ballot as content-based discretion to remove an initiative that might be in conflict with state law.
Subject: Ballot measures. Topics: Ballot measure; getting on the ballot.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Hunter v. Hamilton County Board of Elections (1:16-cv-962) and Hunter v. Hamilton County Board of Elections (1:16-cv-996) (Michael R. Barrett, S.D. Ohio)
A plaintiff convicted in state court of a felony filed a federal complaint on September 27, 2016, seeking an order requiring the county board of elections to accept her voter registration because her sentence had been stayed by the district court in a habeas corpus action, so she was not incarcerated. A district judge granted the plaintiff relief on October 6. A second federal complaint filed pro se on October 11 seeking the plaintiff’s certification as a candidate for juvenile court was not successful, because the plaintiff had been disbarred as a result of her conviction.
Subject: Nullifying registrations. Topics: Registration challenges; getting on the ballot; case assignment; pro se party; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Libertarian Party of Michigan v. Johnson (Paul D. Borman, E.D. Mich. 2:12-cv-12782)
On June 25, 2012, the Libertarian candidate for President filed a federal complaint challenging application of Michigan’s sore loser statute to disqualify him from the general election ballot because he withdrew from the Republican primary three minutes late. After Michigan responded to the complaint with a motion to dismiss it, the candidate filed a motion for summary judgment. He filed a motion to expedite on August 19. Observing that the candidate had known since May that he would be excluded from the ballot, the district court also concluded that the complaint should be dismissed on the merits. In 2013, the court of appeals agreed.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; intervention; laches.

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

Republican Party of Texas v. Pablos (Andrew Austin and Sam Sparks, 1:17-cv-1167) and Texas Democratic Party v. Republican Party of Texas (Lee Yeakel, 1:17-cv-1186) (W.D. Tex.)
A member of Congress withdrew from reelection consideration after the statutory deadline for removal from the primary election ballot. His party filed a federal action to keep him off the ballot, but the state’s secretary of state said that he would not interfere with the removal. The opposing party filed a federal case to keep the incumbent on the ballot, but the judge declined to order immediate relief. Both actions were withdrawn voluntarily.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; primary election; party procedures; case assignment; enjoining elections.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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