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Court Case Tracker

Voting Rights Litigation 2020

Recent months have seen a flood of voting rights litigation, much of it related to Covid-19’s impact on elections.

Last Updated: March 2, 2021
Published: July 28, 2020

The information below focuses on significant voting cases in both state and federal courts that remain pending or pertain to voters’ ability to cast their ballots in 2020 — whether through vote-by-mail, early in-person voting, or election day voting at the polls. This list does not include cases pertaining to candidacy issues, ballot initiatives, or redistricting.

For post-election day cases, including those addressing the counting and certification processes, see here. For a list of all cases organized by state, see here.

More information on the Brennan Center’s litigation to protect Amendment 4 in Florida is available here. Updates on our case to prevent improper purges in Indiana can be found here. Additional details about our challenge to Texas’s strict photo ID law are here. And information on our FOIA lawsuit regarding the President’s now-defunct “Election Integrity” commission can be found here.

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Post-Election Day Cases

Thursday, February 25

National Voter Intimidation & Disenfranchisement Challenge

  • Michigan Welfare Rights Organization v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-3388 (D.D.C.)
  • On 11/20, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and individual voters sued Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign, challenging defendants’ attempts to disenfranchise Black voters, including those in Detroit, Michigan, under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act.
  • On 12/21, an amended complaint was filed, adding the Republican National Committee as a defendant and the NAACP as a plaintiff.
  • Motions to dismiss filed February 25, 2021.

Monday, February 22

Arizona Election Contest #1

  • Ward v. Jackson, No. CV2020-015285 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.), No. CV-20-0343-AP/EL (Ariz. Sup. Ct.), No. 20-809 (S. Ct.)
  • On 11/24, the chair of the Arizona GOP sued the state’s Biden electors, seeking an inspection of mail in and duplicated ballots.
  • On 12/4, the court denied the petition and confirmed the results of the election, and plaintiff filed a notice of appeal.
  • On 12/8, the Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed the lower court’s denial.
  • On 12/11, plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and a motion to expedite consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Georgia Election Certification Challenge #2

  • Wood v. Raffensperger, No. 1:20-cv-4651 (N.D. Ga.), No. 20-14418 (11th Cir.), No. 20-799 (S. Ct.)
  • On 11/13, the president of the Georgia Voters Alliance filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging changes to Georgia’s absentee ballot processing procedures brought about by a consent decree entered into in March 2020 and seeking to prohibit certification of the entire state’s election results as a consequence.
  • On 11/17, plaintiff filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order.
  • On 11/19, following a hearing, the court denied the motion for a temporary restraining order.
  • On 12/5, the 11th Circuit unanimously affirmed the lower court’s 11/19 order.
  • On 12/8, plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and a motion to expedite consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Philadelphia Ballot Counting Challenges

  • In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, Nos. 201100874, 20110085, 20110086, 20110087, 20110088 (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.), Nos. 31 EAP 2020, 32 EAP 2020, 33 EAP 2020, 34 EAP 2020, 35 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.), No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)
  • On 11/10, the Trump campaign and an individual voter filed five separate appeals of decisions by the Philadelphia County Board of Elections concerning the counting of a total of 8,366 absentee and mail-in ballots that were signed but allegedly suffer from minor defects, such as missing the voter’s printed name or street address.
  • On 11/13, the Court of Common Pleas denied all five petitions.
  • On 11/14, the Trump campaign filed notices of appeal in all five cases.
  • On 11/18, the case was transferred to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
  • On 11/23, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the Court of Common Pleas’ denials of all five petitions.
  • On 12/21, the Trump campaign filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Pennsylvania Election Certification Challenge #3

  • Kelly v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 620 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 68 MAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, Nos. 20A98, 20-845 (S. Ct.)
  • On 11/21, Republican state and federal congressional candidates and individual voters filed a lawsuit challenging the state constitutionality of Act 77 (the 2019 Pennsylvania law that created mail-in voting), and seeking to prohibit certification of the results of Pennsylvania’s General Elections on a state-wide basis and to require that Pennsylvania’s General Assembly choose Pennsylvania’s presidential electors.
  • On 11/25, the day after Pennsylvania had certified the results of its presidential election, the Commonwealth Court issued an order preliminarily enjoining defendants from taking “any further action to perfect the certification of the results of the 2020 General Election for the offices of President and Vice President,” pending a hearing scheduled for Friday, 11/27.
  • The same day, defendants filed a notice of appeal and the court canceled the 11/27 hearing.
  • On 11/28, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania vacated the Commonwealth Court’s preliminary injunction and dismissed the case with prejudice.
  • On 12/1, plaintiffs filed an emergency application for a writ of injunction in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 12/2, plaintiffs withdrew their U.S. Supreme Court injunction application and filed an emergency application for a stay of the court’s 11/28 order in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
  • On 12/3, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied plaintiffs’ emergency application for a stay of the court’s 11/28 order, plaintiffs filed a second application for injunctive relief in the U.S. Supreme Court, and Justice Alito set a 12/8 deadline for a response.
  • On 12/8, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the request for injunctive relief.
  • On 12/11, the plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and a motion to expedite consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion.
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Pennsylvania Poll Watcher Access Lawsuit

  • In re Canvassing Observation, No. 201107003 (Ct. Common Pleas, Philadelphia-Election Court); No. 1094 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct.), No. 30 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)
  • On 11/3, a state court in Philadelphia denied an oral request by the Trump campaign to allow its poll watchers closer observation of ballot canvassing.
  • On 11/5, a Pennsylvania appellate court reversed and remanded, “requiring that all candidates, watchers or candidate representatives be permitted to be present for the canvassing process pursuant to [the Pennsylvania Election Code] and be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols.”
  • On 11/5, the Philadelphia Board of Elections appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
  • On 11/17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated the appellate order and reinstated the trial court’s order denying the Trump campaign’s request.
  • On 12/20, the Trump campaign filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Pennsylvania Signature Matching

  • In re November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 149 MM 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)
  • On 10/14, the Pennsylvania secretary of state filed a King’s Bench Application with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, seeking a declaration as to whether state law “authorizes or requires county election boards to reject voted absentee or mail-in ballots…based on signature analysis where there are alleged or perceived signature variances.”
  • On 10/23, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order prohibiting the rejection of absentee or mail-in ballots “based on signature comparison conducted by county election officials or employees, or as the result of third-party challenges based on signature analysis and comparisons.”
  • On 12/20, the Trump campaign, as an intervening defendant, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Michigan Election Decertification Request

  • King v. Whitmer, No. 2:20-cv-13134 (E.D. Mich.), No. 20-2205 (6th Cir.), No. 20-815 (S. Ct.)
  • On 11/25, Republican presidential electors in Michigan, represented by former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, filed a lawsuit alleging widespread voter fraud and seeking to decertify the election results and to certify Donald Trump as the winner of Michigan’s presidential election.
  • On 11/29, plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order, seeking decertification of Michigan’s election results or a stay in the delivery of the certified results to the Electoral College.
  • On 12/7, the court denied the request for a temporary restraining order.
  • On 12/8, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 6th Circuit.
  • On 12/11, plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 12/18, the plaintiffs filed a motion to expedite consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 12/22, the Democratic National Committee filed a motion to dismiss and the City of Detroit filed a motion to dismiss and for sanctions.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 1/14, plaintiffs filed notices of voluntary
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Wisconsin Recount Appeal

  • Trump v. Biden, No. 2020CV2514 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Dane Cnty.), No. 2020CV7092 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee Cnty.), No. 2020AP2038 (Sup. Ct. Wis.), No. 20-882 (S. Ct.)
  • On 12/3, Donald Trump and Mike Pence appealed the results of Dane and Milwaukee Counties’ recounts, and the appeals were consolidated in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
  • On 12/11, the court affirmed the results of both recounts and plaintiffs filed notice of appeal.
  • On 12/14, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s judgment.
  • On 12/29, the Trump campaign filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and a motion for expedited consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 2/22, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Friday, February 19

National Challenge to Counting of Presidential Elector Votes

  • Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Pence, No. 1:20-cv-3791 (D.D.C.)
  • On 12/22, the Wisconsin Voters Alliance, Pennsylvania Voters Alliance, and others sued Vice President Pence, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Electoral College, and others, seeking to enjoin the Vice President and U.S. Congress “from counting Presidential elector votes from states unless their respective state legislatures vote affirmatively in a post-election vote to certify the Presidential electors.”
  • On 1/4, the district court denied the motion for preliminary injunction.
  • On 1/7, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case
  • On 2/19, the court, sua sponte, issued an order referring plaintiffs’ counsel to the Committee for Grievances.

National Election Invalidation Request

  • Latinos for Trump v. Sessions, 6:21-cv-43 (W.D. Tex.)
  • On 1/18, Latinos for Trump, Blacks for Trump, four individual voters and a former Texas congressional candidate sued Pete Sessions, Mitch McConnell, Mark Zuckerberg and others, including “all members of the 117th U.S. Congress,” challenging the legality of the 2020 general election and the 2021 Georgia senate runoff election based on “various and pervasive changes in election procedures implemented…in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” seeking to invalidate the elections and the confirmation of Joe Biden as president-elect, to unseat the entire 117th U.S. Congress, to enjoin the DOJ and FBI from arresting plaintiffs’ attorneys in relation to their attendance at the January 6, 2021 “protest” at the Capitol, and “[o]rder the only lawfully and constitutionally remaining federal public official, [Donald Trump] to take all reasonable and necessary action…to preserve the lawful and orderly continuity of government.”
  • On 1/19, plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order.
  • On 1/27, the court, sua sponte, issued an order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed.
  • On 2/16, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.
  • On 2/19, certain plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal.

Tuesday, January 19

Georgia Election Certification Challenge #3

  • Pearson v. Kemp, No. 1:20-cv-4809 (N.D. Ga.), No. 20-14480 (11th Cir.), No. 20-816 (S. Ct.)
  • On 11/25, Republican presidential electors in Georgia, represented by former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, filed a lawsuit alleging widespread voter fraud and seeking to decertify the election results and to certify Donald Trump as the winner of Georgia’s presidential election.
  • On 11/27, plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for declaratory, emergency, and permanent injunctive relief.
  • On 11/29, a federal court judge issued an order enjoining and restraining defendants from altering, destroying, or erasing any software or data on any Dominion voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties.
  • On 12/3, defendants filed an emergency motion for relief from the 11/29 temporary restraining order in the district court and a cross-appeal in the 11th Circuit.
  • On 12/4, 11th Circuit dismissed both appeals for lack of jurisdiction.
  • On 12/5, defendants filed a motion to dismiss in the district court.
  • On 12/7, the court dismissed the case and vacated the temporary restraining order, and plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal.
  • On 12/11, plaintiffs filed an emergency petition in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 12/18, plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate and expedite consideration of the emergency petition.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.
  • On 1/19, plaintiff filed a stipulation of dismissal in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thursday, January 14

Washington Election Certification Challenge

  • Culp for Governor v. Wyman, No. 20-2-17720-2 SEA (Wash. Super. Ct., King Cnty.)
  • On 12/10, the losing gubernatorial candidate filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the election results based on alleged voter fraud.
  • On 12/30, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint.
  • On 1/14, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

Tuesday January 12

Nevada Election Certification Challenge

  • Election Integrity Project of Nevada v. State of Nevada, A-20-820510-C (Dist. Ct. Clark Cnty., Nevada); No. 81847 (Sup. Ct. Nev.)
  • On 11/16, the Election Integrity Project of Nevada filed an application for an emergency permanent injunction, seeking to block the certification of Nevada’s general election results, to enjoin its electors from casting their votes for president on December 12, 2020, and to prevent “any Nevada candidate from taking office because the election was carried out pursuant to the requirements of AB4, which is an unconstitutional law, as it deprives all legitimate voters of Nevada of their right of equal protection.”
  • On 11/20, a state court judge denied the “shocking” request.
  • On 1/12, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

Pennsylvania Ballot Counting Challenge (Allegheny County #3)

  • Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections, No. 2:20-cv-1831 (W.D. Pa)
  • On 11/25, a state senatorial candidate filed a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order in federal court, challenging the order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re 2,349 Ballots in the 2020 General Election), No. GD-20-11654 (Ct. Common Pleas, Allegheny Cnty.), No. 1162 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.), No. 29 WAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.) and seeking to prohibit the inclusion of 2,349 signed but undated mail-in ballots in the results of the state’s election.
  • The same day, the court denied the requested temporary restraining order.
  • On 12/23, plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment.
  • On 12/30, defendants filed motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.
  • On 1/12, the court denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in favor of defendants.

Monday, January 11

Wisconsin Election Federal Court Challenge

  • Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, No. 2:20-cv-1785 (E.D. Wis.), No. 20-3414 (7th Cir.), No. 20-883 (S. Ct.)
  • On 12/2, Donald J. Trump filed a lawsuit and a motion for preliminary injunction, accusing the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the mayors of Wisconsin’s five largest cities, and other election officials of multiple violations of the Wisconsin Election Code and asking the court to “remand[ ] th[e] case to the Wisconsin Legislature to…determine what remedy, if any, the Wisconsin Legislature should impose within its authority pursuant to the Electors Clause.”
  • On 12/8, the Democratic National Committee was permitted to intervene and several motions to dismiss were filed.
  • On 12/12, the court dismissed the case with prejudice.
  • On 12/13, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal.
  • On 12/24, the 7th Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal.
  • On 12/30, plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • On 1/11, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite consideration.

Friday, January 8

New Mexico Election Certification Challenge


New York Congressional Contest

  • Tenney v. Oswego County Board of Elections, No. EFC-2020-1376 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oswego Cnty.)
  • On 11/4, a Republican U.S. Congressional candidate filed a lawsuit seeking, among other things, an order preserving challenged absentee ballot envelopes and ultimately certifying her as the victor of the election.
  • On 12/2, the petitioner candidate (Tenney) filed an order to show cause seeking to end the canvassing process and certify her as the winner.
  • On 12/2, the respondent Democratic candidate (Brindisi) filed an order to show cause seeking, among other things, a review and accounting of contested ballots and a manual audit.
  • On 12/8, the court issued an order denying Tenney’s motion, while granting in part and denying in part Brindisi’s motion, thus directing the respondent boards of election to “fulfill their statutory canvassing duties, immediately correct all of the canvassing errors, and where errors cannot be corrected, recanvass those ballots.”
  • On 1/8, plaintiff filed a notice of appeal.

Thursday, January 7

Georgia Election Certification Challenge #8

  • Trump v. Kemp, No. 1:20-cv-5310 (N.D. Ga.)
  • On 12/31, Donald J. Trump filed a lawsuit and motion for expedited declaratory and injunctive relief against the Georgia governor and secretary of state, seeking to decertify the results of Georgia’s November 3 general election.
  • On 1/5, the court denied the motion for expedited declaratory and injunctive relief.
  • On 1/7, plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal, purportedly in relation to a “settlement.”
  • The same day, defendants filed a response to plaintiff’s notice, noting that, while they had no objection to dismissal, “[t]here is no settlement.”

Michigan Poll Watcher Access & Drop Box Monitoring Lawsuit

  • Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., v. Benson, No. 20-000225-MZ (Mich. Ct. Claims), No. 355378, 355379 (Ct. App. Mich.), No. 162320 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)
  • On 11/4, the Trump campaign and a poll watcher filed a lawsuit, challenging the poll watchers’ ostensible lack of access to ballot drop box surveillance footage and locations where absentee ballots are being counted, as well as an emergency motion for declaratory judgment seeking an order to immediately stop counting ballots.
  • On 11/5, a state court judge denied the motion, finding that plaintiffs had presented nothing more than inadmissible hearsay to substantiate their claims.
  • On 11/9, the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected as defective the Trump campaign’s motion for immediate consideration of appeal.
  • On 11/30, the Trump campaign filed a new motion for appeal and for immediate consideration.
  • On 12/4, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied the campaign’s motion for appeal.
  • On 12/7, the Trump campaign filed a motion to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.
  • On 12/11, the Michigan Supreme Court denied the motion.
  • On 1/7, the court dismissed the case as moot.

Tuesday, January 5

Arizona Election Decertification Request #2

  • Burk v. Ducey, No. CV202001869 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Pinal Cnty.)
  • On 12/7, an individual voter filed a lawsuit alleging widespread voter fraud and seeking to decertify Arizona’s presidential election.
  • On 12/15, the case was dismissed and plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal.
  • On 1/5, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal.

Saturday, January 2

Request to Invalidate Electoral College Act

  • Gohmert v. Pence, 6:20-cv-660 (E.D. Tex.), No. 21-40001 (5th Cir.)
  • On 12/27, U.S. Representative Louis Gohmert and the Republican presidential electors for the State of Arizona filed a lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence, seeking to invalidate sections 5 and 15 of the Electoral Count Act and to authorize the Vice President to exercise “exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given state.”
  • On 12/28, plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for preliminary injunction
  • On 1/1, the district court dismissed the case, and the original plaintiffs filed notices of appeal.
  • On 1/2, the 5th Circuit denied Gohmert’s emergency motion for expedited appeal and an intervening plaintiff filed a separate notice of appeal.

Thursday, December 24

Nevada Challenge to Refusal to Certify Election Results

  • Miller v. Clark County Board of Commissioners, No. A-20-824971-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)
  • On 11/17, a narrowly prevailing candidate for Clark County Commission filed a lawsuit challenging defendants’ refusal to certify the results of the election and decision to order a new election to take place.
  • On 12/24, a state court judge denied the opposing/intervening candidate’s motion for an order requiring the Clark County Board of Commissioners to order a new election.

Wednesday, December 23

Georgia Ballot Inspection & Records Request

  • Favorito v. Cooney, No. 2020CV343938 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)
  • Individual voters and poll workers sued the members of the Fulton County Board of Elections and its director, challenging defendants’ failure to provide requested absentee ballots and voting records and alleging fraud and irregularities in the November 2020 election.

Friday, December 18

Minnesota Election Contests

  • Braun v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5602 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)
  • Quist v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5598 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)
  • Peterson v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5600 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)
  • Jensen v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5599 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)
  • Rodriguez v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5601 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)
  • On 12/1, individual voters filed five nearly identical election contests, challenging the results of the elections for U.S. Senate and four of Minnesota’s Congressional districts, alleging election irregularities and illegal voter assistance.
  • On 12/18, four of the lawsuits (BraunPetersonJensen & Rodriguez) were dismissed with prejudice.

Thursday, December 17

Georgia Election Decertification Request #7

  • Still v. Raffensperger, No. 2020CV343711 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)
  • On 12/17, a presidential elector and an anonymous individual filed an election contest, alleging unspecified fraud and misconduct and seeking to decertify the presidential election results for Cobb County, Georgia and the state as a whole.

Wednesday, December 16

Massachusetts Election Certification Challenge

  • Moran v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, No. 1:20-cv-12171 (D. Mass.)
  • On 12/7, five state legislative candidates filed a lawsuit seeking to decertify the results of Massachusetts’ November 3 general election, alleging election fraud attributed to various changes to voting procedures implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • On 12/16, one of the plaintiffs voluntarily withdrew from the case.

Tuesday, December 15

Arizona Election Decertification Request #1


Wisconsin Election Certification Challenge #3

Monday, December 14

Georgia Election Certification Challenge #6


Michigan Voting Machine Inspection Request

  • Bailey v. Antrim County, No. 2020009238CZ (Mich. Cir. Ct., Antrim Cnty.)
  • On 11/23, an individual voter filed a lawsuit seeking a forensic inspection of Antrim County’s precinct tabulating machines.
  • On 12/4, a judge granted a preliminary injunction allowing inspection, requiring preservation of all records used to tabulate votes in Antrim County, and enjoining the county from turning on its Dominion tabulator and from connecting the Dominion tabulator to the internet.
  • On 12/14, on consent, the court ordered the release of a report concerning Antrim County’s voting equipment.

Friday, December 11

Texas Challenge to Presidential Elections in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania & Wisconsin

Thursday, December 10

Pennsylvania Election Certification Challenge #5

  • Metcalfe v. Wolf, No. 636 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.)
  • On 12/4, individual voters, backed by the Thomas Moore Society, filed a lawsuit seeking to enjoin certification of Pennsylvania’s election, notwithstanding that the results had been certified ten days prior to filing.
  • On 12/9, the Commonwealth Court denied the emergency motion.
  • On 12/10, plaintiffs withdrew the action.

Wednesday, December 9

Michigan Certification Challenge

  • Johnson v. Benson, No. 162286 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)
  • On 11/26, two individual voters filed a lawsuit in Michigan Supreme Court, seeking to prohibit certification of the state’s election results due to the secretary of state’s affirmative mailing of absentee ballot applications to all registered voters, and to allow the Michigan legislature to select the state’s presidential electors.
  • On 12/9, the Michigan Supreme Court denied the requested relief.

Tuesday, December 8

Georgia Election Certification Challenge #5

  • Boland v. Raffensperger, No. 2020CV343018 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)
  • On 11/30, an individual voter filed a lawsuit seeking an audit of Georgia’s voter rolls and comparison with the written ballots cast, or in the alternative, that the election results be decertified and a new election be ordered.
  • On 12/8, the court dismissed the case.

Georgia Election Certification Challenge #4

  • Wood v. Raffensperger, No. 2020CV342959 (Super. Ct. Fulton Cnty., Ga.)
  • On 11/25, the president of the Georgia Voters Alliance filed a petition contesting Georgia’s presidential election based on Fulton County’s acceptance of private election administration grants and alleging widespread fraud across the state, and particularly in Fulton County.
  • On 12/8, the court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss.

Michigan Election Certification Challenge

  • Costantino v. City of Detroit, No. 20-014780-AW (Cir. Ct., Wayne Cnty., Mich.), No. 355443 (Mich. Ct. App.), No. 162245 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)
  • On 11/9, two poll watchers sued the City of Detroit and others, alleging unevidenced fraud and misconduct by election officials, including failing to allow sufficient observer access, counting late-arriving ballots, allowing unqualified voters to vote under others’ names, and double voting in Michigan’s largest county. Plaintiffs seek to enjoin certification of the election results pending a full investigation and hearing, and an order for an independent audit of the election.
  • On 11/13, plaintiffs’ motions for injunctive relief, for a protective order, and for an independent audit were denied.
  • On 11/16, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied plaintiffs’
  • On 11/17, plaintiffs sought leave to appeal from the Michigan Supreme Court.
  • On 11/23, the Michigan Supreme Court denied the request.
  • On 12/8, the lower court denied plaintiffs’ renewed request for an audit.

Nevada Election Invalidation Request #1

  • Law v. Whitmer, No. 20 OC 00163 1B (Dist. Ct., Carson City, Nevada), No. 82178 (Nev. Sup. Ct.)
  • On 11/17, six candidates for presidential electors on behalf of Donald J. Trump filed a contest of Nevada’s presidential election based on allegations of “substantial irregularities, improprieties, and fraud” and requesting that Trump be declared the winner of the election.
  • On 11/23, defendants filed a motion to dismiss.
  • On 12/2, the court denied two motions to compel production of evidence.
  • On 12/4, the court dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice and ordered plaintiffs to pay defendants’ costs.
  • On 12/7, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal and an emergency motion to expedite appeal and defendants filed a motion for summary affirmance.
  • On 12/8, plaintiffs filed a motion seeking to disqualify Nevada Supreme Court Justice James W. Hardesty due to his having publicly congratulated the Nevada secretary of state for having administered a successful election.
  • On 12/8, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal.

Pennsylvania Ballot Counting Challenge (Bucks County #2)

  • Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Bucks County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election), No. 2020-5786 (Ct. Common Pleas, Bucks Cnty, Pa.). No. 1191 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.)
  • On 11/9, the Trump campaign, Republican National Committee and others filed an appeal of the decision of the Bucks County Board of Elections to count 2,175 allegedly defective absentee and mail-in ballots.
  • On 11/16, the Trump campaign conceded that they were not alleging, nor did they have any evidence of fraud, misconduct, impropriety, nor undue influence in relation to the challenged ballots.
  • On 11/19, the court dismissed the case.
  • On 11/25, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the dismissal.
  • On 12/4, plaintiffs filed an emergency petition for appeal in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
  • On 12/8, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied the emergency petition for appeal.

Monday, December 7

Arizona Election Contest #2

  • Stevenson v. Ducey, No. CV2020-096490 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)
  • On 12/4, members of the Arizona Election Integrity Association filed a petition contesting the results of Arizona’s presidential election.
  • On 12/7, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case.

Michigan Election Data Preservation Suit

  • Leaf v. Whitmer, No. 1:20-cv-1169 (W.D. Mich.)
  • On 12/6, the Sheriff of Barry County Michigan and seven Republican presidential elector nominees filed three emergency motions, seeking to prohibit destruction of election materials allegedly “needed to determine voter intent, any systematic fraud, and any criminal activity and/or civil liability.”
  • On 12/7, the court denied all three motions.

Friday, December 4

Minnesota Certification Delay Request

  • Kistner v. Simon, No. A20-1486 (Minn. Sup. Ct.)
  • On 11/24, political candidates and individual voters filed a lawsuit seeking to delay certification of the state’s election until a comprehensive audit is completed.
  • The same day, Minnesota nonetheless certified its results.
  • On 12/4, the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the case.

Wisconsin Election Invalidation Request

Thursday, December 3

Wisconsin Election Certification Challenge #2

  • Trump v. Evers, No. 2020AP001971-OA (Sup. Ct. Wis.)
  • On 12/1, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the Trump Campaign filed a lawsuit challenging the counting of certain ballots cast in Wisconsin’s two largest counties and seeking to void certification of the state’s presidential election results.
  • On 12/3, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Wisconsin Election Certification Challenge

  • Mueller v. Wisconsin Election Commissioners, No. 2020AP001958-OA (Sup. Ct. Wis.)
  • On 11/27, an individual voter filed an original action in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, seeking to prohibit certification of Wisconsin’s election results and authorize the Wisconsin legislature to select the state’s presidential electors, based on the allegedly unauthorized use of ballot drop boxes.
  • On 12/3, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the petition.

Wednesday, December 2

Nevada Election Invalidation Request #2

  • Becker v. Gloria, No. A-20-824878-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)
  • On 11/16, a state senatorial candidate sued, seeking an order for a new election due to alleged improprieties and fraud in the administration of Clark County’s election.
  • On 12/2/20, the court dismissed the case.

Monday, November 30

Minnesota Election Contest

  • Kistner v. Simon, No. 19AV-CV-20-2183 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 1st Jud. Dist., Dakota Cnty.)
  • On 11/30, eleven defeated federal and state legislative candidates and two individual voters filed an election contest in Dakota County, Minnesota, challenging the results of the election on state and federal constitutional grounds.

Friday, November 27

Pennsylvania Election Certification Challenge #1

  • Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 4:20-cv-2078 (M.D. Pa.), No. 20-3371 (3d Cir.)
  • On 11/9, the Trump Campaign and two individual voters sued the Pennsylvania secretary of state and several left-leaning counties, alleging denial of observer access and mismanagement of the election process, and seeking to prohibit certification of Pennsylvania’s election results.
  • On 11/15, the Trump campaign filed an amended complaint, and the secretary of state moved to dismiss the amended complaint.
  • On 11/21, the court dismissed the case with prejudice.
  • On 11/27, the 3rd Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal.

Wednesday, November 25

Nevada Election Invalidation Request #6

  • Rodimer v. Gloria, No. A-20-825130-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)
  • On 11/19, a congressional candidate filed a lawsuit seeking a new election in Clark County and a declaration that the use of the Agilis mail ballot processing machine for signature verification violates Nevada law.
  • On 11/25, a state court judge dismissed the case.

Tuesday, November 24

Nevada Signature Verification & Poll Watcher Access

  • Stokke v. Cegavske, No. 2:20-cv-2046 (D. Nev.)
  • On 11/5, an individual voter, a “credentialed member of the media,” and two political candidates filed a lawsuit challenging the absentee ballot processing procedures in Nevada’s largest county, which include the use of a machine to perform electronic signature comparison, and the alleged lack of access being afforded to poll watchers and members of the media.
  • On 11/6, the court granted a motion to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee and the Nevada State Democratic Party and denied plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
  • On 11/24, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

Pennsylvania Election Certification Challenge #4

Monday, November 23

Pennsylvania Ballot Counting Challenge (Allegheny County #1)

  • Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re 2,349 Ballots in the 2020 General Election), No. GD-20-11654 (Ct. Common Pleas, Allegheny Cnty.), No. 1162 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.), No. 29 WAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.)
  • On 11/12, a state senatorial candidate sued the Allegheny County Board of Elections, challenging the canvassing of 2,349 ballots arriving in envelopes with minor defects.
  • On 11/18, the court dismissed the petition and affirmed the decision of the Board of Elections.
  • On 11/19, the Commonwealth Court reversed the lower court’s decision and remanded for further proceedings.
  • On 11/23, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court’s order and affirmed the decision of the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas.

Friday, November 20

Nevada Election Invalidation Request #3

  • Marchant v. Gloria, No. A-20-824884-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)
  • On 11/16, a state congressional candidate filed a lawsuit seeking an order for a new election due to alleged improprieties and fraud in the administration of Clark County’s election.
  • On 11/20, a state court judge denied the requested relief.

Nevada Election Invalidation Request #4

  • Becker v. Cannizzaro, No. A-20-825067-P (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)
  • On 11/18, a state senatorial candidate sued her victorious opponent and anonymous individuals and corporations, challenging the alleged counting of “illegal or improper votes” and the failure to count “legal and proper votes” in the Clark County Commission District C election.
  • On 11/20, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

Pennsylvania Vote-by-Mail Receipt Deadline Appellate Decision

  • Bognet v. Boockvar, No. 3:20-cv-215 (W.D. Pa.), No. 20-3214 (3d Cir.)
  • On 10/22, a congressional candidate and four individual voters filed a lawsuit challenging the extension of the absentee ballot receipt deadline and the presumption that ballots received by 5:00 p.m. on November 6, 2020, were timely mailed, even if they lack a postmark, both of which were ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar.
  • On 10/28, the district court denied a motion to block the deadline extension.
  • On 11/13, the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order.
  • On 11/20, plaintiffs filed a petition seeking review from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thursday, November 19

Arizona Election Audit Challenge

  • Arizona Republican Party v. Fontes, No. CV2020-14553 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)
  • On 11/12, the Arizona Republican Party sued the Maricopa County recorder and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, challenging a provision of the Arizona secretary of state’s election manual providing for a “limited precinct hand count and early ballot hand count audit” to be conducted after each general election, and allowing sampling to be limited to two percent of a county’s polling places in counties that utilize a vote center model, whereas the corresponding statute requires that a sampling of two percent of precincts.
  • On 11/13, the Arizona Democratic Party filed a motion to intervene.
  • On 11/19, the court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction and dismissed the case.

Michigan Election Certification Challenge

  • Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-1083 (W.D. Mich.)
  • On 11/11, the Trump campaign and seven poll watchers filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging the manner in which the election was administered in Michigan’s largest county, including alleged lack of poll watcher access and various fraud and irregularities, and seeking to prohibit certification of Michigan’s election results until certain conditions are met.
  • On 11/17 and 11/18, intervenor defendants filed motions to dismiss.
  • On 11/19, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their case, falsely claiming that the Wayne County Board of Canvassers had declined to certify the results of its presidential election.

Nevada Election Invalidation Request #5

  • Arrington v. Gloria, No. A-20-825149-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)
  • On 11/19, a congressional candidate filed a lawsuit contesting the results of Clark County’s election

Pennsylvania Absentee & Mail Ballot Verification & Counting Challenge

  • Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Montgomery County Board of Elections, No. 2020-18680 (Ct. Common Pleas, Montgomery Cnty.), No. 1171 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.)
  • On 11/5, the Trump campaign, Republican National Committee and others filed a lawsuit challenging the Montgomery County Election Board’s canvassing and counting of 592 absentee and mail-in ballots whose outer secrecy envelopes are missing information or the voter’s signature.
  • On 11/13, the court denied the petition for review of the Board’s decision.
  • On 11/16, the Trump campaign filed a notice of appeal.
  • On 11/19, the Trump campaign withdrew the appeal.

Wednesday, November 18

Michigan Election Certification Challenge #3

  • Johnson v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-1098 (W.D. Mich.)
  • On 11/14, two poll watchers, backed by the American Freedom Law Center, filed a lawsuit alleging a laundry list of “election malfeasance,” and seeking to prohibit certification of the state’s election results until certain conditions are met.
  • On 11/18, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case.

Pennsylvania Ballot Counting Challenge (Allegheny County #2)

  • Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections, No. GD-20-11793 (Ct. Common Pleas, Allegheny Cnty.)
  • On 11/16, a state senatorial candidate sued the Allegheny County Board of Elections, challenging the canvassing of approximately 300 provisional ballots on which voters signed their names once instead of twice.
  • On 11/18, the court dismissed the petition and affirmed the decision of the Board of Elections.

Pennsylvania Ballot Counting Challenge (Westmoreland County)

  • Ziccarelli v. Westmoreland County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re 2020 General Election Provisional Ballot Challenges), No. 4152 of 2020 (Ct. of Common Pleas, Westmoreland Cnty., Pa.)
  • On 11/18, a state senatorial candidate sued the Westmoreland County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s decision to count ballots of voters of provisional ballots who were erroneously instructed to sign the poll book, and their decision to count nine ballots that were missing the inner secrecy envelope.

Monday, November 16

Georgia Election Certification Challenge #1

  • Brooks v. Mahoney, No. 4:20-cv-281 (S.D. Ga.)
  • On 11/11, four individual voters filed a lawsuit challenging alleged election irregularities, offering anecdotal evidence, claiming that “further evidence” will be provided “based on data analysis…[that] will identify voters who cast votes illegally,” and alleging that “[c]ertifying [p]residential [e]lectors without excluding certain counties would violate voters’ fundamental right to vote by vote-dilution disenfranchisement.”
  • On 11/16, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

Michigan Election Certification Challenge #2

  • Bally v. Whitmer, No. 1:20-cv-1088 (W.D. Mich.)
  • On 11/11, four individual voters, backed by True the Vote, filed a lawsuit challenging the manner in which the election was administered in Allen, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties, including alleged lack of poll watcher access and various fraud and irregularities, and seeking to prohibit certification of Michigan’s election results unless those counties’ results are excluded.
  • On 11/16, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

Pennsylvania Election Certification Challenge #2

  • Pirkle v. Wolf, No. 4:20-cv-2088 (M.D. Pa.)
  • On 11/10, four individual voters filed a lawsuit alleging fraud and irregularities in four Pennsylvania counties in which Biden received more votes than Trump and seeking to exclude those counties’ presidential election results from the Commonwealth’s certification of presidential electors, claiming that failing to do so would constitute an equal protection violation.
  • On 11/16, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case.

Wisconsin Election Certification Challenge

  • Langenhorst v. Pecore, No. 1:20-cv-1701 (E.D. Wis.)
  • On 11/12, three individual voters filed a lawsuit challenging perceived irregularities in the election administration in Wisconsin’s two largest counties and its smallest county, which consists almost exclusively of a Native American reservation and claiming that “certifying presidential electors without excluding [those] counties would violate voters’ fundamental right to vote by vote-dilution disenfranchisement.”
  • On 11/16, plaintiffs withdrew the case.

Friday, November 13

Arizona Ballot Spoilage Allegations, # 2

  • Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Hobbs, CV2020-014248 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)
  • On 11/7, the Trump Campaign, Republican National Committee, and Arizona GOP filed a lawsuit alleging that poll workers incorrectly rejected in-person votes cast on election day.
  • On 11/9, the Democratic National Committee moved to intervene.
  • On 11/13, plaintiffs filed a notice conceding that the case was moot as to the tabulation of votes for presidential electors.

Thursday, November 12

Arizona Ballot Counting Challenge #3

  • Aguilera v. Fontes, No. CVCV2020-014562 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)
  • On 11/12, two individual voters filed a lawsuit challenging the alleged failure to count their ballots.
  • On 11/20, following a hearing, the court informed plaintiffs that it would be dismissing the complaint.

Pennsylvania Deadline to Provide Missing ID Information for Absentee & Mail Ballots

  • Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 602 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.)
  • On 11/4, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit to prevent Pennsylvania from counting mail and absentee ballots for which missing ID information is not provided by November 9, despite guidance from the secretary of state directing election officials to allow voters to provide ID information until November 12.
  • On 11/5, the court issued an order requiring counties to segregate ballots for which identification is received between November 9 through 12.
  • On 11/12, the Commonwealth Court granted a motion to intervene filed by the Democratic National Committee and issued an order enjoining county boards of elections from counting any ballots that were previously ordered to be segregated upon finding that the Secretary lacked the authority to change the deadline for electors to verify proof of identification.

Tuesday, November 10

Nevada Poll Watcher Access & Ballot Counting Lawsuit

  • Kraus v. Cegavske, No. 20 OC 00142 1B (Dist. Ct. Carson City, Nevada); No. 82018 (Nevada Sup. Ct.)
  • On 10/23, the Trump campaign, the Nevada GOP, and an individual voter filed a lawsuit challenging the alleged failure of Nevada’s largest county to afford poll watchers sufficient access & its use of a machine to perform initial signature comparisons, as well as the lack of a statewide statutory mechanism for poll watchers to challenge absentee ballots.
  • On 10/23, the lower court denied plaintiffs’ request for temporary restraining order.
  • On 10/29, the lower court denied a writ of mandamus.
  • On 11/3, the Nevada Supreme Court expedited the appeal while denying the request for injunctive relief.
  • On 11/10, plaintiffs withdrew their appeal and the Nevada Supreme Court remanded to the district court.

Saturday, November 7

Arizona Ballot Spoilage Allegations

  • Aguilera v. Fontes, No. CV2020-014083 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)
  • On 11/4, an individual voter filed a lawsuit alleging that her constitutional rights had been violated when she completed her ballot using a Sharpie provided by Maricopa County poll workers, which allegedly rendered her ballot unreadable.
  • On 11/7, the case was withdrawn

Friday, November 6

Georgia Motion for Immediate Injunctive Relief in Voting Machine Security Lawsuit

  • Curling v. Raffensperger, 1:17-cv-2989 (N.D. Ga.); No. 20-13730 (11th Cir.)
  • On 11/5, plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the security of Georgia’s electronic voting machine system filed an emergency motion for injunctive relief, seeking an explanation of problems that caused discrepancies in voter information and information regarding issues voters experienced with the system on Election Day. On 11/6, the district court denied the motion.

Pennsylvania Notice & Cure and Provisional Ballot Lawsuit

  • Hamm v. Boockvar600 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.)
  • On 11/3, two GOP political candidates and four individual voters filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of allowing voters whose mail and absentee ballots were rejected for reasons unrelated to voter qualifications to cast provisional ballots.
  • On 11/6, the court issued an order providing that provisional ballots cast on Election Day where the voter’s absentee or mail-in ballot was timely received be segregated from other provisional ballots, pending compliance with the statutory procedures for verifying the validity of provisional ballots, denying all other requested relief and staying the matter pending further order.

Pennsylvania Absentee & Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline SCOTUS Challenge

  • Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, 20A54, 20-542 (S. Ct.); Scarnati v. Boockvar, Nos. 20A53, 20-574 (S. Ct.)
  • On 7/10, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and individual Democratic political candidates filed a lawsuit challenging the commonwealth’s vote-by-mail regime as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • On 9/17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order, which among other things, extended the absentee and mail ballot receipt deadline to November 6, concluded that Pennsylvania law permitted the use of drop boxes, and held that ballots missing the inner secrecy envelopes (i.e., “naked ballots”) were invalid under state law.
  • On 10/19, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency application to stay the extension of the ballot receipt deadline.
  • On 10/28, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Pennsylvania GOP’s motion to expedite consideration of its petition for certiorari.
  • On 10/28, the Pennsylvania secretary of state notified the U.S. Supreme Court of the state’s intention to segregate all mail-in and civilian absentee ballots received between 8:00 p.m. on November 3 and 5:00 p.m. on November 6.
  • On 11/4, the Trump campaign filed a motion to intervene.
  • On 11/6, the Pennsylvania GOP filed an emergency application for injunction pending certiorari review.
  • On 11/6, Justice Alito ordered election boards to comply with the secretary of state’s guidance to segregate and separately count ballots received after Election Day, while declining to grant the Pennsylvania GOP’s request to stop counting such ballots.

Thursday, November 5

Georgia Poll Watcher Access & Ballot Counting Lawsuit Dismissed

Wednesday, November 4

Pennsylvania Vote-by-Mail Record Request & Ballot Counting Lawsuit (Bucks County #1)

  • In re Pre-Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 2020-05786 (Ct. Common Pleas, Bucks Cnty.)
  • On 11/3, the Trump campaign appealed a decision of the Bucks County Board of Elections that denied the campaign’s objection to the disclosure of the identity of voters whose ballots had been rejected in the pre-canvass review, consistent with guidance issued by the secretary of state.
  • On 11/4, the Court of Common Pleas denied and dismissed the petition.

Tuesday, November 3

Michigan Poll Watcher Access

  • Polasek-Savage v. Benson, No. 20-000217-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims)
  • On 11/3, two poll watchers sued the Michigan secretary of state and Oakland County, challenging Oakland County’s declaration that only one poll watcher per organization would be permitted at each absent voter counting board location.
  • The same day, a state court judge denied the motion and dismissed Oakland County as a defendant.

Nevada Poll Watcher Access & Ballot Counting Lawsuit

  • Kraus v. Cegavske, No. 20 OC 00142 1B (Dist. Ct. Carson City, Nevada); No. 82018 (Nevada Sup. Ct.)
  • On 10/23, the Trump campaign, the Nevada GOP, and an individual voter filed a lawsuit challenging the alleged failure of Nevada’s largest county to afford poll watchers sufficient access & its use of a machine to perform initial signature comparisons, as well as the lack of a statewide statutory mechanism for poll watchers to challenge absentee ballots.
  • On 10/23, the lower court denied plaintiffs’ request for temporary restraining order.
  • On 10/29, the lower court denied a writ of mandamus.
  • On 11/3, the Nevada Supreme Court expedited the appeal while denying the request for injunctive relief.
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Alabama

Greater Birmingham Ministries v. State of Alabama, No. 2:15-cv-2193 (N.D. Ala.); No. 18-10151 (11th Cir.)

Re: Photo ID Requirement (In-Person and Vote-by-Mail)

Greater Birmingham Ministries, the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, and three registered voters of color sued the State of Alabama, the Governor of Alabama, the Attorney General and others, challenging a state law that restricts in-person and absentee voting to Alabamans who produce one of seven forms of “valid” photo ID and are “positively identif[ied] by two election officials. The second amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Sections 2 and 201 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the challenged law operates or was intentionally enacted to deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color, and in fact deprives would-be voters’ right to vote free from racial discrimination, disproportionately impacts would-be voters of color, and that the “positive identification” provision constitutes a prohibited “test or device” as a prerequisite to voting. 

Status: The district court denied plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction, then granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment, which decision was affirmed on appeal July 21, 2020


League of Women Voters of Alabama v. Merrill03-cv-2020-900702.00 (Ala. Cir. Ct., Montgomery Cty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse, Witness & ID Requirements, Receipt Deadline; In-Person Early Voting (Covid-19)

The LWV of Alabama and individual registered voters sued Alabama’s secretary of state and others, challenging an executive order and state laws that, variously, (1) restrict the ability to vote absentee to voters who swear or affirm that they satisfy one of the statutorily enumerated excuses; (2) require absentee ballot applications to be accompanied by “proper identification”; (3) require that absentee ballots be notarized or witnessed by two adults; (4) fail to extend deadlines to apply for and return absentee ballots; and (5) fail to adopt safety measures for in-person voting, including early voting. The complaint alleges state constitutional claims, including violations of Art. I, § 33 and Art. VIII, § 177 of the Alabama Constitution, in that the laws and executive order infringe on the right to vote and to “exercise the franchise free of undue influence from tumult.”

Status: Complaint filed May 28, 2020; Motions to dismiss granted August 5, 2020


People First of Alabama v. Merrill, 2:20-cv-619 (N.D. Ala); Nos. 20-12184 & 20-13695-B (11th Cir.); Nos. 19A1063 & 20A67 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notary/Witness & Photo ID Requirements; Curbside Voting (Covid-19)

People First of Alabama, individual registered voters, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and others sued Alabama’s secretary of state, governor, and others, challenging state laws that (1) require that absentee ballot affidavits be notarized or witnessed by two adults; (2) require that copies of photo IDs accompany all absentee ballot applications and some absentee ballots; and (3) prohibit curbside voting. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and §§ 2, 3, and 201 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the challenged provisions abridge the fundamental right to vote, fail to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color, impose a prohibited test or device as a prerequisite for voting, and impose a prohibited poll tax.

Status: Preliminary injunction granted in part; Emergency motion for stay pending appeal denied by 11th Circuit; Emergency application for stay granted by SCOTUS July 2, 2020; Amended complaint filed July 6, 2020; Consent orders entered on behalf of Jefferson County and Montgomery County defendants August 21, 2020; Motions to dismiss and for summary judgment granted in part and denied in part September 8, 2020; Motions for judgment as a matter of law and judgment on partial findings filed September 15, 2020 denied as moot; Settled as to some defendants September 22, 2020; Final judgment and injunction issued September 30, 2020, enjoining (1) the notary and witness requirement “for any qualified voters who provide a written statement that they have an underlying medical condition that puts them at heightened risk from COVID-19,” (2) the requirement that absentee voters provide a copy of their photo identification with absentee ballot applications if they are over 65 or “cannot safely obtain a copy of their photo ID during the COVID-19 pandemic due to an underlying medical condition that makes them particularly susceptible to COVID-19 complications,” and (3) any prohibition on the establishment of curbside voting procedures “that otherwise comply with state and federal election law;” Notice of appeal filed September 30, 2020; Motion to stay pending appeal denied October 6, 2020; Motion to stay pending appeal granted as to the witness and photo ID requirements and denied as to the curbside voting ban by 11th Circuit October 13, 2020; Emergency application for stay of injunction of curbside voting ban granted by U.S. Supreme Court October 21, 2020; Defendants’ appeal voluntarily dismissed November 13, 2020; Plaintiffs’ cross-appeal voluntarily dismissed November 16, 2020


Thompson v. Merrill, No. 2:16-cv-783 (M.D. Ala.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement

Greater Birmingham Ministries and individual Alabama residents on behalf of a class sued the State of Alabama, its secretary of state, and others, challenging state laws and procedures regarding Felony disenfranchisement. The original class action complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 8th, 14th, 15th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the challenged laws and policies intentionally discriminate on the basis of race, discriminate on non-racial bases, unconstitutionally burden the right to vote, deprive citizens of due process, are void for vagueness, arbitrarily disenfranchise citizens, retroactively punish in violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause, disenfranchise as cruel and unusual punishment, disenfranchise on the basis of inability to pay fines, and deny or abridge the right of U.S. citizens to vote on account of race or color or membership in a language minority group. The supplemental class action complaint adds additional plaintiffs and alleges unlawful deprivation of state-created right to vote and unlawful retroactive deprivation of the right to vote in violation of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, and failure to specify eligibility requirements in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.

Status: Order denying defendants’ renewed motion to dismiss, and granting in part and denying in part their motion to dismiss the supplemental complaint, in effect, dismissing claims of two of the plaintiffs and dismissing the State of Alabama as a defendant. Motion for class certification deniedMotion for preliminary injunction denied June 29, 2020; State defendants’ motion for summary judgment granted and plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment denied December 3, 2020

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Alaska

Alaska Center Education Fund v. Fenumiai, No. 3AN-20-08354CI (Alaska Super. Ct., 3d Dist.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notice & Opportunity to Cure Ballot Defects (Covid-19)

The Alaska Center Education Fund, Alaska Public Interest Research Group, and an individual voter sued the director of the Alaska Division of Elections, the lieutenant governor of Alaska, and the State of Alaska, challenging the state’s failure to provide voters with notice and an opportunity to cure ballot defects. The complaint alleges violations of the Alaska Constitution, in that the lack of notice and cure opportunity unduly burdens the right to vote and deprives Alaska voters of due process.

Status: Complaint filed October 7, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 15, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed December 9, 2020


Arctic Village Council v. Meyer, No. 3AN-20-7858CI (Super. Ct. Alaska, 3rd Jud. Dist. Anchorage); No. S-17902 (Sup. Ct. Alaska)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Witness/Notary Requirement (Covid-19)

The Arctic Village Council, the League of Women Voters of Alaska, and two individual voters who live alone and are immunocompromised sued the Alaska lieutenant governor, Alaska Division of Elections, and its director, challenging a state law requiring that absentee ballot certifications be notarized or signed by an adult witness, if a notary is not available. The complaint alleges violations of the Alaska Constitution, in that, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the witness/notary requirement substantially and impermissibly burdens the fundamental right to vote, by forcing plaintiffs to choose between their health and the right to vote, and “unequally allocates these burdens to eligible voters who are unable to feasibly secure a witness signature because they live alone, must self-isolate to avoid exposure to COVID-19 or both.”  

Status: Complaint filed September 8, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted October 5, 2020, holding that, during the pandemic, the witness requirement "impermissibly burdens the right to vote" and enjoining the witness requirement for the 2020 general election; Order affirming preliminary injunction issued by Supreme Court of Alaska October 12, 2020; Status conference scheduled for April 12, 2021


Disability Law Center of Alaska v. Meyer, No. 3AN-20-7060CI (Alaska Super. Ct., 3d Dist.); No. 3:20-cv-173 (D. Alaska); No. 20-35778 (9th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

The Disability Law Center of Alaska, Native Peoples Action Community Fund, Alaska Public Interest Research Group and individual voters sued the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska and the State’s Division of Elections, challenging the Lieutenant Governor’s decision to automatically mail absentee ballot applications only to Alaskan registered voters aged 65 and older, while failing to do the same for registered voters under the age of 65. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, and 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; Article 1, Sections 1 and 3, Article 2, Section 19 and Article 5, Section 1 of the Alaska Constitution; and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in that the Lieutenant Governor’s decision discriminates on the basis of age, infringes on the fundamental right to vote, denies the rights of due process and equal protection, denies civil rights on the basis of race and/or color, denies the right to vote on a geographic basis, and discriminates on the basis of disability.

Status: Complaint filed July 17, 2020; Removed to federal court July 20, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied September 3, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 4, 2020; Appellants’ emergency motion for injunctive relief pending appeal denied by 9th Circuit September 22, 2020


Kohlhaas v. State of Alaska, No. 3AN-20-09532CI (Alaska Super. Ct., 3d Jud. Dist., Anchorage)

Re: Ranked Choice Voting

A Libertarian state congressional candidate, the chair of the Alaskan Independence Party, an individual Republican voter, and others sued the State of Alaska, the Division of Elections, and others, challenging a ballot proposition, passed by Alaska’s voters in November 2020, providing for ranked choice voting. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1 of the Alaska Constitution, in that the ranked choice voting regime denies plaintiffs’ rights of free political association, political expression, free speech, free assembly and to petition the government for redress of grievances,  

Status: Complaint filed December 1, 2020; Amended complaint filed December 9, 2020; Motion to intervene granted December 28, 2020

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Arizona

Aguilera v. Fontes, No. CV2020-014083 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Voting Ballot Spoilage (Covid-19)

An individual voter and ten anonymous voters sued the Maricopa County recorder, the clerk and members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and Maricopa County, claiming that voters who marked their ballots with sharpies, provided by election workers, were disenfranchised when voting machines were unable to read their ballots, and poll workers refused to provide them with new ballots. The complaint alleges violations of Arizona statutes, the state Election Procedures Manual and the Arizona Constitution, in that defendants failed to maintain a statutorily compliant electronic voting system, failed to ensure correct,  impartial and uniform election procedures, and deprived voters of their right to a “free and equal election” and equal protection.

Status: Complaint filed November 4, 2020; Motions to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee and by the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee November 5, 2020; Amended complaint filed November 5, 2020; Case withdrawn November 7, 2020


Aguilera v. Fontes, No. CVCV2020-014562 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Voting Ballot Counting, Poll Watcher Access, Notice & Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

Two individual voters, on behalf of 10 anonymous voters, sued the Maricopa County recorder, the members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and Maricopa County, challenging defendants’ alleged failure to count plaintiffs’ votes. The complaint alleges violations of Arizona statutes, the Arizona Constitution, and the Arizona Election Procedures Manual, in that defendants failed to maintain statutorily compliant electronic voting systems, failed to “ensure a maximum degree of correctness, impartiality, and uniformity of election procedures,” interfered with plaintiffs’ free exercise of the right of suffrage, deprived them of their right to equal privileges or immunities, failed to afford them with appropriate opportunities to correct mistakes, and failed to allow sufficient poll watcher access.

Status: Complaint filed November 12, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Arizona Democratic Party November 15, 2020; Motions to dismiss filed November 16, 2020; Case dismissed November 30, 2020; Notice of appeal filed December 28, 2020


Arizona Democratic Party v. Fontes, No. CV2020-012873 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Rejection Records (Covid-19)

Status: Complaint filed October 13, 2020; Dismissed October 21, 2020


Arizona Democratic Party v. Rodriguez, No. C20204441 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Pima Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Rejection Records (Covid-19)

Status: Complaint filed October 13, 2020; Settled October 22, 2020


Arizona Democratic Party v. Hobbs, No. 2:20-cv-1143 (D. Ariz.), Nos. 20-16795, 16766 (9th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

The Arizona Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sued Arizona’s secretary of state and others, challenging a state procedure that fails to afford voters an opportunity to cure the omission of a signature from an otherwise-valid mail-in ballot. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law places an undue burden on the right to vote and denies voters’ right to procedural due process.

Status: Motions to intervene by State of Arizona and Arizona Republican Party, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and Republican National Committee granted June 19 and June 26, 2020; Motion for preliminary & permanent injunction granted September 10, 2020; Notice of appeal filed by State of Arizona September 10, 2020; Notice of appeal filed by Arizona Republican Party, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and Republican National Committee September 11, 2020; Emergency motion to stay denied September 18, 2020; Emergency motion for stay pending appeal granted by 9th Circuit October 6, 2020


Arizona Public Integrity Alliance v. Fontes, No. LC2020-252 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.), 1 CA-CV 20-458 (Ariz. Ct. App.), T-20-3-CV, CV-20-253-AP/EL (Ariz. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Instructions (Covid-19)

The Arizona Public Integrity Alliance, Inc. and an individual voter sued the Maricopa County Recorder, the Clerk of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and others, challenging defendants’ plan to include an instruction on early ballots that allows voters who wish to correct a mistaken vote to cross out the erroneous vote and fill in the oval next to the correct candidate. The opening brief alleges violations of state law, in that the new instruction is unsupported by statute and deviates from the elections procedure manual promulgated by the secretary of state.

Status: Complaint filed August 25, 2020; Motions for preliminary injunction and to dismiss denied September 4, 2020; Reversed by Arizona Supreme Court September 10, 2020


Arizona Republican Party v. Fontes, No. CV2020-14553 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)

Re: Election Audit (Covid-19)

The Arizona Republican Party sued the Maricopa County recorder and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, challenging a provision of the Arizona secretary of state’s election manual providing for a “limited precinct hand count and early ballot hand count audit” to be conducted after each general election, and allowing sampling to be limited to two percent of a county’s polling places in counties that utilize a vote center model. The complaint alleges violations of Arizona statutes, in that the law requires that two percent of precincts – not polling places – be audited. 

Status: Complaint filed November 12, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Arizona Democratic Party November 13, 2020


Bowyer v. Ducey, No. 2:20-cv-2321 (D. Ariz.), No. 20-17399 (9th Cir.), No. 20-858 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Fraud Allegations; Election Decertification (Covid-19)

Republican presidential elector nominees and others sued the Arizona governor and secretary of state, alleging “massive election fraud,” including destruction of ballots cast for Donald J. Trump, and seeks to decertify the results of Arizona’s presidential election. The complaint alleges violations of the Electors Clause of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants “failed to comply with the requirements of Arizona law,” usurped legislative authority and deprived plaintiffs of equal protection and due process.

Status: Complaint filed December 2, 2020; Motions to intervene filed by Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Adrian Fontes December 3, 2020; Motions to dismiss filed December 4, 2020; Case dismissed December 9, 2020; Notice of appeal filed December 10, 2020; Petition for writ of mandamus filed in U.S. Supreme Court December 15, 2020


Burk v. Ducey, No. CV202001869 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Pinal Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Poll Watcher Access, Electronic Voting Machine Security, Fraud Allegations, Election Decertification (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Arizona governor, its secretary of state, and ten anonymous individuals, challenging “a widespread scheme and artifice to defraud the election for the purpose of illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to manufacture an election of Joe Biden as President of the United States.” The complaint alleges violations of Arizona election laws and the Electors Clause of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and seeks an order decertifying the results of the presidential election.

Status: Complaint filed December 7, 2020; Motion to dismiss and amended complaint filed December 11, 2020; Case dismissed and notice of appeal filed December 15, 2020; Affirmed by Arizona Supreme Court January 5, 2021


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Hobbs, No. CV2020-014248 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Ballot Spoilage (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, and the Arizona Republican Party sued the Arizona secretary of state, the Maricopa County Recorder, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, claiming that voters were disenfranchised when voting machines were unable to read their ballots, and poll workers did not provide them with new ballots. The complaint alleges violations of Arizona statutes and the Arizona Constitution, in that defendants failed to maintain a statutorily compliant electronic voting system, failed to ensure correct, impartial, and uniform election procedures, and deprived voters of their right to a “free and equal election,” equal protection, and due process.

Status: Complaint filed November 7, 2020; Motions to intervene filed by Aguilera v. Fontes plaintiffs and Arizona Democratic Party November 9, 2020; Evidentiary hearing held November 12, 2020; Notice of mootness as to presidential election filed by plaintiffs November 13, 2020


Feldman v. Arizona Secretary of State, No. 2:16-cv-1065 (D. Ariz.); Democratic National Committee v. Hobbs, No. 18-15845 (9th Cir.); Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee, No. 19-1258 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Assistance Ban; Out of Precinct (Provisional Ballots); Polling Place Allocation

Individual voters, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and others sued the Arizona secretary of state’s office, the secretary of state, and others, challenging two state laws that imposed criminal penalties for assisting with ballot collection and rejected ballots cast in the wrong precinct. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the laws deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color, deny equal protection by disparately treating voters in different counties, unjustifiably burden the right to vote, and deny the freedom of association.

Status: Consolidated with Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, No. 19-1257 (S. Ct.); District court ruled in favor of defendants; The Ninth Circuit reversed and remandedPetition for writ of certiorari granted by the Supreme Court of the United States October 2, 2020


Fontes v. State of Arizona, No. CV2020-11845 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Disability Access, Voter Assistance (Covid-19)

The Maricopa county recorder sued the State of Arizona and the secretary of state, seeking a declaration validating the county recorder’s policy of allowing special election boards to provide absentee ballot assistance via video to voters who are confined due to disabilities. The complaint alleges that the policy is consistent with laws that protect the voting rights of the disabled, including Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and state statutes, including one that created special election boards “for the purpose of making it possible for qualified electors who are ill or have a disability to vote.”

Status: Complaint filed September 25, 2020; Judgment regarding preservation of ballots cast with special election boards issued October 6, 2020; State’s motion for reconsideration filed October 6, 2020; Ruling issued October 14, 2020


Hoffard v. Cochise County, No. 4:20-cv-243 (D. Ariz.)

Re: Curbside Voting (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued Cochise County, Arizona and the director of the Cochise County Elections Department, challenging a county policy prohibiting curbside voting. The amended complaint alleges violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and § 41-1421(B) of the Arizona Revised Statutes in that the challenged policy discriminates on the basis of disability.

Status: Amended complaint filed August 27, 2020; Motion to dismiss amended complaint filed September 21, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed October 5, 2020; Order denying preliminary injunction issued October 22, 2020


Mecinas v. Hobbs, No. 19-cv-5547 (D. Ariz.); No. 20-16301 (9th Cir.)

Re: Candidate Order on Ballot

The Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Priorities USA, and three Arizona residents sued the Arizona secretary of state, challenging a state law that gives ballot order preference to candidates of the same party as the gubernatorial candidate who received the most votes in that county in the preceding election. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law places an undue burden on the right to vote and treats similarly situated persons disparately, in violation of the right to equal protection.

Status: Dismissed by lower court; Notice of appeal filed by Plaintiffs. & Emergency motion for injunction pending appeal denied July 10, 2020


Mi Familia Vota v. Hobbs, 2:20-cv-1903 (D. Ariz.); Nos. 20-16932, 20-17000 (9th Cir.)

Re: Voter Registration Deadline (Covid-19)

Mi Familia Vota, the Arizona Coalition for Change and an individual voter and voter registration worker sued the Arizona secretary of state, seeking a declaratory judgment extending the state's October 5, 2020, voter registration deadline in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the existing voter registration deadline severely burdens plaintiff's right to register voters during the pandemic, thus denying due process and abridging core speech and political rights. 

Status: Complaint and request for temporary restraining order filed September 30, 2020; Motion to intervene by National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican National Committee granted October 5, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted as modified October 5, 2020, extending the voter registration deadline from October 5 to October 23 and dismissing case; Notice of appeal filed October 5, 2020; Plaintiffs’ appellate motion to dismiss intervenors’ appeal filed October 6, 2020; Emergency motions for administrative stay pending appeal denied by 9th Circuit October 7, 2020; Order staying extension of registration deadline with a 2-day grace period, while allowing voters who already registered past the deadline to remain registered issued by 9th Circuit October 13, 2020; Notice of appeal filed by defendants October 13, 2020; Appeal voluntarily withdrawn February 2, 2021


Navajo Nation v. Wauneka, No. _____ (Super. Ct. Ariz., Apache Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Polling Place Availability (Covid-19)

The Navajo Nation, on behalf of a class, sued the Apache County recorder, elections director, and board of supervisors, seeking an order requiring that two polling places remain open for an additional hour due to having belatedly opened.

Status: Complaint filed November 3, 2020; Order issued November 12, 2020


Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. Rodriguez, No. 4:20-cv-432 (D. Ariz.)

Re: In-Person Early Voting Availability (Covid-19)

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe sued the Pima County recorder, challenging her decision to close the only in-person early voting site on the Pascua Yaqui Pueblo Reservation. The complaint alleges violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the. U.S. Constitution, in that defendant’s action denies or abridges plaintiffs’ right to vote on account of race or color and disproportionately burdens racial minority voters’ fundamental right to vote.

Status: Complaint filed October 12, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed October 15, 2020; Emergency motion for preliminary injunction denied October 22, 2020


State of Arizona ex rel. Brnovich v. Fontes, No. CV2020-3477 (Super. Ct. of Ariz., Cnty of Maricopa)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

The State of Arizona sued the Maricopa County Recorder and Runbeck Election Services, Inc., four days before the state’s March 17 presidential preference election, challenging the county recorder’s decision to affirmatively mail absentee ballots to all registered voters in the county due to fears surrounding the coronavirus. The complaint alleges violations of a state law that purportedly “only authorizes ballots to be mailed to electors who ‘make a verbal or signed request to the county recorder’” by 5:00 p.m. on the 11th day preceding the election.

Status: Temporary restraining order issued March 13, 2020, enjoining defendants from mailing early ballots to voters who had not made verbal or signed requests therefore


Stevenson v. Ducey, No. CV2020-096490 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notice & Opportunity to Cure, Voter Registration, Double Voting, Fraud Allegations; Private Election Funding; Election Contest (Covid-19)

Members of the Arizona Election Integrity Association sued the Arizona governor and secretary of state, contesting the results of Arizona’s presidential election, based on allegations that voters in “Democratic strongholds” were given greater opportunities to cure ballot defects than those in Republican-leaning counties, that out-of-state residents were allowed to vote in Arizona, that voters were allowed to vote twice, and that the results were skewed by the receipt of private philanthropic election grants. The petition alleges violations of Arizona statute and the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution and seeks an order prohibiting the certification of the presidential election results.

Status: Petition filed December 4, 2020; Case voluntarily dismissed December 7, 2020


Voto Latino v. Hobbs, No. 2:19-cv-05685-DWL (D. Arizona)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Election Day Receipt Deadline

Voto Latino Foundation and Priorities USA sued the Arizona secretary of state, challenging a state law that requires that ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day be discarded. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the law places an undue burden on the right to vote, denies voters’ right to procedural due process, and denies or abridges the right to vote.

Status: Settlement reached June 18, 2020, providing that the secretary will prominently educate voters about the election day reciept deadline and the availability of drop boxes and other mail-ballot drop-off options, and to allocate a portion of Coronavirus Aid Relief ("CARES") funding to expand early voting opportunities in Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and rural communities, including mobile early voting units, temporary staff hires, increased numbers of ballot drop boxes in rural, Hispanic and Latino, and tribal communities.


Ward v. Jackson, No. CV2020-015285 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cnty.), No. CV-20-0343-AP/EL (Ariz. Sup. Ct.), No. 20-809 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail & In-Person Voting Poll Watcher Access, Ballot Inspection & Counting; Election Contest (Covid-19)

The chair of the Arizona Republican Party sued Arizona’s electors for Joseph R. Biden, alleging inadequate poll watcher access and seeking an inspection of mail in and duplicated ballots. 

Status: Petition filed November 24, 2020; Order denying petition and affirming the results of the election issued and notice of appeal December 4, 2020; Affirmed by Arizona Supreme Court December 8, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite consideration filed in the U.S. Supreme Court filed December 11, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


Yazzie v. Hobbs, No. 3:20-cv-8222 (D. Ariz.), No. 20-16890 (9th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

Tribal members of the Navajo Nation sued the Arizona secretary of state challenging Arizona’s law requiring rejection of any ballots received after 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, irrespective of when they were postmarked. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and of the Arizona constitution, in that the election day receipt deadline deprives plaintiffs of equal protection and denies or abridges their right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.

Status: Complaint filed August 26, 2020; Emergency motion for preliminary injunction filed September 2, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and others September 3, 2020; Motion to intervene by filed by Arizona Advocacy Network September 11, 2020; Motions to intervene denied without prejudice September 16, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed September 16, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied September 25, 2020; Order affirming district court’s denial of preliminary injunction issued by 9th Circuit October 15, 2020; Motion to dismiss case filed October 20, 2020; Case dismissed January 6, 2021

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Arkansas

Arkansas United v. Thurston, No. 5:20-cv-5193 (W.D. Ark.)

Re: Voter Assistance Restrictions

Arkansas United and an individual voter sued the Arkansas secretary of state, members of the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners, and others, challenging a state law that prohibits voters from choosing to receive assistance from anyone who has previously assisted six or more voters during a given election. The complaint alleges violations of § 208 of the Voting Rights Act, which provides that “any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter’s choice, other than the voter’s employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter’s union.”

Status:  Complaint filed November 2, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied November 3, 2020; Amended complaint filed December 9, 2020; Motions to dismiss denied February 5, 2021


Baker v. Thurston, 60CV-20-3565 (Cir. Ct. Pulaski Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

Individual voters sued the Arkansas Secretary of State, challenging a state law that restricts the availability of absentee voting to voters who qualify for one or more enumerated “excuses.” The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that “Arkansas law…allows voters to use any and all reasons or excuses to receive and vote by absentee ballot,” or, in the alternative, that fear of contracting Covid-19 is, itself, a valid excuse for receiving an absentee ballot and voting absentee and alleges violations of the Arkansas Constitution, in that the challenged laws infringe on the fundamental right to vote.

Status: Dismissed on motion July 21, 2020


League of Women Voters of Arkansas v. Thurston, No. 5:20-cv-5174 (W.D. Ark.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure Missing & Mismatched Signatures & Ballot Defects (Covid-19)

The League of Women Voters of Arkansas and two individual voters sued the Arkansas secretary of state and members of the State Board of Election Commissioners, challenging state laws requiring that lay election workers conduct signature matching and requiring rejection of absentee ballots if there is any missing or mismatched information when compared with the voter’s absentee application, including missing or mismatched signatures, without providing the voter with notice and an opportunity to cure such defects after election day. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged provisions deny voters procedural due process and unduly burden the fundamental right to vote.   

Status: Amended complaint filed September 28, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed October 13, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 26, 2020; Amended complaint filed January 12, 2021; Motion to dismiss amended complaint filed February 9, 2021


Mays v. Thurston, No. 4:20-cv-341 (E.D. Ark.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

Individual voters and the Christian Ministerial Alliance sued the Arkansas governor and secretary of state, challenging defendants’ failure to extend the ballot receipt deadline beyond 7:30 p.m. on election day, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the election day receipt deadline burdens the fundamental right to vote and deprives voters of the right of due process, and a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that Black voters have less of an opportunity than white voters to participate in the political process because of the election day receipt deadline.

Status: Emergency motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction denied March 30, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed March 31, 2020


Wince v. Thurston, No. 60CV-20-5928 (Ark. Cir. Ct., Pulaski Cnty.), No. 4:20-cv-1274 (E.D. Ark.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Counting Deadline (Covid-19)

Two individual voters sued the Arkansas secretary of state, members of the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners, and others, challenging a state law that prevents election officials from starting to count absentee ballots prior to election day and requires that the counting be completed by the time the polls close at 7:30 p.m. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment pursuant to the Arkansas Constitution and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged law unconstitutionally and arbitrarily burdens voters fundamental right to vote.

Status: Complaint, notice of removal to federal court, and motion to dismiss filed October 23, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 28, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted November 24, 2020

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California

California Republican Party v. Newsom, No. 34-2020-00277751 (Cal. Super. Ct., Sacramento)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Ballot Collectors (Covid-19)

The California Republican Party sued California’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state, challenging the governor’s “stay-at-home” executive order and its interplay with California’s election code. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that ballot collecting is an “essential” activity under the Executive Order.

Status: Declaratory relief denied; Request for voluntary dismissal entered May 22, 2020


Election Integrity Project California v. Lunn, No. 56-2020-00540781-CU-MC-VTA (Cal. Super. Ct., Ventura Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Voting Poll Watcher Restrictions

The Election Integrity Project, California and an individual voter sued the Ventura County registrar of voters, challenging defendant’s “fail[ure] to allow members of the public to observe the processing of vote by mail ballot return envelopes and vote by mail ballots for the March 3, 2020 primary election.” The complaint alleges violations of the California Elections Code and seeks an order “[a]llow[ing] the processing of vote by mail ballot return envelopes and the processing and counting of vote by mail ballots to be open to the public, both before and after the elections [and] [a]llow[ing] persons wishing to observe the processing of vote by mail ballots sufficiently close access to enable them to observe the vote by mail ballot return envelopes and the signatures thereon and challenge whether those individuals handling vote by mail ballots are following established procedures.”

Status: Complaint filed March 4, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied March 6, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied September 15, 2020


Election Integrity Project California, Inc. v. Padilla, 2:21-cv-32 (C.D. Cal.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Ballot Collection, In-Person Voting, Electronic Voting Machines, Automatic Voter Registration, Same-Day Registration, Voter Registration Drives, Voter List Purges, Emergency Powers, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

The Election Integrity Project California, Inc., and ten congressional candidates sued the California secretary of state, attorney general, governor, and others, challenging the state’s expansion of vote-by-mail, including the affirmative mailing of absentee ballots to all active, registered voters, allowing third parties to collect multiple voters’ absentee ballots, elimination of the requirement that in-person voters state their name and address out loud before being given a ballot, the implementation of automatic voter registration and same-day registration, the expansion of voter registration activities on high school and college campuses, the state’s alleged failure to perform voter list maintenance (i.e., to purge ineligible voters from voter rolls), the use of Dominion and Smartmatic voting systems, and the governor’s authority to issue emergency regulations for voting in response to Covid-19. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Guarantee Clauses of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the defendants have usurped the legislature’s authority to “set the manner of elections,” deprived plaintiffs of their rights of equal protection and due process “by diminishing the value of votes legally cast by an for the individual plaintiffs and by and EIPCa’s citizen observers by intentionally failing to ensure that only legally cast [vote-by-mail] ballots were included in the canvass for the 2020 general election in California” and by “applying disparate rules in different counties, causing the votes of some California citizens to be treated differently from those of others,” and have deprived Californians of “a republican form of government” and of “protection against invasion.”   

Status: Complaint filed January 4, 2021; Motion for temporary restraining order denied January 11, 2021; Motions to dismiss filed February 12, 2021


Fugazi v. Padilla, No. 2:20-cv-970 (E.D. Cal.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure, Disability Access (Covid-19)

Individual voters, on behalf of a class, sued the California secretary of state, the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters and others, challenging San Joaquin County’s certification of the March 3, 2020, California Presidential Primary results prior to the deadline for curing signature defects, and seeking prospective relief requiring defendants to establish reasonable, disability accessible, and constitutionally sufficient voting procedures for the November 3, 2020, general election. The first amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and Title 2 of the Americans with Disability Act, in that defendants’ actions deny equal protection, arbitrarily discriminating against voters with disabilities, deny and abridge the fundamental right to vote on account of race, membership in a language minority, age, and disability, deny procedural and substantive due process, and fail to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.   

Status: Motion for TRO denied without prejudice May 22, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted October 29, 2020


Gallagher v. Newsom, No. CVCS20-912 (Cal. Super. Ct., Sutter Cnty.), No. C092070, C093006 (Cal. Ct. App., 3d App. Dist.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Polling Place Availability (Covid-19)

Two state legislators sued the California governor, challenging Executive Order N-67-20, which provides directives related to the November 3 general election, “which directives significantly change the choices voters have with regard to voting and the places and manner of casting votes.” The complaint alleges violations of various state election laws, in that the directives usurp legislative authority.

Status: TRO granted as to Executive Order N-67-20; TRO vacated by Court of Appeal July 10, 2020; Tentative decision issued November 2, 2020 to enjoin the governor’s executive order; Ruling issued November 13, 2020; Petition for mandate, prohibition or writ of certiorari filed in California Court of Appeals November 16, 2020; Amended petition filed in Superior Court November 18, 2020; Order staying lower court ruling issued by Court of Appeals November 17, 2020; Order staying any further proceedings in Superior Court issued by Court of Appeals November 24, 2020


Issa et al. v. Newsom, No. 2:20-cv-1044 (E.D. Ca.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

California residents, backed by Judicial Watch, sued California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla, challenging Executive Order N-64-20, which was issued in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic and mandates that vote-by-mail ballots for the November election be sent to “every Californian who is eligible to vote.” The complaint alleges violations of the Elections Clause and the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and substantive due process claims under the 14th Amendment.

Status: Voluntarily dismissed July 9, 2020


Pico Neighborhood Association v. City of Santa Monica, No. BC 616804 (Super. Ct. Cal., Los Angeles Cnty.); No. B295935 (Ct. of App., 2d Appllate Dist., Div. 8); No. S263972 (Cal. Sup. Ct.)

Re: At-Large Election Procedure

The Pico Neighborhood Association, an individual voter, and Associates for Malibu Public Schools sued the City of Santa Monica and 100 anonymous individuals or entities, challenging a provision of the Santa Monica City Charter requiring the at-large election of its city council and of the governing board of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, which plaintiffs allege prevents non-Anglo Santa Monicans from achieving representation in their local governments. The first amended complaint (which removed the Associates for Malibu Pubic Schools as a plaintiff) alleges violations of the California Voting Rights Act and the California Constitution, in that the challenged provision impairs the ability of protected classes to elect candidates of their choice or to influence the outcome of the Santa Monica City Council Elections, and deprives plaintiffs of equal protection.

Status: Trial court ruled in favor of plaintiffs February 15, 2019; The Court of Appeal reversed July 9, 2020; Petition for review granted by California Supreme Court October 21, 2020; Briefing due March 22, 2021


Republican National Committee v. Newsom, No. 2:20-cv-1055 (E.D. Ca.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

The Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and California Republican Party sued the California governor and secretary of state, challenging Executive Order N-64-20, which was issued in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic and mandates that vote-by-mail ballots for the November election be sent to “every Californian who is eligible to vote.” The complaint alleges violations of the Elections Clause and the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and substantive due process claims under the 14th Amendment.

Status: Voluntarily dismissed July 9, 2020

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Colorado

O’Rourke v. Dominion Voting Systems, No. 1:20-cv-3747 (D. Colo.)

Re: Conspiracy & Fraud Allegations, Philanthropic Election Funding (Covid-19)

Individual voters, on behalf of a putative class, sued Dominion Voting Systems, Facebook, Inc., Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan, the Center for Tech and Civic Life and governors and election officials from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, challenging an alleged conspiracy to illegally change election laws in advance of the November 2020 election. The complaint alleges violations of 18 U.S.C. § 241, the Supremacy and Electors Clauses of and the 1st, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants unconstitutionally burdened plaintiffs’ fundamental right to vote for president and vice-president, conspired to deprive plaintiffs of civil rights, denied plaintiffs equal protection, due process and the right to speak, associate and assemble, and denied or abridged the right to vote on account of race or ethnicity.

Status: Complaint filed December 22, 2020; Motions to dismiss filed February 16, 2021

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Connecticut

Connecticut State Conference of the NAACP v. Merrill, No. 3:20-cv-909 (D. Conn.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

The Connecticut League of Women Voters, Connecticut State Conference of the NAACP, and an individual voter sued the Connecticut secretary of state in connection with the secretary of state’s failure to extend the policy of allowing all registered voters to vote by mail beyond the August primary and through the November general election. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the existing absentee voting statute, as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic, violates the fundamental right to vote and denies and abridges the right to vote on account of race or color.

Status: Complaint filed July 2, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed September 25, 2020


Fay v. Merrill, No. SC20477 (Conn. S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

Four U.S. Congressional candidates sued the Connecticut secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s preparation and issuance of the absentee ballot application for the August 11, 2020, primary election, which specifies that voters may use Covid-19 “as a valid reason for requesting [an absentee] ballot.” The complaint alleges violations of Connecticut General Statutes § 9-135, Executive Order No. 7QQ, and Article 6th, Section 7 of the Connecticut Constitution, in that the secretary’s preparation and issuance of the absentee ballot application exceeds her legal authority, and denies plaintiffs’ right to a fair and honest election and to have votes counted equally and not be diluted by votes that are unlawfully cast. 

Status: Complaint filed July 1, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted July 20, 2020


Fay v. Merrill, No. HHD-CV20-6130532 (Conn. Super. Ct., Hartford), No. SC200027 (Conn. S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

Four U.S. Congressional candidates sued the Connecticut secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s preparation and issuance of the absentee ballot application for the August 11, 2020, primary election, which specifies that voters may use Covid-19 “as a valid reason for requesting [an absentee] ballot.” The complaint alleges violations of Connecticut General Statutes § 9-135, Executive Order No. 7QQ, and Article 6th, Section 7 of the Connecticut Constitution, in that the secretary’s preparation and issuance of the absentee ballot application exceeds her legal authority, and denies plaintiffs’ right to a fair and honest election and to have votes counted equally and not be diluted by votes that are unlawfully cast. 

Status: Complaint filed July 20, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted July 22, 2020; Affirmed on appeal August 6, 2020


Rapini v. Merrill, No. HHB-CV20-6060234-S (Conn. Super. Ct., New Britain)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

Two individual voters who are potential and/or former political candidates, and two state legislators who are running for re-election sued the Connecticut secretary of the state challenging the secretary’s May 6, 2020, memorandum of opinion, which, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, expanded the definition of “illness” for the purposes of clarifying which voters are permitted to vote by absentee ballot. The petition alleges violations of Article 6, § 7 of the Connecticut Constitution, in that the secretary of the state exceeded her authority in “erroneously and improperly interpret[ing]” the constitution’s meaning of “illness” for purposes of absentee voting. 

Status: Voluntarily dismissed August 10, 2020

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Delaware

League of Women Voters of Delaware v. State of Delaware Department of Elections, C.A. No. 2020- 0761 (Del. Ct. Chancery)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

The League of Women Voters of Delaware and an individual voter sued the state Department of Elections and the state election commissioner, challenging a state law requiring that absentee and vote-by-mail ballots be received by 8:00 p.m. on election day in order to be counted. The complaint alleges violations of the Delaware Constitution’s Elections Clause and the Right to Vote Clause, in that the challenged law will deprive plaintiffs of the right to vote, discriminate against the aged and disabled, and thus preclude the election from being “free and equal.”

Status: Complaint filed September 3, 2020; Opinion denying preliminary injunction and entering judgment in defendants’ favor issued October 9, 2020


Republican State Committee of Delaware v. State of Delaware, C.A. No. 20-685-SG (Del. Ct. of Chancery)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement & Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

The Republican State Committee of Delaware and two individual voters sued the state Department of Elections and the state election commissioner, challenging a newly-enacted state law, HB 346, which suspends the state constitution’s limitation on the categories of voters permitted to vote by mail in the upcoming November general election, instead allowing any qualified voter to do so without providing an excuse, and further provides that absentee ballot request forms be mailed to all registered voters for the November election. The complaint seeks a permanent injunction against enforcement of HB 346 and a declaration that, in enacting HB 346, the legislature exceeded its constitutional authority, that it “impermissibly used Del. Const. Art. XVII § 1 as a work around of the constraints on absentee voting requirements,” and that HB 346 is not “necessary and proper for insuring the continuity of governmental operations” under the Delaware constitution

Status: Complaint filed August 19, 2020

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District of Columbia

League of Women Voters v. Newby, No. 1:16-cv-236 (D.D.C.); Nos. 16-5196, 19-7027 (D.C. Cir.)

Re: Proof of Citizenship Requirement

The League of Women Voters of the United States, Alabama, Georgia, and Kansas, the Georgia NAACP and others sued the Acting Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), challenging defendant’s decision to permit Alabama, Georgia, and Kansas to require applicants using the federal voter registration form to provide documentary proof of citizenship. The complaint alleges violations of Section 208 of the Help America Vote Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and EAC’s internal policies and procedures, and the National Voter Registration Act, in that defendant’s actions were arbitrary and capricious, undertaken without the requisite approval of 3 EAC members, exceeded his delegated authority, failed to provide adequate notice and opportunity to comment, and ran afoul of the NVRA’s specification of the requisite content of the federal voter registration form.

The district court decision denying plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction was reversed by the D.C. Circuit on September 9, 2016. The case was remanded to the district court, which, on February 24, 2017, remanded the decision to the EAC with instructions to determine whether defendant had authority to allow the three states to require proof of citizenship on the federal form.  

Status: On June 1, 2017, the EAC announced that they were split along partisan lines in response to the question posed by the district court, leaving the circuit court’s preliminary injunction in place; Denial of Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund’s motion to intervene reversed and remanded by D.C. Circuit June 26, 2020; Intervention permitted August 31, 2020


Michigan Welfare Rights Organization v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-3388 (D.D.C.)

Re: Race-Based Voter Intimidation & Disenfranchisement (Covid-19)

The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and individual voters sued Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign, challenging defendants’ attempts to disenfranchise Black voters, including those in Detroit, Michigan.  The complaint alleges violations of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act, in that defendants are exerting pressure on state and local officials not to certify the results of elections, specifically targeting Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan, by intimidating, threatening or coercing such officials against aiding plaintiffs and other residents of Detroit from having their votes “counted properly and included in the appropriate totals of votes cast.”

Status: Complaint filed November 20, 2020; Amended complaint filed December 22, 2020, adding the Republican National Committee as a defendant and the NAACP as a plaintiff; Motions to dismiss filed February 25, 2021


NAACP v. U.S. Postal Service, No. 1:20-cv-2295 (D.D.C.), No. 20-5375 (D.C. Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery (Covid-19)

The NAACP sued the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) and the Postmaster General, challenging recent changes to USPS’s nationwide postal services, which have resulted in delays in mail delivery and changes to the treatment of election mail. The complaint asserts a “non-statutory right of action to enjoin and declare unlawful official action that is ultra vires and unlawful,” “arbitrary, capricious and not in accordance with statutory requirements,” and alleges violations of 39 U.S.C. §§ 3661 101(e), which, respectively, require the USPS to seek an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission in order to afford members of the public with notice and an opportunity to comment on changes “that will generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis,” and require USPS to provide “highest consideration to the delivery of important letter mail.”

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction granted October 10, 2020; Emergency motion to enforce and monitor compliance the preliminary injunction granted October 27, 2020; Order issued November 1, 2020, requiring that express network will be used for election mail, that all mail ballots be postmarked and processed for delivery no later than the morning after they are mailed; Motion for further relief granted November 3, 2020, requiring that USPS immediately perform a sweep of certain USPS facilities “to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery” and report back to the court by 4:30 p.m. the same day; Status report claiming that sweep process has not been completed filed November 3, 2020; Order issued November 4, 2020, requiring USPS to instruct every plant manager in Texas to perform an immediate sweep of the facility to identify any ballots postmarked by Election Day and have such ballots sent out for delivery by 5:00 p.m. and report back to the court by 1pm on November 5; Order issued November 5, requiring that “all USPS facilities that serve a state with an extended ballot receipt deadline shall, until that deadline passes perform a morning ballot sweep…and a mid-to-late afternoon ballot sweep that is timed to ensure that any identified local ballots can be delivered that day”; Notice of appeal of order for preliminary injunction filed by defendants December 9, 2020; Agreement concerning USPS practices for the January 2021 Georgia runoff election approved December 24, 2020


Richardson v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-2262 (D.D.C.), No. 20-5367 (D.C. Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery, Conspiracy (Covid-19)

Individual voters sued the U.S. President, the Postmaster General and the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”), challenging “false statements about widespread mail-in voter fraud when such fraud is virtually non-existent,” and defendants’ actions “significantly slowing down mail delivery of flat mail like absentee and mail-in ballots…in an effort to suppress the vote during the pandemic, undermine faith in the election process and its results and lay the groundwork for Trump to challenge the results of the presidential election should he lose.” The amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, in that defendants’ actions “were intended to and did deprive Plaintiff[s] and thousands of other Americans of their fundamental right to vote, constituted a civil conspiracy to violate plaintiffs’ constitutionally protected right to vote, and are arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.

Status: Amended complaint filed September 11, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part October 8, 2020, enjoining defendants from enforcing the “late/extra trips policy,” requiring defendants to authorize all overtime necessary to ensure the timely delivery of election mail, and preemptively denying any request to stay pending appeal; Motion to enforce and monitor compliance with preliminary injunction granted October 27, 2020; Motion for further relief granted November 3, 2020, requiring that USPS immediately perform a sweep of certain USPS facilities “to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery” and report back to the court by 4:30 p.m. the same day; Status report claiming that sweep process has not been completed filed November 3, 2020; Order issued November 4, 2020, requiring USPS to instruct every plant manager in Texas to perform an immediate sweep of the facility to identify any ballots postmarked by Election Day and have such ballots sent out for delivery by 5:00 p.m. and report back to the court by 1pm on November 5; Unopposed motion to stay reporting requirements granted November 13, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed November 24, 2020; Notice of appeal of preliminary injunction order filed by defendants December 7, 2020; District court case voluntarily dismissed January 21, 2020


Robinson v. Board of Elections1:20-cv-1364 (D.C. Superior Court)

Re: Polling Place Availability (Covid-19); Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery

Two individual voters sued the District of Columbia Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s policy of closing the majority of Ward 8 polling places in an effort to promote absentee voting. The complaint for emergency injunctive relief alleges violations of § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the policy ensures that members of a protected class have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political processes and elect representatives of their choice.

Status: TRO denied; Dismissed on consent June 30, 2020


State of New York v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-2340 (D.D.C.), No. _____ (D.C. Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery

The states of New York, Hawaii, New Jersey and others sued the U.S. President, the Postmaster General and others, challenging the USPS’s “abrupt policy changes,” which “interfere with states’ constitutional duty to administer their own elections.” The complaint alleges violations of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the Postal Reorganization Act, and the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution, in that the USPS acted ultra vires in failing to submit a proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission prior to making changes which would “generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis,” and ignoring its obligation to give the highest consideration to the convenience and efficiency of processing, transporting, and delivering important letter mail, eliminated ready access to postal services to certain populations, and that defendants’ actions “will hinder the delivery of mail ballots and ballot applications, and thereby undermine the States’ constitutionally-delegated role to regulate congressional elections.”

Status: Complaint filed August 25, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted September 27, 2020, enjoining defendants from enforcing postal policy changes and preemptively denying any request to stay pending appeal; Motion for summary judgment filed October 19, 2020; Motion to enforce and clarify granted in part and denied in part October 22, 2020; Cross-motion for summary judgment filed by defendants October 26, 2020; Notice of appeal of order granting in part and denying in part motion to clarify filed by defendants November 27, 2020


Vote Forward v. DeJoy, No. 1:20-cv-2405 (D.D.C.), No. 20-5353 (D.C. Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery (Covid-19)

Vote Forward, individual voters, Voces Unidas de las Montañas and others sued the postmaster general and the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”), challenging USPS policy changes implemented by the postmaster general, including a ban on late and extra delivery trips and the decommissioning of hundreds of mail sorting machines, as well as the postmaster general’s failure to reverse other policies that negatively impact the delivery of election mail. The amended complaint alleges violations of federal Administrative Procedure Act and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants acted ultra vires in failing to request an advisory opinion prior to implementing policy changes that affect postal services nationwide, and that the challenged policies unreasonably and severely burden “the right to vote by causing delays that effectively disenfranchise voters.”

Status: Amended complaint filed September 8, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted September 28, 2020 and any request to stay the order pending appeal for preemptively denied; Emergency motion to enforce and monitor compliance with preliminary injunction granted October 27, 2020; Motion for further relief granted November 3, 2020, requiring that USPS immediately perform a sweep of certain USPS facilities “to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery” and report back to the court by 4:30 p.m. the same day; Status report claiming that sweep process has not been completed filed November 3, 2020; Order issued November 4, 2020, requiring USPS to instruct every plant manager in Texas to perform an immediate sweep of the facility to identify any ballots postmarked by Election Day and have such ballots sent out for delivery by 5:00 p.m. and report back to the court by 1pm on November 5; Order issued November 5, requiring that “all USPS facilities that serve a state with an extended ballot receipt deadline shall, until that deadline passes perform a morning ballot sweep…and a mid-to-late afternoon ballot sweep that is timed to ensure that any identified local ballots can be delivered that day”; Notice of appeal of order for preliminary injunction filed by defendants November 27, 2020; Agreement concerning USPS procedures for the 2021 Georgia runoff election so-ordered December 24, 2020Motion to dismiss filed January 15, 2021    


Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Pence, No. 1:20-cv-3791 (D.D.C.)

Re: Fraud Allegations, Philanthropic Election Funding (Covid-19)

The Wisconsin Voters Alliance, Pennsylvania Voters Alliance, Georgia Voters Alliance and others sued Vice President Michael Pence, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Electoral College and others, challenging the constitutionality of federal laws that prescribe the procedure and timing for the certification of presidential electors and the counting of electoral votes in Congress as well as that of various states’ election laws allegedly “transferring post-election certification from the state legislatures to state executive branch officials.” The complaint alleges violations of Article II of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged statutes (3 U.S.C. §§ 5, 6 and 15) deny voters’ rights to Equal Protection, Due Process, and to have their presidential votes “counted by [ ] their respective state legislatures” and seeks to enjoin the Vice President and U.S. Congress “from counting Presidential elector votes from states unless their respective state legislatures vote affirmatively in a post-election vote to certify the Presidential electors.”

Status: Complaint and motion for preliminary injunction filed December 22, 2020; Order denying preliminary injunction issued January 4, 2021; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed January 7, 2021; Order referring plaintiffs’ counsel to the Grievance Committee issued February 19, 2021

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Florida

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East v. DeJoy, No. 1:20-cv-24069 (S.D. Fla.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery Practices (Covid-19)

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East sued the postmaster general and the United States Postal Service, challenging recent changes to postal service delivery practices that adversely impact the delivery of election mail, including removing a substantial number of high-speed sorting machines, reversing a longstanding policy of delivering election mail irrespective of postage paid. The complaint alleges that defendants have exceeded their lawful authority and engaged in arbitrary and capricious agency action.

Status: Complaint filed October 6, 2020; Amended complaint and emergency motion for preliminary injunction filed October 16, 2020; First non-final order issued October 23, 2020, requiring parties to “confer in an effort to come up with reasonable feasible methods to ensure that all ballots in Florida are timely delivered…so they may be counted in the upcoming election”; Second non-final order issued October 29, 2020, requiring that USPS make arrangements with every county Supervisor of Elections in Florida to deliver all ballots in USPS’s possession on November 3; Third non-final order issued November 2, 2020, requiring that USPS report to plaintiff the prior day’s “all clear” status on by 10am on November 2 and 3; Fourth non-final order issued November 2, 2020, requiring that defendant shall provide plaintiff with an additional report by 9:00 a.m. on November 3, “detailing the ‘all clear’ status of the…retail facilities in Florida’s Large Counties”; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed November 13, 2020


Grimes v. Florida Department of State, 2020-CA-908 (Fla. Cir. Ct., Leon Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Prepaid Postage (Covid-19)

Individual Florida residents sued the Florida Department of State, Florida Division of Elections, secretary of state, and others, challenging a state law that provides that a voter may request a vote-by-mail ballot in person or in writing. The second amended complaint seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, including that the court order the State to automatically send mail-in ballots to all voters with postage prepaid.

Status: Dismissed August 13, 2020


Gruver v. Barton, No. 1:19-cv-121 (N.D. Fla.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement (“Pay to Vote”)

The Florida NAACP, League of Women Voters of Florida, individual Florida residents, and others sued the Florida secretary of state and the supervisors for elections of various Florida counties, challenging a state law that prohibits restoration of voting rights to persons with felony convictions until they have paid all court-imposed restitution, fees, and fines. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, 15th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law violates the guarantees of substantive and procedural due process, discriminates between voters (thus denying equal protection), unduly burdens the right to vote, imposes an illegal poll tax, is impermissibly vague, burdens core political speech and associational rights, constitutes retroactive punishment in violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause, and intentionally discriminates on the basis of race.

Status: See Jones v. DeSantis, below


Jacobson v. Lee (formerly Lee v. Dentzner), No. 4:18-cv-262 (N.D. Fla), No. 19-14552 (11th Cir.)

Re: Candidate Order on Ballot

Individual voters, Priorities USA, Democratic National Committee, and others sued the Florida secretary of state and others, challenging a state law that requires that candidates of the same political party as the current Florida governor be listed first on all election ballots. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law creates an undue burden on the right to vote and treats similarly situated candidates differently without sufficient justification. The lower court found the ballot order scheme to be unconstitutional. On appeal, the 11th Circuit reversed, finding that plaintiffs had lacked standing.

Status: Petition for rehearing en banc October 28, 2020


Jones v. DeSantis, No. 4:19-cv-300 (N.D. Fla.); No. 20-12003 (11th Cir.); Raysor v. DeSantis, No. 20-12003 (S. Ct.)

Consolidated with Gruver v. Barton, No. 1:19-cv-000302; Mendez v. DeSantis, No. 4:19-cv-00272; Raysor v. Lee, No. 4:19-cv-00301; McCoy v. DeSantis, No. 4:19-cv-00304 (N.D. Fla)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement (“Pay to Vote”)

An individual Florida resident sued the Florida governor, the supervisor of elections of Hillsborough County, the Florida secretary of state, and the State of Florida, challenging a state statute that prohibits restoration of voting rights to persons with felony convictions until they have paid all court-imposed restitution, fees, and fines. The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and mandamus, alleging state and federal constitutional and statutory claims, including violations of the 14th and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Art. VI, § 4 of the Florida Constitution, in that the statute denies the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, imposes an illegal poll tax, denies the right to vote and discriminates on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, and prescribes qualifications for the restoration of voting rights to persons convicted of felonies beyond those prescribed by the Florida Constitution.

Several individuals and organizations, including the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Florida, intervened and moved for a preliminary injunction, while defendants moved for dismissal. The district court entered a final order granting declaratory and injunctive relief on May 24, 2020.

Status: Notice of appeal filed by defendants. Motion for stay pending appeal denied by district court. Notice of cross-appeal filed by two plaintiffs; Defendant-Appellants’ petition for initial hearing en banc and motion to stay preliminary injunction granted by 11th Circuit; plaintiffs’ emergency application to vacate 11th Circuit stay denied by SCOTUSOrder vacating and reversing lower court ruling issued September 11, 2020


Mendez v. DeSantis, No. 4:19-cv-272 (N.D. Fla.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement (“Pay to Vote”)

An individual Florida resident sued the Florida governor, the Supervisor of Elections of Hillsborough County, the Florida secretary of state, and the State of Florida, challenging a state law that prohibits restoration of voting rights to persons with felony convictions until they have paid all court-imposed restitution, fees, and fines. The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and mandamus, alleging violations of the 14th and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and Art. VI, § 4 of the Florida Constitution, in that the statute denies the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, imposes an illegal poll tax, denies the right to vote and discriminates on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, and prescribes qualifications for the restoration of voting rights to persons convicted of felonies beyond those prescribed by the Florida Constitution.

Status: See Jones v. DeSantis, above


Namphy v. DeSantis, No. 4:20-cv-485 (N.D. Fla.)

Re: Voter Registration Deadline (Covid-19)

An individual voter, the Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority, and others sued the Florida governor and secretary of state, challenging the state’s failure to extend the voter registration deadline after the online voter registration system crashed on the last day of registration. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ failure to extend the registration deadline will wholly deprive many Floridians of the right to vote without any compelling or rational justification.

Status: Complaint and motion for temporary restraining order filed October 6, 2020; Order denying temporary restraining order and taking preliminary injunction under advisement issued October 6, 2020; Order denying preliminary injunction after the secretary of state voluntarily extended the deadline by 24 hours issued October 9, 2020; Notice of dismissal filed October 9, 2020


Nielsen v. DeSantis, No. 4:20-cv-236 (N.D. Fla.)

Consolidated with Williams v. DeSantis

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Prepaid Postage, Ballot Collectors (Covid-19)

Florida voters, Alianza for Progress, Inc., and others sued the Florida governor, the secretary of state, and others, challenging various state laws and practices, including the State’s failure to provide prepaid postage on mail-in ballots, the requirement that ballots not received by 7 p.m. on Election Day be discarded, and prohibition on the use of paid organizers to assist voters with collecting ballots. The third amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, §§ 2 and 203 of the Voting Rights Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, in that the laws and practices unduly burden the right to vote, deny due process, abridge or deny the right to vote on account of race, discriminate against and fail to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities, and fail to provide Spanish-language voting materials and assistance.

Status: Preliminary injunction denied in part and then fully deniedNielsen plaintiffs’ and Dream Defender plaintiffs’ claims voluntarily dismissed pursuant to settlement; Settled July 20, 2020


Raysor v. Lee, No. 4:19-cv-301 (N.D. Fla)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement (“Pay to Vote”)

Individual Florida residents with prior felony convictions, individually and on behalf of a class, sued the Florida secretary of state, challenging a state law that prohibits restoration of voting rights to persons with felony convictions until they have paid all court-imposed restitution, fees, and fines. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law discriminates and disenfranchises on the basis of wealth, constitutes an illegal poll tax, is unconstitutionally vague, and denies the right of due process.

Status: See Jones v. DeSantis, above


Williams v. DeSantis, No. 1:20-cv-67 (N.D. Fla.)

Consolidated with Nielsen v. DeSantis

Re: Vote-by-Mail Restrictions; Early Voting Dates; Curbside Voting (Covid-19)

Florida voters and organizations sued the Florida governor, secretary of state, and the Florida Election Canvassing Commission, challenging a host of alleged failures by the State to make necessary voting accommodations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The second amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, §§ 2 and 203 of the Voting Rights Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, in that the law places an undue burden on the right to vote, abridges the right to vote on account of race, fails to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, fails to provide Spanish-language voting materials and assistance, and denies procedural due process.

Status: Consolidated with Nielsen v. DeSantisSettled by original plaintiffs July 20, 2020 and by intervening plaintiffs August 5, 2020

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Georgia

Anderson v. Raffensperger, No. 1:20-cv-3263 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: In-Person Polling Place Availability & Resources (Covid-19)

Three individual voters, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Party of Georgia sued the Georgia secretary of state, the chair and members of the Georgia State Election Board and members of various county boards of elections, challenging defendants’ failure to provide a sufficient number and equitable distribution of election day polling places, to implement adequately functioning voting systems, and to hire sufficient numbers of and adequately train poll workers, resulting in exceedingly long wait times to vote. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ actions and inaction unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, result in circumstances that are fundamentally unfair, arbitrarily and disparately denying equal protection to voters in certain counties.

Status: Complaint filed August 6, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed September 1, 2020; Motions to dismiss granted and preliminary injunction denied October 13, 2020


Black Voters Matter Fund v. RaffenspergerNo. 1:20-cv-1489 (N.D. Ga.); No. 20-13414 (11th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Prepaid Postage (Covid-19)

Black Voters Matter Fund and individual registered voters, on behalf of a class, sued Georgia’s secretary of state, the Dekalb County Board of Registration & Elections, and others, challenging the State’s policy of requiring voters to provide their own postage when mailing absentee ballots and ballot applications. The second amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the policy imposes an illegal poll tax, denies equal protection, and unjustifiably burdens the right to vote.

Status: TRO denied May 15, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied; Motion to dismiss granted in part  and denied in part August 11, 2020; Final judgment entered in favor of defendants August 28, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 9, 2020


Boland v. Raffensperger, No. 2020CV343018 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching; Voter Registration Records, Election Audit, Decertification (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Georgia secretary of state, and the vice chairs and members of the Georgia State Election Board, challenging defendants’ failure to remove ineligible voters from Georgia’s voter rolls and their failure to reject a sufficient number of absentee ballots when compared with previous elections’ rejection rates. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, the Electors and Elections Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and Georgia statute, in that defendants failed to fulfill their voter list maintenance duties, thus allegedly allowing votes to be cast by or on behalf of out-of-state residents and deceased persons, and usurped legislative authority by changing absentee ballot processing procedures.

Status: Complaint filed November 30, 2020; Motion for expedited hearing filed December 3, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Biden electors December 4, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Trump elector December 7, 2020; Hearing held December 7, 2020; Order dismissing case issued December 8, 2020; Notice of appeal filed December 14, 2020; Order denying application for extraordinary relief issued by Georgia Supreme Court December 14, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal of appeal “due to an out of court agreement” filed by plaintiffs January 7, 2021; Response to notice of voluntary dismissal, contesting plaintiffs’ assertion that the parties entered in to an “out of court agreement” filed by defendants January 7, 2021


Brooks v. Mahoney, No. 4:20-cv-281 (S.D. Ga.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Provisional Voting, Fraud Allegations, Certification Challenge (Covid-19)

Four individual voters sued the Boards of Elections of eight counties where Joseph R. Biden received more votes that Donald J. Trump, and the Georgia secretary of state and governor, challenging alleged election irregularities, including anecdotes of a voter not receiving a requested absentee ballot and a voter being told that they had requested an absentee ballot when they had not, a voting machine software “glitch” in two counties whose results are not being challenged in the suit. Plaintiffs allege that “further evidence” will be provided “based on data analysis…[that] will identify voters who cast votes illegally.” The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that “[c]ertifying [p]residential [e]lectors without excluding certain counties would violate voters’ fundamental right to vote by vote-dilution disenfranchisement.”

Status: Complaint filed November 11, 2020; Amended complaint filed November 12, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 16, 2020


Coalition for Good Governance v. Raffensperger, No. 1:20-cv-1677 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Availability & Accessibility; In-Person Voting Safety, Curbside/Mobile Voting (Covid-19)

The Coalition for Good Governance and individual voters sued the Georgia secretary of state and members of the State Board of Elections, challenging the State’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect the health and safety of voters and election workers in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including postponing the primary election, making absentee voting more accessible, using paper ballots rather than touchscreens, and permitting early and curbside voting. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the State’s failure to make appropriate modifications and accommodations denies the fundamental right to vote and the guarantees of due process and equal protection.

Status: Motion to dismiss granted and motion for reconsideration denied by district court; Appeal to 11th Circuit voluntarily dismissed August 17, 2020


Curling v. Raffensperger, No. 1:17-cv-2989 (N.D. Ga.); No. 20-13730 (11th Cir.)

Re: Electronic Voting Machine Security

Individual voters and the Coalition for Good Governance sued the Georgia secretary of state, the Georgia State Election Board, its members and others, challenging the state’s voting system, which relies primarily on the use of electronic voting machines that plaintiffs contend are inaccurate and vulnerable to security breaches. The third amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and state law and state constitutional ballot secrecy guarantees, in that the use of the electronic machines denies voters’ rights to due process and equal protection, and infringes upon the fundamental right to vote, and denies the right to vote “in absolute secrecy.”

Status: Preliminary injunction denied without prejudice August 7, 2020; Emergency motion for expedited discovery granted in part August 11, 2020; Motions for preliminary injunctions filed August 19, 21 and 24, 2020; Coalition plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction granted on paper pollbook backups September 28, 2020, directing defendants to “provide at least a modicum of the voting backup plan tools essential to protecting voters’ constitutionally protected ability and right to cast a ballot that is counted and given the same weight as any other this coming November 3 general election day and thereafter;” Notice of appeal filed by defendants October 2, 2020; Motion to stay pending appeal filed October 6, 2020; Order issued October 11, 2020, denying Curling Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction and granting in part and denying in part Coalition Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, while finding major security vulnerabilities; Amended order concerning paper pollbook backup issued October 12, 2020; Motion to stay denied by district court October 14, 2020; Motion to stay pending appeal granted by 11th Circuit October 24, 2020; State defendants’ notice of appeal of October 11 order filed October 29, 2020; Emergency motion for expedited discovery and immediate injunctive relief denied November 6, 2020


Democratic Party of Georgia v. Raffensperger, No. 1:19-cv-5028 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching; Notice & Opportunity to Cure

The Democratic Party of Georgia, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sued the Georgia secretary of state, the members of the Georgia State Election Board, and the members of the Gwinnett County Board of Registration and Elections, challenging the lack of uniform standards for verifying voters’ signatures and lack of provisions prescribing the timeframe for notifying voters of curable ballot defects. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the existing system unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote, arbitrarily treats similarly situated voters differently, thus depriving them of equal protection, and denies due process.

Status: Complaint filed November 6, 2019; Amended complaint filed December 27, 2019; Motions to dismiss filed January 10, 2020 and January 31, 2020; Settled March 6, 2020


In re Enforcement of Election Laws and Securing Ballots Cast or Received after 7:00 p.m. on November 3, 2020, No. SPCV20-00982-BA (Super. Ct., Chatham Cnty., Ga.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline; Poll Watcher Access; Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Georgia Republican Party and the Trump Campaign filed a petition to command enforcement of election laws, alleging that, the day after the election, a Chatham County poll watcher had witnessed absentee ballots “that had not been properly processed apparently mixed into a pile of absentee ballots that was already set to be tabulated,” and was not thereafter provided requested information as to whether the ballots had been received prior to the close of polls on election day. The petition seeks an order requiring that the Chatham County Board of Elections segregate all absentee ballots received after 7:00 p.m. on election day, provide a detailed accounting such ballots, including voters’ names, and further requiring that such ballots be stored until “further instruction from this Court as to their final disposition.”

Status: Motion to intervene filed by the Democratic Party of Georgia November 5, 2020; Petition dismissed November 5, 2020


Fair Fight Action v. Raffensperger (aka Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta v. Raffensperger), No. 1:18-cv-5391 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Voter List Purges, In-Person Voting, Polling Place Closures, Voting Machine Security, Vote-by-Mail

Fair Fight Action, Care in Action, Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, and others sued the Georgia secretary of state, the State Election Board, and members of the board, challenging the State’s elections laws, policies and practices, and its administration of the 2018 general election in particular, which plaintiffs allege resulted in voter suppression and discrimination “reminiscent of the Jim Crow era.” The challenged laws and practices include closing and relocating polling places, failing to provide a sufficient number of ballots and other resources to polling places, using inaccurate voting machines, illegally purging thousands of voters from voter rolls, improperly rejecting voter registration forms, failing to provide sufficient provisional ballots, failing to properly train election workers, impeding absentee voting, and leaving the State’s voting infrastructure vulnerable to hacking. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”), in that the challenged laws and practices deny substantive and procedural due process, including the fundamental right to vote, discriminate on the basis of race, deprive voters of equal protection, deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color, and fail to comply with various provisions of HAVA by employing voting machines that produce no paper record when votes are cast and thus cannot be audited.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction denied December 27, 2019; Motion for summary judgment filed June 29, 2020


Fair Fight, Inc. v. True the Vote, No. 2:20-cv-302 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Voter List Purges, Voter Intimidation, Threats to Election Officials (Covid-19)

Fair Fight, Inc. and two anonymous individual voters who fear harassment sued True the Vote, its founder and executive director, and others, challenging defendants’ campaign to “preemptively challenge 364,541 potentially ineligible voters” across Georgia based on the U.S. Postal Service’s “National Change of Address” registry, notwithstanding that Georgia law explicitly permits Georgians who have temporarily relocated out-of-state to remain registered and vote in Georgia (including, among other voters, students, those who have obtained temporary employment elsewhere, and those who are out-of-state in order to care for someone ill during the pandemic, or for military service). Additionally, defendants have threatened to publicly release the names of the voters they claim are ineligible, thus subjecting those individuals to threats and harassment and have offered a $1 million reward fund to “incentivize” individuals to report suspected “election malfeasance.”  The complaint alleges violations of section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act, in that defendants’ actions attempt to or actually “intimidate, threaten, or coerce” certain individuals from “voting or attempting to vote.”

Status: Complaint filed December 23, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied January 1, 2020, nevertheless noting that the challenges are “suspect”; Motion to dismiss for insufficient process deemed moot January 1, 2020; Counterclaims filed by defendants January 8, 2021; Motion to dismiss counterclaims filed by plaintiffs January 29, 2021


Favorito v. Cooney, No. 2020CV343938 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Voter Records & Ballot Inspection Request

Individual voters and poll workers sued the members of the Fulton County Board of Elections and its director, challenging defendants’ failure to provide requested voting records and alleging fraud and irregularities in the November 2020 election. The complaint alleges violations of the Georgia Constitution, in that defendants failed to ensure that absentee ballots were treated in accordance with state law and in a uniform manner throughout the county and throughout the state, thus depriving plaintiffs of equal protection and due process, and that voters for third party candidates were treated differently than similarly situated voters.  

Status: Petition and emergency motion to shorten the time to respond to a discovery request filed December 23, 2020; Hearing scheduled for January 15, 2021


Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, Inc. v. Gwinnett County Board of Registration and Elections, No. 1:20-cv-1587 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: English-Only Election Materials (Covid-19)

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and others sued the Gwinnett County Board of Registration and Elections, members of the Board of Registration and Elections, and the Georgia secretary of state, challenging the State’s practice of sending only English-language election materials, including absentee ballot applications, to Georgia’s voters. The second amended complaint alleges violations of §§ 203 and 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act, in that the law fails to provide bilingual voting materials and conditions the right to vote on voters’ degree of fluency in English, when voters were educated in an American-flag school where English was not the language of instruction.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction denied; Second amended complaint filed June 8, 2020; Motions to dismiss granted October 5, 2020


Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda v. Raffensperger, No. 1:18-cv-4727 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Voter Registration

The Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, and others sued the Georgia secretary of state, challenging the State’s “exact match” law and related protocols, which reject voter registration applications if a single letter or number on the application does not perfectly match information contained in the Georgia Department of Driver Services and Social Security Administration databases. The third amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and § 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), in that the challenged law and protocols unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color, disproportionately impact racial minority voters, discriminate based on citizenship classification and national origin, and fail to ensure that any eligible applicant is registered to vote in an election “so long as that applicant [timely] submits a valid voter registration form,” as required by the NVRA.

Status: Motion for emergency preliminary injunction granted as to the November 2018 general election; Third amended complaint filed July 24, 2020; Discovery deadline December 8, 2020


Georgia Republican Party v. Raffensperger, No. 1:20-cv-5018 (N.D. Ga.), No. 20-14741 (11th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

The Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Perdue for Senate, and Georgians for Kelly Loeffler sued the Georgia secretary of state and the members of the Georgia State Election Board, challenging new absentee ballot signature verification rules and the access afforded to poll watchers to observe the signature matching process. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged rules are “fundamentally unfair,” dilute the value of legitimate votes, and arbitrarily discriminate against plaintiffs, thus depriving them of due process and equal protection.   

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order filed December 10, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic Party of Georgia and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee December 11, 2020; Dismissed December 17, 2020; Notice of appeal filed December 18, 2020; Motion for stay or injunction pending appeal denied by 11th Circuit December 20, 2020; Emergency motion to stay denied by district court December 21, 2020; Motion to voluntarily dismiss appeal filed by plaintiffs January 4, 2021


Georgia Republican Party v. Raffensperger, No. 2:20-cv-135 (S.D. Ga.); No. 20-14741 (11th Cir.)

Re: Voter Registration, Double Voting, Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Purdue and Loeffler campaigns, and individual voters sued the Georgia secretary of state, the chair, vice chair, and members of the State Election Board, and others, challenging defendants’ alleged failure to implement safeguards to prevent newly registered voters who voted in another state’s senatorial election in 2020 from also voting in Georgia’s 2021 runoff election and seeking to segregate all ballots cast by voters who newly registered in Georgia between November 4 and December 7, 2020. The complaint alleges violations of section 11 of the Voting Rights Act and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the Voting Rights Act prohibits “double voting,” and that allowing such votes to be counted would unduly burden plaintiffs’ fundamental right to vote and deprive them of equal protection and due process by debasing the value of their valid votes.

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order filed December 17, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee December 18, 2020; Case dismissed with prejudice December 18, 2020; Emergency motion for a stay pending appeal denied by 11th Circuit December 21, 2020; Appeal voluntarily dismissed January 4, 2021


Georgia State Conference of the NAACP v. Dekalb County Board of Registration and Elections, No. 1:20-cv-879 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Voter List Purges

The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda sued the Dekalb County Board of Registration and Elections and its members and director, challenging the removal of voters from rolls pursuant to the state’s challenge procedures without affording notice, an opportunity to respond, and the two-election cycle waiting period required under federal law. The complaint alleges violations of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) on the basis that (1) Defendants are immediately purging voters without voters’ written confirmation and without sending a notice and waiting two federal election cycles , (2) Defendants’ letters to voters do not qualify as “confirmation notices” as required by the NVRA, and (3) Defendants’ removals are nonuniform and discriminatory. In addition, Plaintiffs allege violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution on the basis that the county purge procedures deny and severely burden DeKalb County citizens’ fundamental right to vote.

Status: Motion to dismiss denied September 2, 2020


Georgia Voters Alliance v. Fulton County, No. 1:20-cv-4198 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Election Funding (Covid-19)

The Georgia Voters Alliance and an individual voter “who oppose the election of progressive candidates” sued Fulton County, Georgia, challenging the county’s acceptance of $6 million in grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to help the city administer the November election. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Supremacy Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, of the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”), and the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), in that these jurisdictions acted “without legal authority, to form a public-private partnership for federal election administration with CTCL,” and that their actions are preempted by HAVA and the NVRA.

Status: Complaint filed October 9, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied October 28, 2020; Case voluntarily dismissed November 4, 2020


Griggs v. Raffensperger, No. 1:20-cv-3272 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Fraud

An individual voter and ten anonymous individuals sued the Georgia secretary of state, the Chatham County Georgia Board of Elections and others, seeking to void the June 9, 2020, primary election due to alleged fraud and mismanagement. The complaint alleges violations of  the Voting Rights Act, the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants “deprived voters and candidates of the right to vote and select candidates,” by engaging in misconduct, “breach[ed their] duty” and were negligent, denied voters equal protection by “having different standards for administering elections or for counting ballots in different counties,” and “perpetrated fraud upon the voters and candidates during the June 9, 2020 Primary Election.”   

Status: Complaint filed August 7, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed October 9, 2020; Stipulation of voluntary dismissal filed October 28, 2020


Gwinnett County NAACP v. Gwinnett County Board of Registration & Elections, No. 1:20-cv-912 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: In-Person Early Voting, Satellite Voting Locations

The Gwinnett County NAACP, the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, and the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda sued the Gwinnett County Board of Registration and Elections, its members, and the Gwinnett County Commissioners, challenging the defendants’ decision to eliminate the first week of early voting at satellite locations for the March 2020 presidential primary election. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the elimination of early voting opportunities would severely burden the fundamental right to vote, discriminate against Black voters and voters of a lower socioeconomic status.

Status: Emergency motion for TRO and preliminary injunction denied March 3, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed March 9, 2020


Majority Forward v. Ben Hill County Board of Elections, No. 1:20-cv-266 (M.D. Ga.)

Re: Voter List Purges (Covid-19)

Majority Forward and an individual voter sued the Ben Hill and Muscogee County Boards of Elections and Registration, their members, and others challenging defendants’ decision to sustain indiscriminate challenges to approximately 4,000 voters’ eligibility to vote in the January 2021 Georgia runoff elections, based on a “notoriously unreliable” national change of address database. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that sustaining the mass challenges unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote and runs afoul of the NVRA’s prohibition on removing voters from registration lists based on a purported address change unless certain procedures are followed, and further prohibits systematic removal of voters within 90 days of an election for federal office.

Status: Complaint filed December 23, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order granted December 28, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted and temporary restraining order dissolved December 30, 2020; Final order granting in part motion for preliminary injunction issued January 4, 2021


National Defense Committee v. Fulton County Board of Elections and Registration, No. 2021CV344215 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: Poll Watcher Access, Vote-by-Mail Signature Verification, Ballot Processing (Covid-19)

The National Defense Committee, the Fulton County Republican Party, and an individual poll watcher sued the Fulton County Board of Elections and Registration and its director, challenging the sufficiency of access afforded to poll watchers to observe the processing of absentee ballots, including signature matching. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia statutes, in that ballot processing stations are, among other things, spaced far apart due to comport with Covid-19 social distancing guidelines.

Status: Complaint filed January 4, 2021; Consent order issued January 5, 2021; Motion for contempt filed by petitioners January 7, 2021


New Georgia Project v. Cooney, No. 2020CV343646 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Early Voting Availability (Covid-19)

The New Georgia Project sued the Chair, Vice-Chair, and members of the Fulton County Board of Elections, challenging defendants’ failure to provide the minimum early voting required by law for Georgia’s January runoff elections. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia law, which requires that early voting opportunities be made available, among other dates, on Saturday, December 31, 2020 and January 4, 2021.

Status:  Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order filed December 16, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed January 6, 2021 


New Georgia Project v. Evans, No. SU20CV0594 (Ga. Super. Ct., Clarke Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Early Voting Availability (Covid-19)

The New Georgia Project sued the Chair, Vice-Chair, and members of the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections, challenging defendants’ failure to provide the minimum early voting required by law for Georgia’s January runoff elections. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia law, which requires that early voting opportunities be made available, among other dates, on Saturday, December 19, 2020 and January 4, 2021.

Status:  Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order filed December 15, 2020


New Georgia Project v. Kaplan, No. 2020-CV-073305 (Ga. Super. Ct., Bibb Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Early Voting Availability (Covid-19)

The New Georgia Project sued the Chair, Vice-Chair and members of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections, challenging defendants’ failure to provide the minimum early voting required by law for Georgia’s January runoff elections. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia law, which requires that early voting opportunities be made available, among other dates, on Saturday, December 19, 2020, December 31, 2020 and January 4, 2021.

Status:  Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order filed December 15, 2020


New Georgia Project v. Raffensperger, No. 1:20-cv-1986 (N.D. Ga.), No. 20-13360 (11th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Prepaid Postage, Voter Assistance Ban, Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

The New Georgia Project and individual voters sued the secretary of state, State Board of Elections members, and others, challenging five state laws that require that ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day be discarded, prohibit voter assistance, fail to provide standards for notifying voters who have submitted incomplete absentee ballot applications, restrict the ability to submit a single application to vote by mail for an entire election cycle based on age, and require voters to provide their own postage on absentee ballots, and alleging that the effects of these rules have been exacerbated by Covid-19. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, 24th, and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and § 208 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the laws unduly burden the right to vote, deny or abridge the right to vote on account of age, impose a poll tax, deny procedural due process, arbitrarily impose disparate treatment, infringe on speech and association rights, and are preempted by federal law.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part August 31, 2020, requiring that “otherwise valid absentee ballots from qualified voters” must be counted if postmarked by election day and received by 7:00 p.m. within three business days thereafter. Notice of appeal and filed September 4, 2020; Motion to expedite briefing granted September 10, 2020; Motion to stay pending appeal denied September 16, 2020; Appellate motion to stay injunction granted October 2, 2020


New Georgia Project v. Shelton, No. 2020V123366K (Ga. Super. Ct., Houston Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Early Voting Availability (Covid-19)

The New Georgia Project sued the Chair, Vice-Chair and members of the Houston County Board of Elections, challenging defendants’ failure to provide the minimum early voting required by law for Georgia’s January runoff elections. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia law, which requires that early voting opportunities be made available, among other dates, on Saturday, December 19, 2020 and January 4, 2021.

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order filed December 16, 2020


New Georgia Project v. Willis, No. 20-CV-003112 (Ga. Super. Ct., Paulding Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Early Voting Availability (Covid-19)

The New Georgia Project sued the Chair, Vice-Chair and members of the Paulding County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, challenging defendants’ failure to provide the minimum early voting required by law for Georgia’s January runoff elections. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia law, which requires that early voting opportunities be made available, among other dates, on Saturday, December 19, 2020 and January 4, 2021.

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order filed December 15, 2020


Palast v. Kemp, 1:18-cv-4809 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Voter Registration Records

An investigative journalist and the executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda sued the Georgia secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s failure to disclose documents pertaining to voter list maintenance which had been requested by plaintiffs pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”). The complaint alleges violations of the public disclosure provisions of the NVRA, in that defendant failed to fully respond to plaintiffs’ request for public disclosure after being given 90 days’ notice.

Status: Defendant’s motion for summary judgment denied February 4, 2020; Consent motion to stay pending settlement filed August 28, 2020; Stipulation of dismissal filed October 13, 2020


Pearson v. Kemp, No. 1:20-cv-4809 (N.D. Ga.), No. 20-14480 (11th Cir.), No. 20-816 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice & Opportunity to Cure, Poll Watcher Access, Election Certification Challenge, Fraud Allegations, Electronic Voting Machine Issues (Covid-19)

Republican presidential electors sued the Georgia governor, secretary of state, and others challenging the integrity of the state’s election, alleging “massive” voter fraud, and seeking to decertify the election results and to certify Donald Trump as the winner of Georgia’s presidential election. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia’s election code, the 14th Amendment to and the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants “change[d] the statutorily prescribed manner of handling absentee ballots,” thus usurping legislative authority, treated similarly situated voters differently based on their county of residence, diluted lawful votes, otherwise disenfranchised plaintiffs, and facilitated widespread voter fraud via the use of Dominion voting machines.

Status: Complaint filed November 25, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order filed November 27, 2020; Order enjoining and restraining defendants from altering, destroying, or erasing any software or data on any Dominion voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties issued November 29, 2020; Order permitting an immediate appeal of the prior day’s order issued November 30, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic Party of Georgia, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee November 30, 2020; Notice of appeal filed by plaintiffs and district court hearing stayed December 1, 2020; Emergency motion for expedited briefing schedule and review granted by 11th Circuit December 2, 2020; Emergency motion to intervene by Democratic Party of Georgia, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee granted December 3, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed by intervening defendants December 3, 2020; Emergency motion for relief from the November 29 temporary restraining order and cross-appeal filed by defendants December 3, 2020;  Order dismissing both appeals issued by 11th Circuit December 4, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed by original defendants in district court December 5, 2020; Order dismissing case and vacating temporary restraining order issued and notice of appeal filed December 7, 2020; Emergency petition filed in U.S. Supreme Court December 11, 2020; Motion to consolidate and expedite consideration of the emergency petition filed December 18, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; stipulation of dismissal filed by plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court January 19, 2021


Republican National Committee v. State Election Board, No. 2020CV343319 (Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Drop Box Availability & Surveillance Footage, Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

The Republican National Committee and the Georgia Republican Party sued the State Election Board, the Georgia secretary of state, and others, challenging the access afforded to poll watchers, the use of drop boxes for the return of absentee ballots, the hours during which ballots may be deposited in drop boxes, and the availability of drop box surveillance footage. The complaint alleges violations of state statutes and seeks orders (1) declaring that existing law requires that poll workers be permitted to “fully and effectively observe the casting, processing, recording, and tabulation of every vote,” (2) declaring that existing law requires that absentee ballots may be deposited in drop boxes only during regular business hours; (3) requiring that “continuous video surveillance footage of all drop box locations in the state must be made publicly available via real time or near-real time streaming,” and (4) requiring the secretary of state to promptly notify local election officials of the extent of poll watchers’ access rights and the limitation on drop box usage.  

Status: Complaint filed December 8, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee December 15, 2020; Case dismissed December 24, 2020


Schmitz v. Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, No. 2020CV339337 (Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: Voter List Purges

Two individual voters sued the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, its director and chief, seeking to compel defendants to purge the county’s voter registration list. The verified petition for a writ of mandamus alleges violations of state statute, in that defendants have failed to hold a hearing in response to written notices filed by plaintiff, challenging the qualifications of multiple registered voters.

Status: Complaint filed August 13, 2020; Emergency motion to intervene by the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda September 23, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by the New Georgia Project September 28, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted September 29, 2020; Dismissal affirmed by Georgia Supreme Court January 5, 2021


S.P.S. ex rel Short v. Raffensperger, No. 1:19-cv-4960 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Candidate Order on Ballot

Individual Georgia residents, the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and others sued the Georgia secretary of state, the vice chair of the Georgia Board of Elections, and others, challenging a state law that mandates that candidates be listed on the ballot in descending order of the number of votes received by “candidates of the political parties for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.” The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments, in that the law unduly burdens the right to vote and treats voters disparately in violation of equal protection.

Status: Supplemental brief filed by plaintiffs June 12, 2020, addressing the impact of the 11th Circuit’s decision in Jacobson v. Florida; Motions for preliminary injunction and dismissal denied August 13, 2020; Consent order to stay case granted September 10, 2020


Still v. RaffenspergerNo. 2020CV343711 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: Fraud Allegations, Election Contest, Election Decertification (Covid-19)

A presidential elector and an anonymous individual sued the Georgia secretary of state, the Coffee County Board of Elections and Registration, and others, challenging alleged errors in counting the votes for president in Coffee County’s election and seeking to decertify the election results for both Coffee County and the State of Georgia as a whole. The petition alleges violations of Georgia statute and of the Georgia Constitution, in that defendants’ actions resulted in “irregularities, misconduct and fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election in Coffee County, Georgia, and place in doubt the entire election result in State of Georgia.”

Status: Petition for emergency injunctive and declaratory relief filed December 17, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed January 7, 2021


Trump v. Kemp, 1:20-cv-5310 (N.D. Ga.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution, Signature Verification, Poll Watcher Access, Election Decertification, Fraud Allegations, Voter Registration (Covid-19)

Donald J. Trump sued the Georgia governor and secretary of state, challenging defendants’ alleged failure to adhere to Georgia election law by, among other things, allowing “unqualified” individuals to register and vote, sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters for the 2020 primary election, failing to verify signatures on absentee ballots, failing to allow poll watchers adequate access to observe “all proceedings at vote tabulation centers,” thus allowing “misconduct” to occur, and failing to assign an “eligible” judge to hear the election contest filed by Trump in Trump v. Raffensperger, below, and illegally certifying the election results.  The complaint alleges violations of the Electors Clause of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that Georgia’s election was not conducted in the manner prescribed by the legislature and that the certification of Georgia’s election results while Trump’s lawsuit against Governor Raffensperger was pending deprived him of due process.

Status: Complaint and motion for expedited declaratory and injunctive relief filed December 31, 2020; Motion for expedited declaratory and injunctive relief denied January 5, 2021; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed January 7, 2021


Trump v. Raffensperger, No. 2020 CV 343255 (Ga. Super. Ct., Fulton Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution, Signature Matching, Poll Watcher Access, Felony Disenfranchisement, Voter Registration, Double Voting, Election Contest, Fraud Allegations, Election Decertification Request (Covid-19)

Donald J. Trump, the Trump campaign, and a Republican presidential elector nominee sued the Georgia secretary of state, the vice chair of the Georgia State Election Board, and others, challenging the results of the presidential election on numerous grounds, including the counting of absentee ballots without performing adequate signature verification or that were requested more than 180 days prior to the election, and alleging that, among other things, deceased persons, those who had moved out of state, and persons with felony convictions had been allowed to vote. The complaint contests the results of the election pursuant to Georgia statute, alleges violations of Georgia’s election code and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Georgia Constitution, in that signature verification procedures differed among counties, illegal votes were cast and counted, thus diluting legitimate votes, and seeks an order decertifying the results of the presidential election.

Status: Complaint filed December 4, 2020; Motion for emergency injunctive relief filed December 7, 2020; Emergency motion to intervene filed by Georgia’s sixteen Democratic presidential electors December 8, 2020; Motion for emergency injunctive relief withdrawn December 8, 2020; Order issued December 9, 2020, providing that the case would proceed on a non-expedited basis; Emergency petition for a writ of certiorari dismissed by Georgia Supreme Court December 12, 2020; Emergency direct appeal denied by Georgia Supreme Court December 14, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed January 7, 2021; Response to notice of voluntary dismissal filed by defendants January 7, 2021, contesting petitioners’ assertion that the matter was being dismissed pursuant to settlement; Motion for attorneys' fees filed by respondents February 22, 2021


Twelfth Congressional District Republican Committee v. Raffensperger, 1:20-cv-180 (S.D. Ga.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Early Ballot Processing, Signature Matching, Drop Box Availability; Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

The Twelfth Congressional District Republican Committee, an individual voter, and two Republican presidential elector nominees sued the Georgia secretary of state, the members of the Georgia State Election Board, and others, challenging new rules that permit counties to deploy ballot drop boxes as early as 49 days prior to an election, to begin processing absentee ballots beginning three weeks prior to election day, and prescribe signature verification procedures for absentee ballots, as well as defendants’ alleged failure to afford plaintiffs sufficient poll watcher access. The complaint alleges violations of state law, the Georgia Constitution, and of the Elections and Electors Clauses of and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants have promulgated rules that are inconsistent with Georgia’s election laws, thus usurping legislative authority; that promote fraud, thus diluting the value of plaintiffs’ votes; and that arbitrarily discriminate between absentee and in-person voters and between plaintiffs’ designated poll watchers and other poll watchers, thus depriving them of equal protection.

Status: Complaint and motion for temporary restraining order filed December 9, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic Party of Georgia and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee granted December 14, 2020; Motions to dismiss filed December 15, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda granted December 16, 2020; Case dismissed December 17, 2020; Notice of appeal filed January 15, 2021


Wood v. Raffensperger, No. 1:20-cv-4651 (N.D. Ga.), No. 20-14418 (11th Cir.), No. 20-799 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice & Opportunity to Cure; Election Certification (Covid-19)

The president of the Georgia Voters Alliance sued the Georgia secretary of state and the State Election Board, challenging the validity of a consent decree entered into by defendants in March 2020, in connection with Democratic Party of Georgia v. Raffensperger, No. 1:19-cv-5028 (N.D. Ga.), above. The complaint alleges violations of the Electors and Election Clauses of and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the consent decree impermissibly changes the “time[], place[ ] and manner” of the election and denies plaintiffs’ equal protection because, under the terms of the consent decree, “absentee ballots have been processed differently by [c]ounty [o]fficials than the process created by the Georgia Legislature. Plaintiff seeks an order prohibiting defendants from certifying the 2020 general election results in Georgia on a statewide basis. 

Status: Complaint filed November 13, 2020; Amended complaint filed November 16, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic Party of Georgia, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee granted November 19, 2020; Emergency motion for temporary restraining order denied November 19, 2020; Motion to dismiss and motion to appeal the denial of the temporary restraining order filed November 23, 2020; Plaintiff’s amended motion to supplement motion for temporary restraining order granted November 24, 2020; Emergency notice of appeal filed November 24, 2020; Order affirming lower court’s denial of emergency motion for temporary restraining order issued by 11th Circuit December 5, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite consideration filed in U.S. Supreme Court December 8, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


Wood v. RaffenspergerNo. 2020CV342959 (Super. Ct. Fulton Cnty., Ga.)

Re: Election Contest, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

The president of the Georgia Voters Alliance sued the Georgia secretary of state, contesting Georgia’s presidential election based on Fulton County’s acceptance of private election administration grants, challenging the agreement entered into by Defendants in connection with the settlement of Democratic Party of Georgia v. Raffensperger, No. 1:19-cv-5028 (N.D. Ga.), above, concerning procedures for processing absentee ballots, and the failure to enforce state law residency requirements and the prohibition on double-voting, and alleging widespread fraud across the state, and particularly in Fulton County. The complaint alleges violations of Georgia’s election code, the Georgia Constitution, and the 14th Amendment to and the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, in that receipt of private election administration funds resulted in a disparity in the number of drop boxes among counties, the settlement agreement changed the statutorily-prescribed manner of handling absentee ballots (thus usurping legislative authority), and defendants failed to enforce state election law.

Status: Complaint filed November 25, 2020; Case dismissed December 8, 2020


Wood v. Raffensperger, 1:20-cv-5155 (N.D. Ga.), 20-14813 (11th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, ID Requirement, Pre-Canvassing, Drop Box Availability, Electronic Voting Machines, Election Postponement (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Georgia secretary of state and the chair, vice chair, and members of the Georgia State Election Board, challenging the consent decree entered in Democratic Party of Georgia v. Raffensperger, No. 1:19-cv-5028 (N.D. Ga.), above, which prescribes signature matching procedures for absentee ballots and absentee ballot identification requirements; a state rule permitting election officials to begin pre-canvassing absentee ballots prior to election day; and the use of absentee ballot drop boxes and Dominion voting machines and seeks to postpone the state’s January 5, 2021 run-off election. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to and Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged rules and procedures violate plaintiff’s rights to equal protection, due process, and a republican form of government.

Status: Complaint filed December 18, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic Party of Georgia and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee granted December 22, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed by intervenor defendants December 22, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed by 0riginal defendants December 23, 2020; Emergency motions for injunctive relief and preservation of evidence and inspection of electronic election/voting equipment and production of original ballots denied and notice of appeal filed December 28, 2020

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Hawaii

Griffin v. State of Hawaii, No. 1:20-cv-298 (D. Haw.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Voter Assistance, In-Person Polling Place Availability (Covid-19)

 A nonpartisan candidate for political office sued the State of Hawaii challenging the state’s vote-by-mail program, which plaintiff believes will undermine voters’ confidence in the voting process, present challenges for disabled and visually impaired voters, and reduce the number of in-person polling places. The complaint does not set forth a cause of action and seeks a preliminary injunction requiring that “only official ballots [be] used,” that voters be required to sign any ballot sent via USPS to verify identity, and “public comparison of aggregated totals with component parts.”

Status: Motion for emergency injunction denied and motion to dismiss granted September 28, 2020; Amended complaint filed October 13, 2020; Amended complaint dismissed December 8, 2020


Reeves v. Nago, No. 1:20-cv-433 (D. Haw.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (Covid-19)

Individual voters and Equally American sued the chief election officer for the Hawaii Office of Elections, the United States of America, and others, challenging the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (“UOCAVA”), Hawaii statutes, and administrative rules implementing their requirements, which permit former Hawaii residents to continue voting by absentee ballot in presidential and congressional elections if they reside in the Northern Mariana Islands, certain other insular territories, or in a foreign country, while failing to afford that right to residents of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Puerto Rico. The complaint alleges violations of the 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged provisions and polices violate the guarantees of equal protection and due process by treating differently former state residents depending on where they now reside outside of the United States.

Status: Complaint filed October 8, 2020; Amended complaint filed October 29, 2020; Second amended complaint filed December 18, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois

Cook County Republican Party v. Pritzker, No. 1:20-cv-4676 (N.D. Ill.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution, Request Deadline, Voter Assistance, Signature Matching; Notice/Opportunity to Cure Provisional Ballots (Covid-19)

The Cook County Republican Party sued the Illinois governor, members of the Illinois State Board of Elections and others, challenging a newly enacted law that requires that vote-by-mail ballot applications be sent to most registered voters, requires acceptance of mail-in ballots returned with insufficient or no postage, does not prohibit 3rd party voter assistance, does not provide a tracking system for mail-in ballots, allows mail-in ballots to be requested 3 days before the election, gives government employees a paid day off on election day, presumes that signatures on mail-in ballots are authentic, allows 16-year-olds to serve as election judges, and affords voters of 14 days to cure a defective provisional ballot. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article 3, Section 4 of the Illinois Constitution, in that the challenged law “will lead to fraudulent votes being counted, thus diluting lawful votes for candidates of the Republican Party,” “will lead to ballots being collected by paid, partisan political operatives and never returned to the election authority, thus directly disenfranchising voters for candidates of the Republican Party,” and violates the secrecy of voters wishing to vote by mail.

Status: Complaint and motion for preliminary injunction filed August 10, 2020; Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee permitted to intervene August 28, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed September 23, 2020


Harrington v. DeJoy, No. 1:20-cv-5303 (N.D. Ill.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Practices (Covid-19)

An individual voter, on behalf of a class, sued the postmaster general, the chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, and the “United States Parcel Service,” challenging the removal from or dismantling of Delivery Bar Code Sorting Machines in the Chicago area and around the nation. The complaint alleges violations of federal statute, in that defendants’ actions constitute a “consolidation” of a post office, were undertaken without first providing adequate notice and without considering the effect of the closing or consolidation on the community served by those post offices, and have cause plaintiffs’ voting rights to be placed at risk and infringed.

Status: Complaint filed September 8, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 20, 2020


Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Sandvoss, No. 3:20-cv-3190 (C.D. Ill.)

Re: Voter Registration Records Request

The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued the Illinois State Board of Elections, its executive director, and the director and deputy director of voting systems and registration challenging defendants’ failure to comply with a request to produce a copy of Illinois’ statewide voter registration list. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, in that the Act preempts the Illinois law restricting access to such information.

Status: Complaint filed July 27, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed October 5, 2020; Hearing scheduled for January 25, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iowa

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee v. Pate, No. 5771 CVCV060641 (Iowa Dist. Ct., Polk Cnty.); No. 20-1281 (Iowa Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Application Distribution (Covid-19)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Iowa Democratic Party sued the Iowa secretary of state and the Iowa Legislative Counsel, challenging the July 17, 2020 Emergency Election Directive, which ordered county auditors to distribute to voters “only the blank Official State of Iowa Absentee Request Form,” for the November general election. The petition for judicial review of agency action alleges violations of the Iowa Administrative Code and the Iowa Constitution, in that the secretary failed to invoke his emergency powers prior to issuing the challenged directive, which was based on an erroneous interpretation of Iowa law and unconstitutionally intrudes on counties’ home rule authority.

Status: Petition for judicial review of agency action filed August 31, 2020; Motion for temporary injunctive relief granted October 5, 2020; Stay granted by Iowa Supreme Court October 6, 2020; Reversed and remanded October 14, 2020


Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee v. Pate, No. 5571 060642 (Iowa Dist. Ct., Polk Cnty.); No. 20-1281 (Iowa Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Application Distribution (Covid-19)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign CommitteeDemocratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Iowa Democratic Party sued the Iowa secretary of state and the Iowa Legislative Counsel, challenging the July 17, 2020 Emergency Election Directive, which ordered county auditors to distribute to voters “only the blank Official State of Iowa Absentee Request Form,” for the November general election. The petition at law alleges violations of the Iowa Constitution, in that the challenged order exceeds defendants’ statutory authority, threatens to deprive voters and plaintiffs of a protected liberty interest without providing due process, and results in similarly situated voters being treated differently based on whether they receive blank or pre-addressed absentee ballot request forms.

Status: Petition at law filed August 31, 2020; Emergency motion to stay agency action granted October 5, 2020; Stay granted by Iowa Supreme Court October 6, 2020; Reversed and remanded October 14, 2020; Petition for certiorari denied by Iowa Supreme Court October 14, 2020


Iowa Voters Alliance v. Black Hawk County, No. 6:20-cv-2078 (N.D. Iowa)

Re: Election Funding (Covid-19)

The Iowa Voters Alliance and three individual voters sued Black Hawk and Scott Counties, challenging defendants’ acceptance of private philanthropic grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to help the city administer the November election. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Supremacy Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, of the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”), and the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), in that these jurisdictions acted “without legal authority, to form a public-private partnership for federal election administration with CTCL,” and that their actions are preempted by HAVA and the NVRA.

Status: Complaint filed October 1, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied October 20, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed November 25, 2020; Dismissed with prejudice January 27, 2021


League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa v. Pate, No. 06521 CVCV081901 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Johnson Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Contents (Covid-19)

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and Majority Forward sued the Iowa secretary of state seeking to prevent the implementation of a newly enacted law HF 2643, which prohibits elections officials from using information contained in the voter registration database for the purpose of filling in any information that is missing from a voter’s absentee ballot application. The complaint alleges violations of Article 1, Sections 6, 7, and 9 and Article 2, Section 1 of the Iowa Constitution, in that the law unjustifiably and unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote and denies voters’ right to substantive and procedural due process and equal protection. Plaintiffs seek an order declaring that Section 124 of HF 2643 violates the Iowa Constitution and enjoining the secretary from implementing the challenged provision.

Status: Motion to intervene filed by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and Republican Party of Iowa July 24, 2020; Motion for temporary injunction denied September 25, 2020; Lower court’s denial affirmed by Iowa Supreme Court October 21, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 19, 2020


League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa v. Pate, No. 05771 CVCV060692 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Polk Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Drop Box Restrictions (Covid-19)

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and Majority Forward sued the Iowa secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s official guidance that ballot drop boxes may only be deployed at county auditors’ offices or on county property immediately surrounding those offices. The petition for judicial review of agency action alleges violations of state law and the Iowa constitution, in that the secretary’s guidance is based on an erroneous interpretation of Iowa law, was issued in a procedurally deficient manner, and unconstitutionally intrudes on the counties’ home rule authority.

Status: Complaint filed September 14, 2020; Motion for temporary injunction denied October 27, 2020; Dismissed November 18, 2020


League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa v. Pate, No. 05771 CVCV060695 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Polk Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Drop Box Restrictions (Covid-19)

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and Majority Forward sued the Iowa secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s official guidance that ballot drop boxes may only be deployed at county auditors’ offices or on county property immediately surrounding those offices. The petition at law and equity alleges violations of the Iowa Constitution, in that the secretary’s guidance infringes on counties’ home rule authority to conduct their elections in a manner not inconsistent with state law, and substantially burdens the fundamental right to vote without being justified by a compelling government interest.

Status: Complaint filed September 14, 2020; Motion for temporary injunction and request for expedited relief filed September 18, 2020; Motion for stay of administrative action denied October 27, 2020; Dismissed November 18, 2020


Republican National Committee v. Gill, No. 03971 EQCV 193154 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Woodbury Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Application Contents (Covid-19)

The Republican National Committee, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the National Republican Senatorial Committee and others sued the Auditor of Woodbury County, Iowa, challenging defendant’s decision to send absentee ballot request forms pre-populated with voter information, rather than following the secretary of state’s directive to send only blank ballots. The complaint seeks to enjoin defendant to obey the secretary’s directives, reject any pre-populated request forms returned to him, and notify the relevant voters that they must submit a second request using the non-pre-populated version of the form prescribed by the secretary. 

Status: Motion for temporary injunction granted August 28, 2020; Interlocutory appeal denied September 16, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed December 17, 2020


Republican National Committee v. Miller, No. 06571 EQCV095986 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Linn Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Application Contents (Covid-19)

The Republican National Committee, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the National Republican Senatorial Committee and others sued the Auditor of Linn County, Iowa, challenging defendant’s decision to send absentee ballot request forms pre-populated with voter information, rather than following the secretary of state’s directive to send only blank ballots. The complaint seeks to enjoin defendant to obey the secretary’s directives, reject any pre-populated request forms returned to him, and notify the relevant voters that they must submit a second request using the non-pre-populated version of the form prescribed by the secretary. 

Status: Motion for temporary injunction granted August 27, 2020; Interlocutory appeal denied September 16, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed December 17, 2020


Republican National Committee v. Weipert, No. 06521 CVCV081957 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Johnson Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Application Contents (Covid-19)

The Republican National Committee, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the National Republican Senatorial Committee and others sued the Auditor of Johnson County, Iowa, challenging defendant’s decision to send absentee ballot request forms pre-populated with voter information, rather than following the secretary of state’s directive to send only blank ballots. The complaint seeks to enjoin defendant to obey the secretary’s directives, reject any pre-populated request forms returned to him, and notify the relevant voters that they must submit a second request using the non-pre-populated version of the form prescribed by the secretary.  

Status: Motion for temporary injunction granted September 12, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed December 17, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indiana

Buroff v. Gladieux (aka Barnhart v. Gladieux), No. 1:17-cv-124 (N.D. Ind.)

Re: Inmate Disenfranchisement

An Indiana resident, on behalf of a class, sued the Allen County sheriff in connection with the county’s failure to provide absentee ballots or other access to the polls to inmates in the Allen County Jail who were eligible to vote. The second amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the county’s practices deny or abridge the right to vote, in violation of equal protection and without due process of law.

Status: Motion for partial summary judgment granted; Legal notice of class certification approved September 19, 2019; Jury trial scheduled to commence April 5, 2021


Common Cause Indiana v. Lawson, 1:20-cv-2007 (S.D. Ind.); No. 20-2911 (7th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

Common Cause Indiana and the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP sued the Indiana secretary of state and members of the Indiana Election Commission, challenging a state law that requires rejection of any voted mail-in ballots that are not received by noon on election day. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law, “particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic,” unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote.

Status: Complaint filed July 30, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted September 29, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 2, 2020; Motion for stay granted & injunction reversed by 7th Circuit October 13, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed by plaintiff December 29, 2020


Common Cause Indiana v. Lawson, 1:20-cv-1825 (S.D. Ind.), Nos. 20-2877, 20-2816 (7th Cir.)

Re: In-Person Voting Hours (Covid-19)

Common Cause Indiana sued the Indiana secretary of state, members of the Indiana Election Commission, and others, on behalf of a class, challenging two amendments to the election code that prohibit voters from petitioning state courts to extend voting hours and restrict state courts’ authority to extend voting hours due to, e.g., long lines or voting machine malfunctions. The complaint alleges violations of Art. VI of the U.S. Constitution and the 1st and 14th Amendments, in that the challenged amendments unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, deny procedural due process, and run afoul of the Supremacy Clause.

Status: Motion to dismiss denied September 22, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted September 22, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 29, 2020; Motion to stay pending appeal denied by district court October 9, 2020; Preliminary injunction summarily reversed by 7th Circuit October 23, 2020


Common Cause Indiana v. Lawson, No. 1:17-cv-3936 (S.D. Ind.); No. 18-2491 (7th Cir.) Consolidated on appeal with Indiana State Conference of the NAACP v. Lawson, No. 18-2942 (7th Cir.)

Re: Voter List Purges

Common Cause Indiana sued the Indiana secretary of state and the co-directors of the Indiana Election Division, challenging amendments to the Indiana Code that allow voters to be removed from the voter registration rolls without providing the requisite notice, response opportunity, and waiting period. The complaint alleges violations of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, in that the Indiana law permits removal of voter records without notifying voters and without voters’ written authorization, permits the removal of voter records based on unreliable second-hand information, and permits counties to operate list-maintenance programs that are discriminatory and non-uniform. 

Status: Preliminary injunction granted June 8, 2018, and upheld on August 27, 2019, by the 7th Circuit, remanding for further proceedings; Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment granted and permanent injunction issued August 24, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 21, 2020


Frederick v. Lawson, No. 1:19-cv-1959 (S.D. Ind.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure

Individual voters and Common Cause Indiana, on behalf of a class, sued the Indiana secretary of state, the St. Joseph County Election Board and others, challenging state laws that require rejection of ballots with perceived signature mismatch issues without affording voters notice and an opportunity to cure. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged laws infringe upon the fundamental right to vote without affording voters due process and deny equal protection by allowing arbitrary and inconsistent rejection of ballots.

Status: Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment granted and defendant’s motion for summary judgment deniedPermanent injunction issued August 20, 2020, precluding the rejection “of any mail-in absentee ballot on the basis of a signature mismatch absent adequate notice and cure procedures to the affected voter.”


Indiana State Conference of the NAACP v. Lawson, No. 1:17-cv-2897 (S.D. Ind.); No. 18-2492 (7th Cir.) Consolidated on appeal with Common Cause Indiana v. Lawson, No. 18-2491 (7th Cir.)

Re: Voter List Purges

The Indiana State Conference of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Indiana sued the Indiana secretary of state and the co-directors of the Indiana Election Division, challenging the state’s then-recently enacted amendments to the Indiana Code which remove voters from voter registration rolls without providing the requisite notice, response opportunity and waiting period, and utilize the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (“IVRC”) in a non-uniform and discriminatory manner. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, in that the challenged law fails to afford voters the notice, response opportunity and waiting period required by the NVRA and runs afoul of the NVRA’s prohibition against arbitrary, unreasonable and discriminatory removals of voters from registration rolls.

Status: Preliminary injunction granted June 8, 2018 and upheld on August 27, 2019, by the 7th Circuit, remanding for further proceedings; Motion to dismiss denied and motion summary judgment granted August 20, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 21, 2020


Tully v. Okeson, No. 1:20-cv-1271 (S.D. Ind.); No. 20-2605 (7th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

Individual Indiana residents and Indiana Vote By Mail sued members of the Indiana Election Commission and the Indiana secretary of state, challenging a state law that restricts the ability to vote by mail to certain statutorily enumerated categories of voters, including voters aged 65 and older, and the State’s failure to deem Covid-19 concerns a valid excuse. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Art. I, § 23, and Art. II, § 1 of the Indiana Constitution, in that the law violates the fundamental right to vote, arbitrarily discriminates between categories of qualified voters (thus denying the right of equal protection), denies the right to vote by mail on account of age, and further violates and denies the guarantees of equal privileges and immunities and “free and equal” elections.

Status: Motion for class certification pending; Stipulation of dismissal as to certain plaintiffs filed July 17, 2020; Motion to consolidate with Common Cause Indiana v. Lawson (No. 1:20-cv-2007) denied August 20, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied August 21, 2020; Notice of appeal filed August 24, 2020; Denial of preliminary injunction affirmed by 7th Circuit October 6, 2020; Scheduling conference set for January 12, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas

Fish v. Schwab (f/k/a Fish v. Kobach), No. 2:16-cv-2105 (D. Kan); No. 18-3133 (10th Cir.)

Consolidated with Keener/Bednasek v. Kobach, No. 2:15-cv-9300 (D. Kan); No. 18-3134 (10th Cir.)

Re: Proof-of-Citizenship Requirement, Voter List Purges

Individual Kansas voters sued the Kansas secretary of state, challenging a state law and a state regulation which, respectively, require that Kansans who attempt to register in conjunction with a driver’s license application submit documentary proof of citizenship, and purge voters who have properly registered but failed to submit documentary proof of citizenship within 90 days. The complaint alleges violations of §§ 5, 8, and 10 of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) and of Art. I § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged provisions are preempted by the Elections Clause, fail to provide a simultaneous voter registration application with driver’s license applications and renewals, violate the State’s duty to ensure that any eligible applicant is registered to vote in an election when registering in conjunction with a driver’s license application, unlawfully require the purging of voter registrants for the purported failure to provide documentary proof of citizenship, and that the secretary of state has failed to fulfill his duty to coordinate the State’s responsibilities under the NVRA.

The District Court struck down the law in 2018, finding that it violated the National Voter Registration Act, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on April 29, 2020.

Status: Petition for writ of certiorari denied December 14, 2020


Kansas Democratic Party v. Schwab, No. 2020-CV-000127 (Dist. Court Shawnee County, Kansas)

Re: “Vote Anywhere” Law

The Kansas Democratic Party, Democratic National Committee, and others sued the Kansas secretary of state, challenging the state’s failure to implement Kansas’s newly passed “Vote Anywhere” law, which, among other things, allows out-of-precinct voting. The Petition for a Writ of Mandamus alleges violations of §§ 1-3 of the Kansas Bill of Rights, in that the secretary of state has failed to comply with his statutory duty to “establish rules and regulations” in order to implement the law in time for the 2020 election.

Status: Hearing held on motions to dismiss and for summary judgment July 1, 2020; Case dismissed July 28, 2020


Keener v. Kobach, No. 2:15-cv-9300 (D. Kan.); No. 18-3134 (10th Cir.)

Consolidated with Fish v. Schwab (f/k/a Fish v. Kobach), No. 2:16-cv-2105 (D. Kan); No. 18-3133 (10th Cir.); Schwab v. Wayne, No. 20-109 (S. Ct.)

Re: Proof of Citizenship Requirement, Voter List Purges

Three individual voters, on behalf of a class, sued the Kansas secretary of state and the Douglas County, Kansas, clerk, challenging a state law and a state regulation which, respectively, require that Kansans who attempt to register in conjunction with a driver’s license application submit documentary proof of citizenship, and purge voters who have properly registered but failed to submit documentary proof of citizenship within 90 days. The third amended complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act and Article 4 of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged provisions are overbroad, infringe on the right of citizens to vote, fail to satisfy the State’s duty to ensure that any eligible applicant is registered to vote in an election when registering in conjunction with a driver’s, license application, unlawfully require the purging of voter registrants for the purported failure to provide documentary proof of citizenship, remove voters from voter rolls after the 90-day cutoff as set forth in the NVRA, and discriminates against Kansas residents born or married outside the State of Kansas who have moved to Kansas from out of state.

Status: The District Court struck down the law in 2018, finding that it violated the National Voter Registration Act, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on April 29, 2020; Petition for writ of certiorari denied December 14, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kentucky

Collins v. Adams, No. 3:20-cv-375 (W.D. Ky.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse & Photo ID Requirements (In-Person and Vote-by-Mail) (Covid-19)

Individual voters, the League of Women Voters of Kentucky, the Louisville Urban League, and others sued the Kentucky secretary of state, governor, and others, challenging state laws that require voters to provide an excuse in order to vote by mail and provide a photo ID in order to vote in-person or absentee, and further challenging defendants’ failure to extend modified voting rules, enacted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, beyond the June 23, 2020 primary through the November 3, 2020 general election. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the laws unreasonably burden Kentuckians’ right to vote.

Status: Dismissal and preliminary injunction motions filed, respectively, June 19 and July 10, 2020; Amended complaint filed August 19, 2020; Joint stipulation of dismissal filed August 27, 2020; Order of dismissal issued September 1, 2020


Lostutter v. Kentucky, No. 6:18-cv-277 (E.D. Ky.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement

Individual aspiring voters sued the Governor of Kentucky, challenging state laws and constitutional provisions that criminally prohibit persons convicted of felonies from voting unless and until they successfully petition the governor for restoration of such rights. The fourth amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged provisions deny the right of political association and political expression and vest the Governor with unfettered discretion to grant or deny such rights.

Status: Motions to dismiss granted as to certain plaintiffs on August 30, 2019 and March 13, 2020; Fourth amended complaint dismissed, cross-motions for summary judgment denied as moot August 14, 2020


Nemes v. Bensinger, No. 3:20-cv-407 (W.D. Ky.)

Re: In-Person Voting, Polling Place Availability (Covid-19)

Kentucky State Representative Jason Nemes and individual Kentucky residents, on behalf of a class, sued state and county elections officials, county sheriffs, and others, challenging the counties’ curtailment of in-person voting options for the June 23, 2020 primary, including the use of a single polling location for an entire county, and the failure to make in-person voting accessible to persons with disabilities.

The class action complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the counties’ in-person voting restrictions violate the fundamental right to vote and suppress, deny, and/or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color.

Status: Preliminary injunction deniedVoluntarily withdrawn July 17, 2020, based on the secretary of state’s public representations that he will not permit single polling locations in the state’s largest counties in the November 2020 general election.


Sterne v. Adams, No. 20-CI-538 (Ky. Cir. Ct. Franklin Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse & Photo ID Requirements (In-Person and Vote-by-Mail) (Covid-19)

Individual voters with medical conditions rendering them particularly susceptible to Covid-19 sued the Kentucky secretary of state, governor, and others, challenging state laws that require voters to provide a photo ID when voting in person or applying for a mail-in ballot, and restrict absentee voting to those who qualify for one or more enumerated excuse categories. The complaint alleges violations of Section 6 of the Kentucky Constitution, in that, as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic, the laws — and defendants’ failure to extend “no excuse” absentee voting beyond the June 2020 primary through the November general election — deny Kentuckians’ right to a “free and equal election.”

Status: Complaint filed July 7, 2020; Amended complaint and motion for temporary injunction filed July 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louisiana

Clark v. EdwardsNo. 3:20-cv-308 (M.D. La.) Consolidated with Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (3:20-cv-283)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse & Witness Requirements; Notice/Opportunity to Cure Defects (Covid-19)

Individual voters, Crescent City Media Group, and the League of Women Voters of Louisiana sued the Louisiana governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and others, challenging state laws that restrict the right to vote by mail, require that mail-in ballots be witnessed, and fail to afford voters notice and an opportunity to cure mistakes on ballots (including perceived signature mismatch issues), and defendants’ failure to sufficiently expand voter protections beyond the primary elections. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the laws deny the fundamental right to vote, place an unconstitutional condition on the right to vote compelling forfeiture of the right to bodily integrity, abridge the right to vote on account of race or color, and deny due process.

Status: Motion to dismiss granted with prejudice on standing grounds June 22, 2020


Harding v. Edwards, No. 3:20-cv-495 (M.D. La.), No. 20-30632 (5th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement; Early In-Person Voting (Covid-19)

Three individual voters, the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP, and the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice sued the Louisiana governor and secretary of state, challenging state laws that restrict absentee voting to those who qualify for a one of limited number of excuses, require that absentee ballots be signed by a witness, and limit the duration of early voting to seven days. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in that enforcement of the laws during the Covid-19 pandemic unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, impose a discriminatory burden on Black Louisianans, and impose or apply eligibility criteria that screen out individuals with disabilities from fully and equally participating in elections and fail to make reasonable modifications to voting policies and practices in order to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability.  

Status: Unopposed motion to intervene by State of Louisiana granted August 25, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted as to ADA claims and dismissed in all other respects September 7, 2020; Motion for expedited hearing and preliminary injunction , expanding the available excuses to include voters at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 “because of serious medical conditions, those subject to a ‘medically necessary quarantine or isolation order,’ those advised by a health provider to self-quarantine, those experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis, and those caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine order and has been advised to self-quarantine,” and requiring that the duration of early voting be increased from seven days to ten days for the November and December elections; Notice of appeal filed October 13, 2020


Louisiana v. Center for Tech and Civic Life, No. _____ (La. Dist. Ct., St. Martin Parish), No. ___ (La. Ct. App., 3d Cir.)

Re: Election funding (Covid-19)

The State of Louisiana sued the Center for Tech and Civic Life, New Venture Fund, and others, seeking to prohibit various local election authorities from accepting grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to help those municipalities administer the November election safely and effectively. The petition alleges violations of state and federal election funding laws and the U.S. and Louisiana Constitutions, in that “private contributions to local election officials are unlawful and contrary to the methods established by law,” and that “the administration of elections [is] the exclusive province of state and federal governments.”

Status: Petition filed October 2, 2020; Case dismissed October 23, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maine

Alliance for Retired Americans v. Dunlap, No. CV-20-95 (Kennebec Super. Ct.). No. Ken-20-262 (Me. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Online Application, Photo ID Requirement, Prepaid Postage, Paid Ballot Collectors, Notice/Opportunity to Cure Defects, Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

The Alliance for Retired Americans, Vote.org, and individual voters sued the Maine secretary of state and attorney general, challenging six state laws and practices that restrict the ability to vote by mail, including requiring “paper and pen” vote-by-mail applications, requiring that first-time vote-by-mail registrants submit a photocopy of a photo ID, requiring that voters provide their own postage on mail-in ballots, disregarding any ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, failing to provide voters with notice and an opportunity to cure perceived signature mismatch issues, and imposing criminal penalties for compensated ballot collection. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; Art. I, § 4, Art. I, § 6-A, and Art. II, § 1 of the Maine Constitution, and Title 14, § 5951 and Title 5, § 8058 of the Maine Revised Statutes, in that the challenged laws and practices unduly burden the right to vote, deny due process, treat voters disparately, infringe on the rights of speech and association, impose an illegal poll tax, and conflict with state law.

Status: Complaint filed June 24, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied September 22, 2020; Denial affirmed by Maine Supreme Court October 23, 2020


Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee  v. Dunlap, No. CV-20-29 (Kennebec Super. Ct.)

Re: Candidate Order on Ballot

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sued the Maine secretary of state, challenging a state law that requires that candidates be listed in alphabetical order on election ballots. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Art. I, § 6-A of the Maine Constitution, and Title 5, § 4682 of the Maine Revised Statutes, in that the law unduly burdens the right to vote, treats similarly situated candidates differently, denies or abridges the right to vote, and violates equal protection.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction denied June 11, 2020


Hagopian v. Dunlap, No. 1:20-cv-257 (D. Me.)

Re: Ranked Choice Voting

Four registered Republicans sued the secretary of state, attorney general and governor of Maine, challenging a state law permitting voters to “rank as many candidates as they wish in order of choice,” but “exhausts” ballots that fail to mark enough candidates. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged law unduly burdens the right to vote, conditions a government benefit on engaging in unwanted expressive conduct, denies voters procedural due process and equal protection, and abridges the right to vote based on age for voters over age 65.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction denied August 14, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed August 19, 2020


Merrill v. Dunlap, 1:20-cv-248 (D. Me.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Disability Access (Covid-19)

Four individual voters who are blind sued the Maine secretary of state, the Maine Department of the Secretary of State, and others, challenging the state’s absentee voting program, which requires voters to fill out a paper ballot and return the ballot by U.S. mail or hand delivery. The complaint alleges violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and of the Maine Human Rights Act, in that the program fails to make reasonable modifications in order to avoid discriminating on the basis of disability, receives federal funding and discriminates on the basis of disability, and denies persons with disabilities the right to vote and equal access to places of public accommodation without discrimination because of a disability. They seek a preliminary and permanent injunction and the implementation of a remote accessible vote-by-mail system.

Status: Complaint and motion for preliminary injunction filed July 15, 2020; Amended complaint filed September 30, 2020; Case stayed until February 4, 2021; Motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction dismissed without prejudice February 22, 2021


Payne v. Dunlap, No. Ken-20-169 (Me. Law Ct.); Payne v. Dunlap, No. AUGSC-cv-2020-50 (Kennebec Super. Ct. Me.), No. Ken-20-169 (Me. Sup. Jud. Ct.)

Re: Ranked Choice Voting

Individual voters and the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting sued the Maine secretary of state, challenging the pending People’s Veto Initiative, which seeks to suspend a newly enacted ranked choice voting law (“the 2019 RCV law”), until a referendum vote is taken. The complaint alleges that the Maine Constitution bars the use of the People’s Veto provision to suspend a law that is already in effect, as is the case with the 2019 RCV law, and further that the proposed veto is prohibited by state statute (14 M.R.S.A. § 901 and 21-A M.R.S.A. § 901) because the application for the veto referendum was not filed within the prescribed time limits.

Status: Case referred from Superior Court to Law Court; Order establishing course of appeal issued by Law Court June 17, 2020; Order remanding to Superior Court for further proceedings issued by Main Supreme Judicial Court August 13, 2020


Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Dunlap, No. 1:20-cv-61 (D. Me.)

Re: Voter Registration Records Request

The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued the Maine secretary of state, challenging a state statute that limits access to voter registration records and defendant’s failure to comply with a request to produce copies of such records. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, in that the Act preempts Maine’s statutory restriction and requires public disclosure of the voter registration list.

Status: Complaint filed February 19, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryland

National Urban League v. DeJoy, No. 1:20-cv-2391 (D. Md.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Delivery (Covid-19)

The National Urban League, Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters of the United States sued the Postmaster General and the United States Postal Service (“USPS”), challenging recent changes to the USPS’s policies and procedures, which have slowed the delivery of mail, including election materials. The complaint alleges violations of the U.S. Constitution and federal statute, in that defendants’ “transformative actions” unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, effectuate content and viewpoint discrimination, were taken without following statutorily mandated procedures, and exceed the scope of defendants’ constitutional and statutory authority.

Status: Complaint filed August 18, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 29, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed December 14, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

Massachusetts

Bertin v. Galvin, No. SJ-2020-520 (Mass. Sup. Jud. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution (Covid-19)

Individual voters sued the Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth, challenging the secretary’s refusal to comply with a newly-passed law that requires sending vote-by-mail ballot applications to every registered voter for the 2020 primary and general elections. The complaint for mandamus seeks to compel the secretary to immediately comply with the law and to use CARES Act funding to accomplish its mandate. 

Status: Complaint filed July 13, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed July 22, 2020


Grossman v. GalvinNo. SJC-2020-584 (Mass. Sup. Jud. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

Individual voters, a candidate for political office, and Becky Grossman for Congress, on behalf of a class, sued the Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth, challenging a state law requiring that vote-by-mail ballots be received on or before primary election day, irrespective of when the ballots are postmarked. The complaint alleges violations of the Massachusetts Constitution, in that the law severely burdens the fundamental right to vote, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Status: Emergency petition for relief filed August 19, 2020; Petition denied August 26, 2020


Moran v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, No. 1:20-cv-12171 (D. Mass.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement, Signature Verification, In-Person Early Voting, Electronic Voting Machines, Ballot Counting, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

Five state legislative candidates sued the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, its governor, and secretary, challenging the consistency of signature verification procedures across the state, the use of no-excuse absentee voting, the expansion of early voting, the deletion of electronic voter data and tabulator ballot images, and the use of Dominion voting machines. The complaint alleges violations of state and federal statutes, the Massachusetts Constitution, and of the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged laws and practices promoted and permitted fraud and unspecified “misconduct” and deprived plaintiffs of their right to a “free and fair election” and seeks to decertify the results of the November 2020 election.

Status: Complaint filed December 7, 2020; Notice of withdrawal filed by one plaintiff December 16, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed by remaining plaintiffs December 29, 2020


Rivero v. Galvin, No. 1:20-cv-11808 (D. Mass.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Disability Access (Covid-19)

Individual voters, the Boston Center for Independent Living and, the Bay State Council of the Blind sued the Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth and the department of the state secretary, challenging defendants’ failure to make the commonwealth’s Accessible Vote by Mail (“AVBM”) program accessible to voters with print disabilities, including allowing such voters to return ballots electronically in the same manner to voters who vote under the Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The complaint alleges of Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in that the AVBM program discriminates against voters with print disabilities by preventing them from voting privately and independently by remote means, while notwithstanding that this option is already available to other absentee voters, and denies “qualified handicapped person[s] the opportunity accorded to others to participate” in a program receiving federal financial assistance.    

Status: Complaint and motion for temporary restraining order filed October 2, 2020; Joint motion to approve consent judgment granted October 13, 2020, requiring the secretary to allow voters with print disabilities vote by electronic means upon written application for such an accommodation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michigan

Alexander v. Winfrey, No. 20-013685-AW (Cir. Ct. Wayne Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

An individual voter and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the Detroit city clerk, challenging defendant’s failure to comply with her legal duty to issue absentee ballots within 24 hours of receiving applications therefor. The complaint alleges violations of state statute and seeks declaratory and mandamus relief.

Status: Complaint for mandamus and motions for order to show cause and injunction filed October 16, 2020; Settled October 21, 2020


Bailey v. Antrim County, No. 2020009238CZ (Mich. Cir. Ct., Antrim Cnty.)

Re: Electronic Voting Machine Inspection (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued Antrim County, Michigan, alleging statutory and common law elections fraud and asserting violations of Michigan statutes and the Michigan constitution.

Status: Complaint filed November 23, 2020; Order issued December 4, 2020, allowing inspection, requiring preservation of all records used to tabulate votes in Antrim County, and enjoining the county from turning on its Dominion tabulator and from connecting the Dominion tabulator to the internet; Consent order issued December 24, providing for the release of a report concerning Antrim County’s voting equipment


Bally v. Whitmer, No. 1:20-cv-1088 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Poll Watcher Access, Fraud & Election Mismanagement Allegations; Election Certification (Covid-19)

Four individual voters sued the Michigan governor, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, and others, challenging the inclusion of Allen, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties in the state’s certification of the presidential election results. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that certifying Michigan’s presidential electors without excluding “certain counties” would violate voters’ fundamental right to vote by vote dilution disenfranchisement.

Status: Complaint filed November 11, 2020; Motion to expedite filed November 12, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by the Michigan State Conference of the NAACP November 14, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 16, 2020


Barkey v. Brown, No. 20-114457-CZ (Mich. Cir. Ct., Genesee Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

Individual voters and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the City of Flint and its city clerk, challenging defendants’ failure to timely send duly requested absentee ballots to voters and failing to make available at least one location to issue and receive absentee ballots during regularly scheduled business hours. The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan Constitution, which requires that at least one location be made available for the in-person issuance of absentee ballots during regular business hours and specified other times, and of state statutes that require the immediate issuance of absentee ballots requested by mail.

Status: Request for mandamus relief granted July 23, 2020


Black v. Benson, No. 20-000096-MZ (Mich. Ct. Claims)
Cooper-Keel v. Benson, No. 20-000091-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims)
Davis v. BensonNo. 20-000009-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims) , No. 354622 (Mich. Ct. App.), No. 162007 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

Three individual Michigan residents sued the Michigan secretary of state in three separate lawsuits, now consolidated, challenging the secretary of state’s decision to mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters for the August 2020 primary and November 2020 general election. The various complaints (BlackCooper-Keel, and Davis), allege violations of the Michigan Election Law Act 116 and the Michigan Constitution, in that, among other things, the secretary of state lacks the authority to proactively distribute absentee ballot applications which have not been specifically requested by voters, Michigan law does not specifically provide for “direct involvement” by the secretary of state with absentee ballot application distribution, and that the secretary of state’s actions exceed the scope of the recent constitutional amendment concerning automatic voter registration and violate the Purity of Elections Clause of the Michigan Constitution.

Status: Preliminary injunction denied June 18, 2020; Dismissed August 25, 2020; Appeal filed by Plaintiff Davis August 25, 2020; Order expediting appeal issued August 27, 2020; Motion to stay pending appeal denied September 2, 2020; Motion to intervene by Plaintiff Black denied September 11, 2020; Order affirming dismissal issued September 16, 2020; Application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court denied December 28, 2020


Carra v. Benson, No. 20-211-MZ (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: In-Person Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

A state congressional candidate and a designated election challenger during the August 2020 primary election sued the Michigan secretary of state and the director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections, challenging defendants’ October 16 directive, which requires that poll watchers comply with Covid-19 safety measures, including social distancing and mask wearing. The complaint alleges violations of state statute, which enumerates the bases on which a poll watcher may be denied entry or expelled from a polling location, which bases do not include refusal to wear a mask or socially distance.

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed October 23, 2020; Settled October 29, 2020


Costantino v. City of Detroit, No. 20-014780-AW (Cir. Ct., Wayne Cnty., Mich.), No. 355443 (Mich. Ct. App.), No. 162245 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Election Day Receipt Deadline, Naked Ballots, Double Voting, Poll Watcher Access, General Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

Two poll watchers sued the City of Detroit, the Detroit Election Commission, and others, challenging “numerous issues of fraud and misconduct” that allegedly occurred in Michigan’s largest county, including allowing unqualified voters to cast ballots under another voter’s name, failing to verify signatures on absentee ballots, counting “tens of thousands” of “naked” ballots of unknown origin, all of which were “attributed only to Democratic candidates,” back-dating and counting ballots that arrived after the Election Day receipt deadline, “systematically us[ing] false information to process ballots,” coaching voters to vote for Joe Biden, allowing “double voting,” and refusing to allow sufficient poll watcher access and to record poll watcher challenges. The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan Constitution and Michigan statutes and seeks to enjoin certification of the election results pending a full investigation and hearing and order an independent audit of the election.

Status: Complaint and motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed November 9, 2020; Motions for injunctive relief, for a protective order, and for an independent audit denied November 13, 2020; Appeal denied by Michigan Court of Appeals November 16, 2020; Application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court denied November 23, 2020; Renewed request for audit denied by lower court December 8, 2020


Daunt v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-522 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Voter List Purges

An individual voter and director of the Michigan Freedom Fund sued the Michigan secretary of state, the director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections, and others, challenging the State’s voter roll maintenance practices. The complaint alleges violations of § 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, in that defendants “have failed to make reasonable efforts to conduct voter list-maintenance.”

Status: Complaint filed June 9, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by A. Philip Randolph Institute- Detroit/Downriver and Rise, Inc. September 11, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by League of Women Voters of Michigan and others September 14, 2020; Stipulation that county defendants are not necessary parties to the litigation filed September 15, 2020; Motions to intervene granted September 28, 2020; Amended complaint filed September 30, 2020; Motions to dismiss denied October 28, 2020; Stipulation of dismissal filed February 16, 2021


Davis v. Benson, No. 3:20-cv-12130 (E.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution, Prohibition on Anonymous Electioneering Materials (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Michigan secretary of state and the Wayne County clerk, challenging a state law that requires that any promotional materials pertaining to an election or candidate bear the name and address of the person who is paying for the materials, as well as the secretary’s mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to all registered voters. The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan Constitution and of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that statute pertaining to electioneering materials deprives plaintiff of the constitutional right to print and distribute anonymous political literature, and that the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications is arbitrary and capricious, thus depriving plaintiff of his procedural and substantive due process rights and his constitutional and statutory right to request an application for an absentee ballot.

Status: Complaint filed August 9, 2020; Opinion & order dismissing without prejudice plaintiff’s state claims and due process claims against defendant Benson issued September 14, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted November 9, 2020


Davis v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-768 (S.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Michigan secretary of state and the Detroit city clerk challenging the legality of sending of unsolicited absentee voter applications to all registered voters. The complaint alleges violations of the U.S. Constitution, the Michigan Constitution, and the state law governing absentee ballot applications, in that defendants’ actions denied plaintiff’s procedural and substantive due process rights and were arbitrary and capricious.

Status: Complaint filed August 14, 2020; Order issued September 28, 2020, permitting intervention by A. Philip Randolph Institute, Detroit/Downriver, Rise, Inc., League of Women Voters of Michigan and others; Amended complaint filed September 30, 2020; Second amended complaint filed October 7, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed October 14, 2020; Motions to dismiss filed February 25 and 26, 2021


Davis v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-915 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution (Covid-19)

Two individual voters sued the Michigan secretary of state, the Detroit city clerk, and the Detroit Department of Elections, challenging the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to all active, registered voters and the secretary’s refusal to accept and disseminate plaintiffs’ advice concerning the “improper mailing of [ ] unsolicited absentee voter applications to registered voters in the City of Detroit” based on alleged animus toward plaintiffs. The complaint alleges violations of plaintiffs’ right to equal protection and their substantive and procedural due process rights and seeks a declaratory judgment, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

Status: Complaint filed September 17, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied October 1, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied October 9, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied and motion to dismiss filed October 20, 2020; Order denying plaintiffs’ emergency motion for partial summary judgment and dismissing count 3 of the complaint issued October 30, 2020


Davis v. BensonNo. 1:20-cv-981 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Michigan secretary of state, the Detroit city clerk, and the Detroit Department of Elections, challenging the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to all active, registered voters and the secretary’s refusal to accept and disseminate plaintiffs’ advice concerning the “improper mailing of [ ] unsolicited absentee voter applications to registered voters in the City of Detroit” based on alleged animus toward plaintiff. The complaint alleges violations of plaintiff’s right to equal protection, and that his vote will be diluted if the Detroit city clerk is allowed to count absentee ballots issued to voters “who used the unsolicited absentee voter applications that were unlawfully mailed by the defendants” and seeks a declaratory judgment that absentee ballots procured in such a manner may not be counted.

Status: Complaint filed October 14, 2020; Motions for partial summary judgment, to expedite, and for a temporary restraining order denied October 30, 2020Motion to dismiss dismissed as moot December 18, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed January 5, 2021; Stipulated dismissal ordered February 23, 2021


Davis v. Benson, No. 20-000207-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: In-Person Voting, Open-Carry at Polling Places

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for declaratory judgment filed October 22, 2o20; Consolidated with Lambert v. Benson, below, October 23, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part October 27, 2020; Injunction upheld by Michigan Court of Appeals October 29, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Benson, No. 20-000225-MZ (Mich. Ct. Claims), No. 355378 (Mich. Ct. App.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Poll Watcher Access, Drop Box Monitoring (Covid-19)

The Trump Campaign and a poll watcher sued the Michigan secretary of state, challenging the poll watchers’ ostensible lack of access to ballot drop box surveillance footage and locations where absentee ballots are being counted. The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan Constitution and election law, in that poll watchers’ inability to observe videos of voters depositing ballots into drop boxes deprives plaintiffs of equal protection and impugns the purity of elections, and that state law requires that at least one poll watcher from each major political party be present at the absent voter counting place at all times. The emergency motion for declaratory judgment seeks an order mandating that the secretary “order all counting and processing of absentee ballots cease immediately until an election inspector from each party is present at each absent voter counting board and until video is made available to challengers of each ballot box” and “order the immediate segregation of all ballots that are not being inspected and monitored as…required by law.”

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for declaratory judgment denied November 6, 2020; Motion for immediate consideration of appeal rejected as defective by the Michigan Court of Appeals November 9, 2020; Motion for appeal and immediate consideration filed November 30, 2020; Motion for appeal denied by Michigan Court of Appeals December 4, 2020; Motion to appeal denied by Michigan Supreme Court December 11, 2020; Case dismissed January 7, 2021


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-1083 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Election Day Receipt Deadline, Processing and Counting, Electronic Voting Machines, Poll Watcher Access; Fraud Allegations; Certification Challenge (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and seven poll watchers sued the Michigan secretary of state, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, Wayne County, and the Wayne County Board of County Canvassers, challenging the manner in which Detroit’s largest county administered its election, including allegedly failing to afford poll watchers with sufficient access to absentee ballot processing and counting procedures, back-dating ballots received after Election Day, unlawfully duplicating ballots that were unreadable by electronic tabulating machines, and double-counting ballots. The complaint alleges violations of Michigan statutes, the Michigan Constitution, and the Elections and Electors Clauses of and the 12th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and seeks to prohibit certification of the state’s election results until defendants “have verified and confirmed that all ballots that were tabulated and included in the final reported election results” were cast in compliance with Michigan law, and prohibiting certification of Wayne County’s vote tally until all ballot boxes and other election material is opened in the presence of poll watchers “who can meaningfully monitor the process, to review the poll lists, absent voter ballot envelopes…and other material.”

Status: Complaint filed November 10, 2020; The Michigan State Conference of the NAACP, the Michigan Democratic Party, the City of Detroit, and others permitted to intervene November 17, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed by intervenor defendants November 17, 2020; Case voluntarily dismissed November 19, 2020


Election Integrity Fund v. Benson, No. 20-000169-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Online Ballot Application Availability (Covid-19)

The Election Integrity Fund and an individual voter sued the Michigan secretary of state, challenging the implementation of an online absentee ballot request tool that does not require submission of actual signatures when requesting absentee ballots. The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan constitution and a state law requiring that absentee ballot applications be signed, in that the online absentee ballot request tool violates the purity of elections.

Status: Complaint filed August 24, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed September 25, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed October 9, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 26, 2020; Case closed December 10, 2020


Election Integrity Fund v. City of Lansing, No. 1:20-cv-950 (W.D. Mich.); No. 20-2048 (6th Cir.)

Re: Philanthropic Election Funding (Covid-19)

 The Election Integrity Fund and three individual voters sued the Cities of Lansing and Flint, challenging those municipalities’ ability to accept private philanthropic grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life for the purpose of assisting in the safe and efficient administration of the November election. The complaint alleges violations of the U.S Constitution, the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”) and the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), in that defendants acted outside their legal authority to form a public-private partnership for federal election administration, which HAVA delegates to states, not cities, and that defendants’ actions are preempted by the Elections Clause, HAVA and the NVRA.

Status: Complaint filed September 29, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied October 19, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 23, 2020; Motion for injunction pending appeal denied by district court October 27, 2020; Motion for injunction pending appeal denied by 6th Circuit October 30, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed December 4, 2020


Ganik v. Winfrey, No. 2020-0103685-AW (Mich. Cir. Ct., Wayne Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Processing (Covid-19)

An individual voter and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the Detroit city clerk, challenging defendant’s failure to issue absentee ballots within 24 hours of being requested. The complaint alleges violations of Michigan statutes, which require the issuance of ballots within 24 hours of being requested.

Status: Complaint filed October 16, 2020


Johnson v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-948 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

Three individual voters sued the Michigan secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s failure to appeal the preliminary injunction issued in Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans v. Benson, below, which extended the deadline for receipt of timely-postmarked absentee ballots until fourteen days after the election. The complaint alleges violations of Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, in that the secretary exceeded her authority by “acceding to a policy” that changes the manner and timing of a presidential election and by permitting Michiganders to vote for president after election day.

Status: Complaint filed September 29, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans, Detroit/Downriver Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and others granted October 6, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction held in abeyance pending outcome of appeal in Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans v. Benson, below, October 22, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed November 2, 2020; Stipulation of dismissal filed November 23, 2020


Johnson v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-1098 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Election Administration, Fraud Allegations; Poll Watcher Access; Election Certification (Covid-19)

Two poll watchers sued the Michigan secretary of state and the chair of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, challenging a laundry list of alleged “election malfeasance” at the TCF Center in Detroit, including counting late arriving ballots and ballots cast by unqualified voters, coaching voters to vote for Joseph R. Biden, and thwarting poll watchers’ access. The complaint alleges violations of the Electors Clause of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ alleged actions deprive plaintiffs of their right to due process and equal protection by counting fraudulent and otherwise illegal votes, and that the secretary’s decision to affirmatively mail absentee ballots to all active, registered voters usurped legislative authority, and seeks to prohibit certification of the state’s election results until certain conditions are met.  

Status: Complaint filed November 14, 2020; Case voluntarily dismissed November 18, 2020


Johnson v. Benson, No. 162286 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution, Poll Watcher Access, Fraud Allegations, Private Election Grants, Election Certification (Covid-19)

Two individual voters sued the Michigan secretary of state, the chair of the Michigan State Board of Canvassers, and others, challenging the secretary’s decision to affirmatively mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters and allowing ballots to be requested online, which, petitioners allege, facilitated fraud. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to and the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of Michigan Constitution, and state statute, in that defendants deprived plaintiffs of their right to due process by failing to audit the election results and undermining the fundamental fairness of the election, debased and diluted the value of legal votes, and that the secretary’s affirmative mailing of ballot applications usurped legislative authority.    

Status: Complaint filed November 26, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee and Michigan Democratic Party November 30, 2020; Answering papers due December 25, 2020; Order denying petition issued by Michigan Supreme Court December 9, 2020


King v. Whitmer, No. 2:20-cv-13134 (E.D. Ma.), No. 20-2205 (6th Cir.), No. 20-815 (S. Ct.)

Re: Election Decertification, Poll Watcher Access, Electronic Voting Machines, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

Republican presidential electors in Michigan sued the Michigan Governor, secretary of state, and Board of State Canvassers, challenging the use of Dominion voting machines, alleging lack of adequate poll watcher access, widespread voter fraud by election officials, and seeking to decertify the election results and to certify Donald Trump as the winner of Michigan’s presidential election. The complaint alleges violations of Michigan’s Election Code and of the 14th Amendment to and the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants changed the manner of elections (thus usurping legislative authority), deprived plaintiffs of equal protection by failing to afford Republican poll watchers sufficient access, and denied plaintiffs’ due process by direct and vote dilution disenfranchisement.

Status: Complaint filed November 25, 2020; Motions to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee and Michigan Democratic Party and an individual voter granted December 2, 2020; Emergency motion for a temporary restraining order denied December 7, 2020; Notice of appeal filed December 8, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari filed in U.S. Supreme Court December 11, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed by Democratic National Committee and motion to dismiss and for sanctions filed by the City of Detroit December 22, 2020; Motion for sanctions, disciplinary action, and disbarment referral filed by City of Detroit January 5, 2021; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Intervenor defendant’s emergency motion to strike notice of voluntary dismissal denied January 25, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


Lambert v. Benson, No. 20-000208-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: In-Person Voting; Open-Carry at Polling Places

An individual voter, Michigan Open Carry, Inc., Michigan Gun Owners, and the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners sued the Michigan secretary of state, the Michigan attorney general, and the director of the Michigan State Police, challenging the secretary’s October 16 directive prohibiting the open carry of firearms at polling places on election day, and statements by the other two defendants that they intend to enforce the directive. The complaint alleges that the secretary’s directive exceeds her constitutional and statutory authority.

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for declaratory and injunctive relief filed October 22, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part October 27, 2020; Injunction upheld by Michigan Court of Appeals October 29, 2020


Leaf v. Whitmer, No. 1:20-cv-1169 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Election Data Preservation (Covid-19)

The Sheriff of Barry County Michigan and seven Republican presidential elector nominees sued the Michigan governor and secretary of state and the Board of State Canvassers, seeking to prohibit destruction of election materials allegedly “needed to determine voter intent, any systematic fraud, and any criminal activity and/or civil liability.”

Status: Three emergency motions filed December 6, 2020; Order denying all three motions issued December 7, 2020


League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Benson, No. 353654 (Mich. Ct. Appeals)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Availability, Prepaid Postage, Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

The LWV of Michigan and individual voters sued the Michigan secretary of state, challenging the State’s absentee voting laws and practices of rejecting any absentee ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, refusing to provide voters with absentee ballots in a timely fashion, and requiring that voters provide their own postage on ballots and ballot applications, thus running afoul of Michigan’s newly-passed constitutional amendment affording every voter the right to submit an absentee ballot — by mail or in person — in the 40 days leading up to the election. The complaint for mandamus alleges violations of Art. I, §§ 2, 3, & 5 and Art. II, §§ 4(1)(g), 4(1)(a), and 4(2) of the Michigan Constitution and §168.761(1) of the Michigan Consolidated Laws, in that the laws have not been updated to comport with the Absentee Voting Clause, conflict with the Free Speech & Assembly Clauses, deny voters equal protection, and deny voters’ unconditional right to vote, as well as the right to do so without being required to pay any costs.

Status: Writ of mandamus denied July 14, 2020


Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans v. Benson, No. 2020-000108-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims); Nos. 354429, 354873 (Mich. Ct. App.); No 161837 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Prepaid Postage, Voter Assistance Ban (Covid-19)

The Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans, the Detroit Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and individual voters sued the Michigan secretary of state and attorney general, challenging state laws that impose various restrictions on Michiganders’ right to vote by mail. The complaint alleges violations of Arts. 1 and 2 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and violations of § 208 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the challenged laws unduly burden the constitutional right to vote absentee, unduly burden the right to vote in general, deny voters’ rights to due process and free speech, and are preempted by the Voting Rights Act.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part September 18, 2020, requiring that otherwise valid ballots postmarked by the day before election day and received within 14 days of election day be counted, and permitting voters to receive assistance with casting absentee ballots from any person of their choosing between 5:01 p.m. on the Friday before election day and the close of polls on election day; Renewed motion to intervene filed by Republican lawmakers September 22, 2020; Order expediting consideration of request to intervene issued by Michigan Supreme Court September 25, 2020; Appeal of denial of intervention dismissed September 29, 2020; Lower court injunction reversed by Michigan Court of Appeals October 16, 2020


Polasek-Savage v. Benson, No. 20-000217-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

Two poll watchers sued the Michigan secretary of state and Oakland County, challenging Oakland County’s declaration that only one poll watcher per organization would be permitted at each absent voter counting board location. The emergency motion for declaratory judgment seeks an order permitting 10 election challengers per organization to be present at each absentee voting counting site.

Status: Complaint filed November 3, 2020; Emergency motion for declaratory judgment denied and Oakland County dismissed as a defendant November 3, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed November 24, 2020; Opinion and order issued and case closed December 23, 2020


Priorities USA v. Benson, No. 19-000191-MZ (Mich. Ct. Claims), No. 345096 (Mich. Ct. App.), No. 161753 (Mich. Sup. Ct.)

Consolidated with Promote the Vote v. Benson, No. 20-000002-MZ (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: Proof-of-Residency Requirement & Automatic Registration Limitations

Priorities USA and Rise, Inc., sued Michigan secretary of state, challenging a state law and policy that, respectively, restrict acceptable forms of “proof of residency” for individuals registering to vote within 14 days of an election, and exclude individuals under the age of 17.5 from being automatically registered to vote when they obtain a driver’s license or state identification card. The amended complaint alleges violations of Arts. 1 and 2 of the Michigan Constitution, in that the laws place an undue burden on the right to vote and deny equal protection.

Status: Complaint filed November 22, 2019; Motion for summary disposition filed by defendant December 29, 2019; Amended complaint filed January 21, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed May 4, 2020; Opinion and order denying plaintiffs’ motion for summary disposition issued June 24, 2020; Order affirmed by Court of Appeals July 20, 2020; Application for leave to appeal to Michigan Supreme Court denied August 14, 2020


Priorities USA v. Nessel, No. 4:19-cv-13341 (E.D. Mich.); Nos. 20-1931, 20-1940 (6th Cir.)

Re: Voter Assistance Restrictions

Priorities USA, Rise, Inc., and the Detroit/Downriver Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute sued the Michigan secretary of state, challenging two state laws, one of which makes it a crime to “hire a motor vehicle or other conveyance or cause the same to be done, for conveying voters, other than voters physically unable to walk, to an election.” The other challenged law prohibits assisting a voter with an absentee ballot application unless specifically solicited by the voter and prohibits assisting a voter in returning their application unless the assisting individual is a registered voter in Michigan or a member of the voter’s immediate family or household. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and § 208 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the laws are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, violate speech and associational rights, and are preempted by federal law.

Status: Motion to dismiss granted in part and denied in part May 22, 2020; Michigan Senate and House of Representatives permitted to intervene May 22, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part September 17, 2020, upholding absentee ballot assistance restriction and invalidating voter transportation restrictions; Notice of appeal filed September 25, 2020; Emergency motion for stay pending appeal filed by the Michigan Legislature denied by district court October 6, 2020; Michigan Legislature’s emergency motion to stay the district court’s injunction granted by 6th Circuit October 21, 2020


Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Benson, No. 1:20-cv-818 (W.D. Mich.)

Re: Voter Registration Records Request

The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued the Michigan secretary of state, challenging defendant’s failure to comply with a request to allow inspection of voter list maintenance records. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires public disclosure of records “concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters.”

Status: Complaint filed August 26, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 12, 2020


Reed-Pratt v. Winfrey, 3:20-cv-12129 (E.D. Mich.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Detroit city clerk, the Detroit Department of Elections, and the Detroit Election Commission, challenging the legality of sending of unsolicited absentee voter applications to all registered voters. The amended complaint alleges violations of the U.S. Constitution and the state law governing absentee ballot applications, in that defendants’ actions denied plaintiff’s procedural and substantive due process rights and were arbitrary and capricious.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction denied in part August 11, 2020; Plaintiff’s ex parte order to show cause denied along with an order directing plaintiff to show cause why the case should not be dismissed or stayed; Amended complaint filed August 14, 2020; Order issued September 9, 2020 dismissing without prejudice plaintiff’s state claims and staying plaintiff’s federal claim; Notice of appeal filed September 10, 2020; Order terminating as moot plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction issued January 19, 2021


Republican National Committee v. Secretary of State, No. 20-000191-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Voter Assistance (Covid-19)

The Republican National Committee and the Michigan Republican Party sued the Michigan secretary of state and attorney general, seeking a declaration that the state’s laws prohibiting third parties from assisting voters with absentee ballot return and requiring rejection of any mailed absentee ballots not received by 8:00 p.m. on election day are valid and enforceable. The complaint acknowledges that both laws were enjoined by the court in Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans v. Benson, No. 2020-000108-MM (Mich. Ct. Claims), above, and assert that a declaration of enforceability is needed to prevent fraud, ballot tampering and voter intimidation.  

Status: Complaint filed September 24, 2020; Dismissed October 19, 2020


Ryan v. Benson, No. 20-198-MZ (Mich. Ct. Claims)

Re: Election Funding; Ballot Drop Box Availability (Covid-19)

Four individual voters sued the Michigan Secretary of State, challenging the secretary’s failure to prohibit various local election authorities from accepting grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to help those municipalities administer the November election, including installing ballot drop boxes. The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan Constitution, in that the secretary’s failure to prevent the local election jurisdictions from accepting the grants deprives Michigan voters of the guarantees of equal protection and tarnishes the “purity of elections,” and further that the use of the funds to install ballot drop boxes “cannot possibly meet the [statutory] requirements…and even if they did…they are being disproportionately placed in Democrat precincts and not made equally available throughout the state.”  

Status: Complaint filed October 5, 2020; Emergency motion for immediate declaratory judgment denied October 16, 2020


Stoddard v. City Election Commission, No. ____ (Cir. Ct., Wayne Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Poll Watcher Access, Curing of Unreadable Ballots (Covid-19)

A poll watcher and the Election Integrity Fund sued the Detroit City Election Commission and the Detroit city clerk, challenging the alleged curing of ballots that cannot be read by the electronic counting machines, “including transposing the voter’s perceived choices onto a new ballot, without the required oversight and signatures of two election inspectors—one from each major political party.” The complaint alleges violations of Michigan statute, which requires one inspector from each party to be present at the Absentee Voter Counting Board, and of the guidance issued by the secretary of state, requiring that any cured ballot must bear the signature of two election inspectors of different political parties, and seeks an order to halt further curing of absentee ballots until inspectors from both parties are present, segregate the cured ballots, and halt certification “until the statutorily-required inspectors can be located and used to ensure election integrity.”

Status: Complaint filed November 4, 2020; Amended complaint filed November 5, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by the Democratic National Committee November 5, 2020; Petition for injunctive relief denied November 6, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota

Braun v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5602 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Assistance, Witness Requirement, Early Voting, Ballot Counting, Electronic Voting Machine Security, Voter List Purges, Election Contest (Covid-19)

Three individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state and Representative Ilhan Omar, contesting the results of the election based on allegations of election irregularities, the waiver of the absentee ballot witness requirement, the use of Dominion voting machines, and outdated voter registration lists. The notice of contest alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Articles I and III of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the conduct of the election deprived plaintiffs of due process and equal protection and violated the separation of powers doctrine. 

Status: Notice of contest filed December 1, 2020; Contest dismissed with prejudice December 18, 2020


Carson v. Simon, No. 0:20-cv-2030 (D. Minn.); No. 20-3139 (8th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

Two Republican presidential elector nominees sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s agreement—as part of a consent decree entered in the state court case of LaRose v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-3190 (Minn. 2d Judicial Cir., Ramsey Cnty.), below—to accept otherwise valid absentee ballots that are postmarked by election day and received within 5 business days thereof. The complaint alleges violations of Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution and federal statute, in that the extension of the absentee ballot receipt deadline changes the timing of a presidential election, which change may only be effectuated by Congress and the state legislature.

Status: Complaint filed September 22, 2020;; Motion to intervene by LaRose v. Simon plaintiffs granted September 28, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 11, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 12, 2020; Emergency motion for injunction pending appeal denied October 16, 2020; Opinion reversing and remanding to district court with instructions to grant a preliminary injunction ordering the segregation of ballots that arrive after election day issued by 8th Circuit October 29, 2020; Motion by intervenor defendants to certify question to Minnesota Supreme Court as to whether, under Minnesota law, presidential electors are bound by a stipulation waiving any further challenge to a consent decree governing the administration of an election, and to stay proceedings; Motion denied by district court without prejudice November 5, 2020; Case dismissed December 9, 2020


Council on American-Islamic Relations-Minnesota v. Atlas Aegis LLC, No. 0:20-cv-2195 (D. Minn.)

Re: In-Person Voter Intimidation

The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Minnesota and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota sued Tennessee-based security company, Atlas Aegis LLC, its chairman, and ten John Does, challenging defendants’ threatened deployment of armed ex-soldiers to intimidate and threaten voters at polling places. The complaint alleges violations of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act, in that defendants’ actions are intended to threaten, intimidate, and coerce voters and those who would help them lawfully vote, and that such conduct has actually intimidated voters and those who would help them to lawfully vote.

Status: Complaint filed October 20, 2020; Petition for order approving assurance of discontinuance filed by Minnesota attorney general in related case October 23, 2020, providing that Atlas Aegis shall not provide any security services nor intimidate voters in Minnesota around the November 3 election; Motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction granted October 29, 2020, enjoining defendants from, inter alia, deploying armed agents within 2,500 feet of voting sites; Motion to approve consent decree filed February 3, 2021


Craig v. Simon, No. 0:20-cv-2066 (D. Minn.); No. 20-3126 (8th Cir.); Kistner v. Craig, No. 20A73 (S. Ct.)

Re: Postponement of Congressional Election

A congressional candidate and an individual voter sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging a state law that postpones the date of an election for public office in Minnesota if a major political party dies within 79 days of the election. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and 2 U.S.C. § 7, in that the state law is preempted by the federal statute, which sets a uniform, nationwide date for elections for the U.S. House of Representatives and unduly burdens the right to vote, and seeks a declaratory judgment that the election in question must proceed on November 3 as scheduled, notwithstanding the death of 0ne of the candidates.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction granted October 9, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 9, 2020; Motion to stay denied by district court October 13, 2020; Appellate motion to stay pending appeal denied by 8th Circuit October 23, 2020; Motion for stay denied by U.S. Supreme Court October 27, 2020; District court order affirmed by 8th Circuit November 20, 2020


Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-585 (Minn. Dist. Court.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Voter Assistance Restrictions

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging provisions of state law that prohibit an individual from helping more than three voters who require assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write, in marking their ballots and that prohibit an individual from helping more than three voters in returning or mailing their absentee ballot The complaint alleges violations of § 208 of the Voting Rights Act, Arts. 1 and 7 of the Minnesota Constitution, and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the laws are preempted by the Voting Rights Act, unconstitutionally burden the right to vote, and infringe on speech and association rights.

Status: Temporary injunction granted by district court July 28, 2020, enjoining Secretary of State from enforcing either provision of state law; Temporary injunction affirmed by Minnesota Supreme Court with respect to the ballot-marking provision, vacated with respect to the ballot-return provision September 4, 2020; Order for dismissal issued December 21, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President v. Simon, No. A20-1362 (Minn. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Receipt Deadline & Ballot Segregation (Covid-19)

The Trump Campaign, Senate Victory Fund, House Republican Campaign Committee, and an individual voter sued the Minnesota Secretary of State, challenging the secretary’s agreement—as part of a consent decree entered in the state court case of LaRose v. Simon, below—to accept otherwise valid absentee ballots that are postmarked by election day and received within 5 business days thereof and seeking an order directing the secretary to segregate all mail ballots arriving after election day “in order to preserve the Petitioners’ ability to challenge the legality of the Secretary’s actions and to ensure the fairness and integrity of the election.” The complaint alleges violations of federal and state law and U.S. Constitution, in that the extension of the ballot receipt deadline changes the date of a presidential and congressional election and conflicts with the ballot receipt deadline established by the Minnesota Legislature.

Status: Complaint filed October 28, 2020; Motion in intervene filed by individual voters and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans October 28, 2020; Order issued October 29, 2020, directing petitioners to file a memorandum of law no later than 4:30 p.m. on October 30, addressing “why this petition could not have been filed at an earlier date and why laches should not apply”; Order dismissing case issued by Minnesota Supreme Court November 3, 2020


Jensen v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5599 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Assistance, Witness Requirement, Early Voting, Ballot Counting, Electronic Voting Machine Security, Voter List Purges, Election Contest (Covid-19)

Three individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state and Representative Ilhan Omar, contesting the results of the election based on allegations of election irregularities, the waiver of the absentee ballot witness requirement, the use of Dominion voting machines, and outdated voter registration lists. The notice of contest alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Articles I and III of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the conduct of the election deprived plaintiffs of due process and equal protection and violated the separation of powers doctrine. 

Status: Notice of contest filed December 1, 2020; Contest dismissed with prejudice December 18, 2020


Kistner v. Simon, No. A20-1486 (Minn. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Election Certification Challenge, Auditing (Covid-19)

Candidates for state and federal legislative seats sued the Minnesota secretary of state and members of the Minnesota State Canvassing Board, seeking to delay certification of the state’s election results until a comprehensive audit is completed or order a new election. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, Articles 1 and 3 of the Minnesota Constitution, and Minnesota statutes, in that the secretary allegedly usurped legislative authority by entering into settlement agreements waiving the absentee ballot witness requirement and extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline, thus creating “an overly broad, arbitrary, disparate and ad hoc process meant to ensure that every ballot was counted, whether legal or not,” depriving plaintiffs of due process

Status: Notice of contest filed November 30, 2020; Order granting motion to dismiss issued December 15, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed December 24, 2020


Kistner v. Simon, No. 19AV-CV-20-2183 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 1st Jud. Dist., Dakota Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting; Electronic Voting Machine; Audit; Election Contest (Covid-19)

Eleven defeated federal and state legislative candidates and two individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state, the Dakota County elections director, and others, challenging the state’s agreement to waive the witness requirement for absentee ballots in the general election, the use of Dominion voting machines, and the transparency and results of the Post-Election Review Process, particularly in Dakota County. The notice of contest alleges violations of the Minnesota law, Article I of the Minnesota Constitution, and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ actions deprived plaintiffs of equal protection, violated the separation of powers, and denied the right of due process.

Status: Notice of contest filed November 30, 2020


LaRose v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-3149 (Minnesota District Court, Ramsey County)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Witness Requirement & Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

Individual voters and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging two state laws that require absentee ballots to be witnessed by a registered Minnesota voter, notary, or other person authorized to administer oaths, and to be received by 3 p.m. (if hand-delivered) or 8 p.m. (if delivered by mail) on Election Day. The complaint alleges violations of Arts. 1 and 7 of the Minnesota Constitution and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the laws unduly burden the right to vote and deprive Minnesotans of due process.

Status: Stipulation and partial consent decree entered June 16, 2020; Order issued August 3, 2020, (1) permitting intervention by the Republican Party of Minnesota, the Republican National Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, (2) Denying the Republican National Committee and Republican National Committee’s request to vacate the primary election consent decree, and (3) granting plaintiffs’ and defendant’s request to enter the General Election Consent Decree; Appeal voluntarily dismissed August 18, 2020


League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund v. Simon, No. 0:20-cv-1205 (D. Minn.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notary/Witness Requirement (Covid-19)

The LWV of Minnesota Education Fund and individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging a state law that requires absentee ballots be witnessed by a notary, a registered Minnesota voter, or other person authorized to administer oaths, and that the witness must complete a certificate. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law, as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic, unduly burdens the right to vote and denies equal protection on account of citizenship status with respect to witness qualifications.

Status: Proposed consent decree rejected by court; Motions to intervene granted June 23, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied as moot November 9, 2020; Amended complaint filed December 30, 2020; Settlement conference scheduled for March 18, 2021


Minnesota Voters Alliance v. City of Minneapolis, No. 0:20-cv-2049 (D. Minn.)

Re: Election Funding (Covid-19)

The Minnesota Voters Alliance and four individual voters sued the City of Minneapolis, challenging the city’s acceptance of a $3 million grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to help the city administer the November election. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Supremacy Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, of the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”), the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), and state statute, in that Minneapolis acted “without legal authority to form a public-private partnership for federal election administration with CTCL,” that their actions are preempted by HAVA, the NVRA and Minnesota law and constitute acceptance of a bribe.

Status: Complaint filed September 24, 2020; motion for temporary restraining order denied October 16, 2020; Amended complaint filed November 13, 2020; Motion to dismiss amended complaint filed November 25, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed January 4, 2021


Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Walz, 0:20-cv-1688 (D. Minn.); No. 20-3072 (8th Cir.)

Re: Polling Place Mask Requirement (Covid-19)

The Minnesota Voters Alliance and 5 individual voters sued the Minnesota governor and secretary of state, the Hennepin County Auditor, and others, challenging Executive Order 20-81, which requires that “Minnesotans…wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings” and imposes criminal penalties for failure to do so. The complaint alleges, among other things, violations of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 3 of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the executive order restricts and chills core political speech, is overbroad, denies plaintiffs’ expressive associational rights, and conflicts with legislatively-enacted law that criminally prohibits wearing a mask in public in order to conceal one’s identity.

Status: Motion to dismiss filed September 11, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction denied October 2, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 2, 2020; Motion for injunction pending appeal granted in part and denied in part by district court October 13, 2020, staying action but denying injunction pending appeal; Request for emergency injunction denied by SCOTUS (Gorsuch) November 2, 2020; Case dismissed January 11, 2021


NAACP of Minnesota v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-3625 (Minn. Dist. Ct., Ramsey Cnty.)
Re: Vote-by-Mail Witness Requirement & Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

The NAACP of Minnesota and two individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging a state law which requires that absentee ballots must be witnessed by a notary, a registered Minnesota voter, or other person authorized to administer oaths, and that the witness must complete a certificate. The complaint alleges violations of Arts. 1 and 7 of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the law unduly and unnecessarily burdens the right to vote and violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

Status: Order issued August 3, 2020 (1) denying the intervention motion of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Republican Party of Minnesota, and others, (2) granting the permissive intervention motion of the Republican National Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee, (3) granting plaintiffs’ and defendant’s request to enter the General Election Consent Decree, and (4) denying plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction; Appeal voluntarily dismissed August 18, 2020


Overby v. Simon, No. 0:20-cv-2250 (D. Minn.)

Re: Postponement of Congressional Election

A candidate who was appointed to replace a deceased Marijuana Now Party candidate sued the Minnesota secretary of state and governor, challenging defendants’ failure to register her candidacy and place her name on the ballot for the November 3 election and further challenging a parallel federal court order enjoining the postponement of the election in question. The complaint alleges violations of the Minnesota statute requiring that a special election be held in February if a major party candidate dies within 79 days of the November election and asserts that the provision is not unconstitutional, notwithstanding that it was found to be unconstitutional in the previously-decided case of Craig v. Simon, above.

Status: Complaint filed October 29, 2020; Motion for expedited injunctive relief denied November 2, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed November 19, 2020; Hearing scheduled for January 26, 2021


Pavek v. Simon, No. 0:19-cv-3000 (D. Minn.), Nos. 20-2410, 20-2814 (8th Cir.)

Re: Candidate Order on Ballot

Individual voters, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging a state law which requires that major party candidates be listed in reverse order, based on the average number of votes members of their party received in the preceding election. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law unduly burdens the right to vote and imposes disparate treatment in violation of the right to equal protection.

Status: Motion to dismiss denied; preliminary injunction granted; Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Party of Minnesota permitted to intervene July 12, 2020; Case stayed July 16, 2020, until the conclusion of the 2021 regular session of the Minnesota legislature “or until legislation that moots or otherwise resolves this case is enacted, whichever occurs first”; Notice of appeal filed by intervenor defendants; Intervenor defendants’ motion to stay pending appeal granted by 8th Circuit July 31, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed in district court August 26, 2020; Notice of appeal of order dismissing case filed by intervenor defendants August 28, 2020; Appeal voluntarily dismissed September 18, 2020; Case remanded to district court with instructions to vacate preliminary injunction issued September 21, 2020


Peterson v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5600 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Assistance, Witness Requirement, Early Voting, Ballot Counting, Electronic Voting Machine Security, Voter List Purges, Election Contest (Covid-19)

Three individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state and Representative Ilhan Omar, contesting the results of the election based on allegations of election irregularities, the waiver of the absentee ballot witness requirement, the use of Dominion voting machines, and outdated voter registration lists. The notice of contest alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Articles I and III of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the conduct of the election deprived plaintiffs of due process and equal protection and violated the separation of powers doctrine. 

Status: Notice of contest filed December 1, 2020; Contest dismissed with prejudice December 18, 2020


Quist v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5598 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Assistance, Witness Requirement, Early Voting, Ballot Counting, Electronic Voting Machine Security, Voter List Purges, Election Contest (Covid-19)

Three individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state and Representative Ilhan Omar, contesting the results of the election based on allegations of election irregularities, the waiver of the absentee ballot witness requirement, the use of Dominion voting machines, and outdated voter registration lists. The notice of contest alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Articles I and III of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the conduct of the election deprived plaintiffs of due process and equal protection and violated the separation of powers doctrine. 

Status: Notice of contest filed December 1, 2020; Motions to dismiss granted December 29, 2020


Rodriguez v. Simon, No. 62-CV-20-5601 (Minn. Dist. Ct., 2d Jud. Dist., Ramsey Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Assistance, Witness Requirement, Early Voting, Ballot Counting, Electronic Voting Machine Security, Voter List Purges, Election Contest (Covid-19)

Three individual voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state and Representative Ilhan Omar, contesting the results of the election based on allegations of election irregularities, the waiver of the absentee ballot witness requirement, the use of Dominion voting machines, and outdated voter registration lists. The notice of contest alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Articles I and III of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the conduct of the election deprived plaintiffs of due process and equal protection and violated the separation of powers doctrine. 

Status: Notice of contest filed December 1, 2020; Contest dismissed with prejudice December 18, 2020


Schroeder v. Simon, No. 62-cv-19-7440 (Minn. Dist .Ct., Ramsey Cnty.); No. A20-1264 (Minn. Ct. App.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement

Individual aspiring voters sued the Minnesota secretary of state, challenging a state law that prohibits persons convicted of felonies from voting until they have fully discharged their sentences, including parole and probation. The complaint alleges violations of Article 7, Section 1 and Article 1, Section 2 of the Minnesota Constitution, in that the law denies the fundamental right to vote, and the rights of equal protection and due process, treating similarly situated individuals differently with respect to a fundamental right and disproportionately impacting people of color and indigenous people.

Status: Intervention denied by lower court; Oral argument heard February 24, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi

Harness v. Hosemann, No. 3:17-cv-791 (S.D. Miss.); No. 19-60632 (5th Cir.)

Consolidated with Hopkins v. Hosemann, No. 3:18-cv-188 (S.D. Miss.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement

Three individual aspiring voters sued the Mississippi secretary of state, challenging a provision of the state constitutional provision permanently barring persons convicted of certain enumerated felonies from voting. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the state constitutional provision violates the guarantee of equal protection because they were enacted with discriminatory intent and have a discriminatory impact based on race.

Status: Plaintiffs appealed district court’s order dismissing case; Oral argument rescheduled June 26, 2020, to an as-yet-undetermined later date


Hopkins v. Hosemann, No. 3:18-cv-188 (S.D. Miss.); Nos. 19-60678, 19-60662 (5th Cir.)

Consolidated with Harness v. Hosemann, No. 3:17-cv-791 (S.D. Miss.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement

Six individual aspiring voters, on behalf of a class, sued the Mississippi secretary of state, challenging two provisions of the state constitutional that permanently bar persons convicted of certain felonies from voting and require a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature to restore the voting rights of such individuals. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 8th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the lifetime voting ban subjects plaintiffs and class members to cruel and unusual punishment, denies them equal protection, is impermissibly arbitrary, infringes on the right to political expression and political association, intentionally discriminates based on race, and disproportionately impacts Black Mississippians.

Status: Plaintiffs appealed district court’s order granting partial summary judgment to defendants; Oral argument heard December 3, 2019


O’Neill v. Hosemann, No. 3:18-cv-815 (S.D. Miss.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse, Notarization Requirements, Ballot Application Online Availability, Ballot Receipt Deadline

Individual voters and the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP sued the Mississippi secretary of state, the assistant secretary of state and others, challenging state laws and practices that limit the availability of absentee voting to those who qualify for an enumerated excuse, require both absentee applications and voted ballots to be notarized, fail to make absentee ballot application forms available online and require that voted absentee ballots be received before election day. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged laws and practices infringe on the fundamental right to vote and deny equal protection.

Status: Motion for temporary restraining order denied November 27, 2018; Case stayed on June 1, 2020 until further order of the court; Case dismissed on consent of parties October 30, 2020


Oppenheim v. Watson, No. 25CH1:20-cv-961 (Chancery Ct. Hinds Cnty.); Watson v. Oppenheim, No. 2020-CA-983-SCT (Sup. Ct. Miss.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

Six individual voters sued the Mississippi secretary of state and the circuit clerks of Hinds and Rankin Counties in connection with a state law that strictly limits the availability of mail-in voting to those who satisfy one or more statutorily-enumerated excuses, including having a “physical disability [and] whose attendance at the voting place could reasonably cause danger to himself, herself or others.” For the 2020 election, that provision applies to “any qualified elector who is under a physician-imposed quarantine due to COVID-19 …or is caring for a dependent who is under a physician-imposed quarantine due to COVID-19,” but it does not define “physician-imposed quarantine” nor “dependent.” The complaint seeks judicial declarations that the existing statute permits mail-in voting by any voters “with pre-existing conditions that cause COVID-19 to present a greater risk of severe illness or death,” and those who “wish[ ] to avoid voting in-person…due to guidance from the MDH, the CDC, or other physicians or public health authorities to avoid unnecessary public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic or if he or she is caring for or supporting such a voter,” as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring the secretary of state to so instruct local elections officials and so educate the public.

Status: Complaint filed August 11, 2020; Order declaring that Mississippi law “permits any voter with pre-existing conditions that cause COVID-19 to present a greater risk of severe illness or death to vote by absentee ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic” and allowing anyone to vote absentee “if he or she or any dependent has consulted with a physician who recommends, because of that individual’s physical disability or that of their dependent, not attending any public gathering because of the possibility of contracting COVID-19” and denying all other requested relief issued September 2, 2020; Order and opinion reversing lower court’s expansion of absentee voting availability and affirming its denial of other requested relief issued by Supreme Court of Mississippi September 18, 2020


Parham v. Watson, No. 3:20-cv-572 (N.D. Miss.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse & Notary Requirements, Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

Individual voters, the League of Women Voters of Mississippi, and the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP sued the Mississippi secretary of state and attorney general, challenging: (1) defendants’ failure to advise voters that Mississippi law allows absentee voting if voters reasonably fear that voting in person will expose themselves or others to the coronavirus (2) a state law requiring notarization or official attestation to apply for and vote absentee, and (3) the lack of notice and opportunity to cure ballots rejected due to “faulty signature match procedures.” The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that (1) defendants’ failure to advise the public of the availability of absentee voting due to Covid-19 concerns, or in the alternative, the law’s failure to allow absentee voting on the basis of fear of contracting or spreading Covid-19 significantly burdens the fundamental right to vote, (2) the excuse requirement is unconstitutionally vague, (3) as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic, the notarization requirement unjustifiably burdens the fundamental right to vote, and (4) the cure prohibition denies the right to due process and significantly burdens the fundamental right to vote.

Status: Complaint filed August 27, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed September 17, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed October 8, 2020; Order staying discovery pending resolution of motion to dismiss issued October 9, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction withdrawn October 13, 2020; Case voluntarily dismissed on October 20, 2020, following agreement that state will make curbside voting available to anyone showing signs of Covid-19 and requiring election officials to provide voters with notice and an opportunity to cure signature defects after election day

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Missouri

American Women v. State of Missouri, No. 20AC-CC00333 (Mo. Cir. Ct., Cole Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notary Requirement, Signature Matching, Receipt Deadline, Voter Assistance Ban, Mail-Return Mandate (Covid-19)

American Women and individual voters sued the State of Missouri and the Missouri secretary of state, challenging state laws that impose varying notarization requirements for mail-in ballots on different categories of voters, require rejection of any absentee ballots received after 7p.m. on Election Day, irrespective of the postmark, prohibit third parties from assisting voters with returning voted mail-in ballots, impose “inconsistent and indiscriminate evaluation criteria to determine whether a ballot is valid,” and require that “ballots voted by certain types of voters but not others are only returnable by U.S. Mail and may not be returned in person.” The complaint alleges violations of the Missouri Constitution, in that the challenged provisions interfere with the free exercise of the right of suffrage, deny voters equal protection and due process, unduly burden the right to vote, and infringe on the right to free speech.

Status: Complaint filed August 20, 2020; Judgment entered in favor of defendants October 22, 2020


Missouri State Conference of the NAACP v. State of Missouri, No. 20AC-CC00169 (Mo. Cir. Ct., Cole Cnty.); No. SC98536 (Mo. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement (Covid-19)

The Missouri NAACP, the League of Women Voters of Missouri, and three individual voters sued the State of Missouri, Secretary of State John Ashcroft, and others, challenging a state law that restricts absentee voting to voters who provide one of six enumerated reasons, including “incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability.” The complaint alleges violations of the right to vote and of equal protection under the Missouri Constitution, and seeks a declaration that the existing Missouri law must be interpreted to encompass Missourians who fear contracting or spreading Covid-19. The lower court dismissed the case on defendants’ motion on May 15, 2020, and plaintiffs appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Status: Missouri Supreme Court reversed and remanded June 23, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied July 10, 2020; Writ of mandate denied July 15, 2020; Judgment entered against plaintiffs and in favor of defendants on all counts September 24, 2020; Affirmed by Missouri Supreme Court October 9, 2020


Organization for Black Struggle v. Ashcroft, No. 2:20-cv-418 (D. Mo.); No. 20-3121 (8th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Electronic Application Submission, Mail-Return Mandate, Notice & Opportunity to Cure Ballot Defects (Covid-19)

The Organization for Black Struggle, the St. Louis A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Greater Kansas City A. Philip Randolph Institute, and others sued the Missouri secretary of state, the Greene County Clerk’s Office, the Jackson County Election Board, and others, challenging state laws that prohibit voters from requesting mail-in ballots via email (while permitting absentee ballot requests to be made by that method), prohibit the return of voted mail-in ballots by any means other than mail (while permitting in-person return of voted absentee ballots), and allow rejection of both absentee and mail-in ballots due to immaterial defects without affording voters with notice and an opportunity to cure such defects. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in that the challenged laws unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, allow disqualification of votes “because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration or other act requisite to voting [when] such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified…to vote in such election,” and deny voters a constitutionally protected liberty interest without due process.

Status: Complaint filed September 17, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed October 2, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part October 9, 2020, permitting “mail-in” ballots to be returned in person (or by a relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity), while declining to require that mail-in ballot requests may be made via email, and further declining to require that voters be afforded with notice and opportunity to cure immaterial ballot defects; Notice of appeal filed October 9, 2020; Motion for administrative stay pending appeal granted October 10, 2020; Emergency motion to vacate stay filed October 21, 2020; Motion for stay pending appeal granted by 8th Circuit October 22, 2020, staying the district court’s injunction that permitted mail ballots to be returned in person; Amended complaint filed December 9, 2020; Motions to dismiss party and to dismiss case filed December 18, 2020; Order issued January 5, 2020 denying motion to dismiss as moot in light of amended complaint


Ostrowski v. Office of Elections, No. 1:20-cv-00209 (E.D. Mo.)
Re: Vote-by-Mail Fraud (Covid-19)

An individual voter sued the Office of Elections of Hawaii, the Lieutenant Governor of Utah, the Director of the Alaska Division of Elections, and others, challenging defendants’ allowance of vote-by-mail fraud. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 12th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants have “inhibited [plaintiff’s] speech and “caused duress” by “not having adequate checks and balances in place for independent audits of the mail-in ballots cast and/or extending absentee ballots from its former form, which also impinges citizens fully expressing their wish to the electoral college for whom they want for president.”

Status: Complaint filed October 2, 2020; Dismissed for failure to state a claim October 19, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montana

Blackfeet Nation v. Stapleton, No. 4:20-cv-95 (D. Mont.)

Re: In-Person Voter Registration, Early Voting, Election Day Voting (Covid-19)

The Blackfeet Nation sued the Montana secretary of state, the county of Pondera, its county clerk, and others, challenging defendants’ refusal to establish a site that provides in-person voter registration, in-person early voting, and election day voting on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, notwithstanding that the majority of Blackfeet members lack residential home mail delivery. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the Montana Constitution, and the secretary of state’s election directive #10-2015, in that defendants’ inaction deprives plaintiffs of equal protection, severely burdens the fundamental right to vote, denies or abridges the right to vote on account of race, color or membership in a language minority group, denies plaintiffs the right to participate in free and open elections, and fails to comply with the requirement that every county containing an American Indian reservation that includes voting-eligible residents to open satellite elections offices on those reservations and provide in-person absentee voting and late registration services equivalent to the services offered at the main county elections office.

Status: Complaint filed October 9, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed October 15, 2020, pursuant to agreement that defendants from Pondera County will provide a satellite election office on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation at Heart Butte High School


Bullock v. United States Postal Service, No. 4:20-cv-79 (D. Mont.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery Practices (Covid-19)

The Montana governor sued the United States Postal Service and the postmaster general, challenging recent changes in postal service policies, which have caused widespread delays, including (i) eliminating overtime pay for certain postal workers; (ii) instructing carriers to leave mail behind, rather than deliver it, in certain circumstances; (iii) decommissioning sorting machines; (iv) removing mailboxes; (v) reducing operating hours; and (vi) changing how election mail is classified and charged. The complaint alleges violations of federal statutes, including the Administrative Procedure Act, in that defendants’ actions exceeded its statutory authority, and that the postal service’s failure to submit proposals to the Postal Regulatory Commission prior to making operational changes, thus depriving the governor of the opportunity to comment, detrimentally impacting Montana state government operations and Montanans in general.

Status: Complaint filed September 8, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed September 11, 2020; Joint stipulation to stay case in light of settlement agreement granted October 15, 2020, thus requiring defendants to, among other things, limit the reduction of retail hours, the removal of collection boxes, the closure or consolidation of mail processing facilities, and the removal of mail sorting machines; establish a policy that “late or extra trips that are reasonably necessary to complete timely delivery of mail [are] not to be unreasonably restricted or prohibited,” and to not ban overtime; Case dismissed pursuant to stipulation December 1, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Bullock, No. 6:20-cv-66 (D. Mont.) Consolidated with Lamm v. Bullock, No. 6:20-cv-67 (D. Mont.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, In-Person Early Voting (Covid-19)

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and others sued the Montana governor and secretary of state, challenging the governor’s August 6, 2020, directive, which allows counties the option of conducting the upcoming November general election primarily by mail and specifies timeframes for early in-person absentee voting and for the mailing of absentee ballots to voters. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Electors Clauses and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the governor’s directive changes the time, place and manner in which Montanans will participate and appoint electors in the November congressional and presidential election, thus usurping state legislative authority, and “makes voter fraud and other ineligible voting inevitable,” thus “dilut[ing ] honest votes.”

Status: Complaint and motion for preliminary injunction filed September 2, 2020; Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Montana Democratic Party, and legislative majority leaders permitted to intervene September 8, 2020; Motion to intervene by the League of Women Voters denied September 14, 2020; Order denying all requests by plaintiffs and entering judgment in defendants’ favor issued September 30, 2020; Notice of appeal filed by Lamm plaintiffs September 30, 2020


Driscoll v. Stapleton, No. DV 20-408 (Mont. Dist. Ct., Yellowstone Cnty.); Stapleton v. 13th Jud. Dist. Ct., No. OP20-0293, DA20-0295 (Mont. S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Receipt Deadline, Notice/Opportunity to Cure Ballot Defects, Voter Assistance Ban (Covid-19)

The chair of the Montana Democratic Party, the Montana Democratic Party, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sued the Montana secretary of state, challenging state laws that prohibit anyone from collecting another person’s ballot unless the person providing assistance falls into at least one of six categories of exemption, prohibit an exempted person from collecting more than six ballots in an election (i.e., the Ballot Interference Prevention Act”), and reject any ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, irrespective of the postmark. The complaint alleges violations of Art. II of the Montana Constitution, in that the laws unduly burden the right to suffrage, infringe on the right of free speech and expression, deny voters due process, and are unconstitutionally vague.

Status: Preliminary injunction granted, then stayed by the Montana Supreme Court May 27,  2020; Motion to intervene granted June 18, 2020; Motion to intervene by state legislators denied August 11, 2020; Injunction granted for the November 3, 2020 general election September 25, 2020, requiring acceptance of all otherwise-valid absentee ballots received 7 days after election day, extending the deadline to cure ballot defects until 9 days after election day, and preliminary injunction granted against enforcement of the Ballot Interference Prevention Act; On September 29, 2020, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s injunction against enforcement of the Ballot Interference Prevention Act, while vacating the ballot receipt deadline injunction.


Lamm v. Bullock, No. 6:20-cv-67 (D. Mont.)

Consolidated with Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Bullock, No. 6:20-cv-66 (D. Mont.); No. 20-35847 (9th Cir.); No. 20A61 (Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution (Covid-19)

Individual voters and the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee sued the Montana governor and secretary of state, challenging the governor’s August 6, 2020 directive, which allows counties the option of conducting the upcoming November general election primarily by mail. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments and Article 1, Section 4 of U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged directive usurps voters’ “right to have, and vote in, a federal election where the ‘manner’ of election is ‘prescribed by the Legislature,’” directly disenfranchises voters because “requested ballots [will] never arrive or arrive too late and filled-out ballots [will] get lost or [will be] delayed in the return process,” and deprives voters of equal protection by “favoring” voters in one county “to the disadvantage of voters in other counties” by giving voters in “mail ballot” counties “greater voting power than other-county voters.”

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction filed September 9, 2020; Consolidated with Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., v. Bullock, above; Order denying all requests by plaintiffs and entering judgment in defendants’ favor issued September 30, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 30, 2020; Emergency motion for injunctive relief pending appeal denied by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals October 6, 2020; Emergency application for writ of injunction denied by U.S. Supreme Court October 8, 2020


Western Native Voice v. Stapleton, No. DV-2020-377 (Mont. Dist. Ct., Yellowstone Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail; Voter Assistance Ban (Covid-19)

Western Native Voice, Montana Native Vote, Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Fort Peck, and others sued Montana’s secretary of state, attorney general, and others, challenging a state law that prohibits anyone from collecting someone else’s ballot unless the person providing assistance falls into at least one of six categories of exemption, and further prohibits an exempted person from collecting more than six ballots in an election. The complaint alleges violations of §§ 6, 7, 13, and 17 of Art. II of the Montana Constitution, in that the law infringes upon the fundamental right to vote (particularly in the case of Native Americans), the right of free speech, the right of association, and the right to due process. 

Status: Motion for TRO granted; Preliminary injunction granted July 7, 2020; Permanent injunction granted September 25, 2020; Appeal voluntarily dismissed October 15, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevada

Arrington v. Gloria, No. A-20-825149-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Election Contest (Covid-19)

Status: Complaint filed November 19, 2020; Motions to dismiss granted December 22, 2020


Becker v. Cannizzaro, No. A-20-825067-P (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Election Contest, Illegal Voting, Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

A state senatorial candidate sued her victorious opponent and anonymous individuals and corporations, challenging the alleged counting of “illegal or improper votes” and the failure to count “legal and proper votes” in the Clark County Commission District C election. The statement of contest alleges violations of Nevada statutes and seeks a revote of plaintiff’s race.

Status: Statement of contest filed November 18, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 20, 2020


Becker v. Gloria, No. A-20-824878-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Election Invalidation, Double Voting, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

A state senatorial candidate sued the Clark County registrar of voters, Clark County, and anonymous individuals and corporations, challenging Clark County’s alleged “failure to follow multiple required statutory procedures for conducting an election,” and seeking an order for a new election. The complaint alleges violations of Nevada statutes, in that election officials failed to verify signatures on absentee ballots, mailed over 90,000 ballots to voters “that should have been on the inactive voter list,” allowed voters to cast both absentee and in-person ballots, and other irregularities.

Status: Complaint filed November 16, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee and Nevada State Democratic Party November 18, 2020; Case dismissed December 2, 2020


Corona v. Cegavske, No. 20-OC-64-1B (Dist. Ct., Carson City, Nevada)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Voter Assistance Ban, Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure; In-Person Polling Place Voting Availability (Covid-19)

Individual voters, the Nevada State Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation, and others sued the Nevada secretary of state, the Registrar of Voters for Clark County, and others, challenging state laws that criminally prohibit third parties from assisting voters with returning voted absentee and mail ballots, allow the arbitrary rejection of mail ballots and lack sufficient safeguards, and fail to provide voters sufficient opportunity to cure ballot defects. The amended complaint alleges violations of several provisions of the Nevada Constitution and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged laws unduly burden the right to vote, deny voters the right of free speech by prohibiting core political expression, deprive voters of the right to assembly, and disenfranchise voters who require assistance returning their ballots, including elderly voters, and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Status: Voluntarily dismissed August 4, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., v. Cegavske, No. 2:20-cv-1445 (D. Nev.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Ballot Receipt Deadline, In-Person Polling Place Availability (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party sued the Nevada secretary of state, challenging newly enacted election laws that require acceptance of mailed ballots without a postmark if they are received by 5:00 p.m. on the 3rd day after election day, determine the number of in-person polling places for early and day-of-election voting in a county based on the county’s population, and fail to prescribe uniform standards for the processing and counting of ballots. The amended complaint alleges violations of 3 U.S.C § 1, 2 U.S.C. §§1 and 7, as well as the Elections, Electors, and Supremacy Clauses of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the laws permit the acceptance of ballots that might have been mailed after election day, inhibit rural voters’ ability to vote in person and authorize disparate treatment of rural voters, fail to provide “minimal procedural safeguards to protect against unequal evaluation of mail ballots” and “specific rules to ensure uniform treatment,” and “dilute Nevadans’ honest votes.”    

Status: Amended complaint filed August 20, 2020; Motion to intervene by the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Nevada State Democratic Party granted August 21, 2020; Motions to dismiss amended complaint granted September 21, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President v. Gloria, No. A-20-824153-C (Dist. Ct. Clark Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Polling Place Availability (Covid-19)

The Trump Campaign and the Nevada Republican Party sued the Clark County registrar of voters, seeking an order to keep the county’s polling places open for an additional hour after some polling places opened late due to technical difficulties.

Status: Complaint filed and motion for temporary restraining order granted November 3, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 9, 2020


Election Integrity Project of Nevada v. State of Nevada, A-20-820510-C (Dist. Ct. Clark Cnty., Nevada); No. 81847 (Sup. Ct. Nev.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Signature Matching, Ballot Verification Procedures, Voter Assistance, Ballot Receipt Deadline, Timely Postmark Presumption, Canvassing Period, In-Person Polling Place & Vote Center Availability, Same-Day Voter Registration, Voter List Purges, Election Certification Challenge (Covid-19)

The Election Integrity Project of Nevada and an individual voter and former state legislator sued the State of Nevada and its secretary of state, challenging newly enacted legislation (“AB4”), which plaintiffs allege ((2) requires that absentee ballots be mailed to all active registered voters, require acceptance of otherwise valid mailed ballots lacking a postmark if they are received by 5:00 p.m. on the 3rd day after election day; (3) determines the number of in-person polling places for early and day-of-election voting based on a county’s population; (4) allows counting of mailed ballots to commence 15 days before election day; (5) fails to prescribe strict standards for the processing and counting of mail ballots, including signature matching; and (6) allows voters with disabilities to avail themselves of assistance in completing and delivering their ballots. The complaint alleges violations of state statutes and the Nevada Constitution, in that AB4 contains unfunded mandates and deprives voters of equal protection.

Two weeks after the election, plaintiffs filed an emergency motion seeking to enjoin the defendants from certifying the results of Nevada’s general election, to enjoin its electors from casting their votes for president on December 12, 2020, “and preventing any Nevada candidate from taking office because the election was carried out pursuant to the requirements of AB4, which is an unconstitutional law, as it deprives all legitimate voters of Nevada of their right of equal protection.”

Status: Complaint filed September 1, 2020; Application for emergency preliminary injunction and request for expedited hearing filed September 3, 2020; Application for emergency temporary restraining order filed September 4, 2020; Motion to intervene as defendants by Institute for a Progressive Nevada and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada granted; Preliminary injunction denied September 29, 2020; Order denying petition for writ of mandamus issued by Nevada Supreme Court October 7, 2020; Application for emergency permanent injunction denied November 20, 2020; Motions to dismiss granted December 22, 2020


Kramer v. Cegavske, No. 20 OC 00178 1B (Nevada Dist. Ct., Carson City)

Re: Voter List Purges

Three individual voters sued the Nevada secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s alleged failure to ensure that the statewide voter registration list includes only eligible voters. The complaint alleges violations of the Nevada Constitution, in that the secretary’s alleged failure to keep noncitizens off of the voter rolls deprives plaintiffs of the guarantee of equal protection, due process, and the right to vote, and seeks a permanent injunction enjoining the secretary of state “from maintaining a statewide list of registered voters that includes noncitizens.”  

Status: Complaint filed December 22, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed February 18, 2021


Kraus v. Cegavske, No. 20 OC 00142 1B (Nevada Dist. Ct. Carson City), No. 82018 (Nevada Sup. Ct.)

Re: Poll Watchers; Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

An individual voter, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and the Nevada Republican Party sued the Nevada secretary of state and the Registrar of Voters for Clark County, challenging the registrar’s failure to submit a “written plan for the accommodation of members of the general public who observe the delivery, counting, handling and processing of ballots at a polling place, receiving center or central counting place” by April 15, 2020, the absence of a statutory mechanism to challenge absentee voters parallel to the existing statutory mechanism for challenging in-person voters, and the registrar’s use of a machine to authenticate voters. The complaint alleges violations of state statutory law and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the registrar’s alleged refusal to comply with Nevada law prohibits poll watchers from “observing the totality of the [ballot processing and counting] process,” that the lack of a challenge statute applicable to absentee ballots “debase[s] or dilute[s] the right to vote of those voters who choose to vote in person,” thus depriving them of equal protection, and that the use of a machine to verify signatures on absentee ballots arbitrarily makes it harder for Clark County election officials to “catch improper or fraudulent mail in ballots as opposed to the rest of Nevada.”

Status: Complaint filed and request for temporary restraining order denied October 23, 2020; Order denying writ of mandamus issued October 29, 2020; Notice of appeal and emergency motion to stay and expedite appeal granted in part and denied in part by Nevada Supreme Court November 3, 2020, granting the request to expedite while denying the request for injunctive relief; Appeal withdrawn and case remanded November 10, 2020


Law v. Whitmer, No. 20 OC 00163 1B (Dist. Ct., Carson City, Nevada)

Re: Election Contest, Election Irregularities, Electronic Voting Machine Accuracy, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

Six candidates for presidential electors on behalf of Donald J. Trump sued six candidates for presidential electors on behalf of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., contesting the results of the election based on allegations of “substantial irregularities, improprieties, and fraud” in Nevada’s 2020 presidential election and requesting that Trump be declared the winner of the election. The statement of contest alleges violations of Nevada statutes, in that the use of signature comparison and electronic voting machines produced unreliable results, that 500 absentee ballots were received from deceased persons, that voters were improperly disenfranchised by arbitrary provisional ballot verification procedures, poll watchers were not permitted meaningful access, and that the Nevada Native Vote Project conducted illegal vote drives.

Status: Complaint filed November 17, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed November 23, 2020; Motions to compel production of thumb drives and signatures denied December 2, 2020; Order dismissing case with prejudice and requiring plaintiffs to pay defendants’ costs issued December 4, 2020; Notice of appeal and emergency motion to expedite appeal filed by plaintiffs and motion for summary affirmance filed by defendants December 7, 2020; Affirmed by Nevada Supreme Court December 8, 2020


Marchant v. Gloria, No. A-20-824884-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Election Invalidation, Double Voting, Illegal Voting (Covid-19)

A state congressional candidate sued the Clark County registrar of voters, Clark County, and anonymous individuals and corporations, challenging Clark County’s alleged “failure to follow multiple required statutory procedures for conducting an election,” and seeking an order for a new election. The complaint alleges violations of Nevada statutes, in that election officials failed to verify signatures on absentee ballots, mailed over 90,000 ballots to voters “that should have been on the inactive voter list,” allowed voters to cast both absentee and in-person ballots, and other irregularities.

Status: Complaint filed November 16, 2020; Order denying requested relief issued November 20, 2020


Miller v. Clark County Board of Commissioners, No. A-20-824971-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Election Certification (Covid-19)

A narrowly prevailing candidate for Clark County Commission sued the Clark County Board of Commissioners and ten anonymous individuals, challenging defendants’ refusal to certify the results of the election and their decision to order a new election to take place. The complaint alleges violations of Nevada statute and the Nevada Constitution, in that the Board of Commissioners is statutorily mandated to canvass and instruct the Clark County registrar to certify the results of the election, and that it lacks the authority to order a new election. 

Status: Complaint filed November 17, 2020; Complaint in intervention filed November 24, 2020; Order denying intervenors’ motion for preliminary injunction issued December 4, 2020; Intervenor’s motion for writ of mandamus requiring the Clark County Board of Commissioners to order a new election denied December 24, 2020


Miller v. Clark County Board of Commissioners, No. A-20-824971-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Election Certification (Covid-19)

A narrowly prevailing candidate for Clark County Commission sued the Clark County Board of Commissioners and ten anonymous individuals, challenging defendants’ refusal to certify the results of the election and their decision to order a new election to take place. The complaint alleges violations of Nevada statute and the Nevada Constitution, in that the Board of Commissioners is statutorily mandated to canvass and instruct the Clark County registrar to certify the results of the election, and that it lacks the authority to order a new election. 

Status: Complaint filed November 17, 2020; Complaint in intervention filed November 24, 2020; Order denying intervenors’ motion for preliminary injunction issued December 4, 2020; Intervenor’s motion for writ of mandamus requiring the Clark County Board of Commissioners to order a new election denied December 24, 2020


Nevada Republican Central Committee v. Clark County, No. A-20-823821-W (Dist. Ct. Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Counting Board Information Request (Covid-19)

The Nevada Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., sued Clark County, Nevada, and its registrar of voters, challenging defendants’ failure to provide requested records, including images of the signature of every registered voter in the county. The complaint alleges violations of state statutes providing that, unless a record is confidential, “all public books and public records of a governmental entity must be open at all times during office hours to inspection by any person,” and placing on the burden of establishing confidentiality on the governmental entity.

Status: Petition granted in part November 2, 2020, only as to certain records that were in existence at the time the petition was filed on October 23, 2020


Paher v. Cegavske, No. 3:20-cv-243 (D. Nev.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Voter Assistance, In-Person Polling Place Availability (Covid-19)

Individual voters and Nevada Right to Life sued the Nevada secretary of state and the registrars of voters for Washoe and Clark Counties, challenging the state’s plan to conduct the June primary as an “all-mail” election and to automatically send absentee ballots to all active registered voters. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments and Art. I, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, in that the state’s plan infringes upon the fundamental right to vote via direct disenfranchisement and vote-dilution disenfranchisement, violates the right of equal protection, and violates voters’ right to vote in a federal election in the manner prescribed by the legislature.

Status: Motion to intervene granted; Motion for preliminary injunction denied April 30, 2020; Complaint dismissed and motions to dismiss denied as moot July 31, 2020


Rodimer v. Gloria, No. A-20-825130-W (Dist. Ct., Clark Cnty., Nevada)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution; Voter List Inactivation; Election Invalidation, Electronic Signature Matching, Election Administration, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

A state congressional candidate sued the Clark County registrar of voters and the Clark County Board of Commissioners, challenging defendants’ failure to move voters whose absentee ballot applications had been returned as undeliverable in the primary election to “inactive” status, the use and manner of use of an electronic machine to compare signatures on ballot envelopes and the alleged counting of illegal votes. The petition for a writ of mandamus alleges violations of Nevada statute and seeks a new election in Clark County and a declaration that the use of the Agilis mail ballot processing machine for signature verification violates Nevada law.

Status: Petition filed November 19, 2020; Case dismissed November 25, 2020


Stokke v. Cegavske, No. 2:20-cv-2046 (D. Nev.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Verification Procedures; Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

An individual voter, a “credentialed member of the media,” and two political candidates sued the Nevada secretary of state and Clark County registrar of voters, challenging Clark County’s absentee ballot processing procedures, which include the use of a machine to perform electronic signature comparison, and the alleged lack of access being afforded to poll watchers and members of the media. The complaint alleges violations of state law and the Elections Clause of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the use of the signature verification machine “usurp[s] the Nevada Legislature’s constitutional authority to set the manner of elections,” and places voters in Clark County “at an unequal risk of having their votes diluted by votes with mismatched signatures,” and that defendants are not providing poll watcher access as required by law.

Status: Complaint and emergency motion for preliminary injunction and emergency motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order filed November 5, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee and the Nevada State Democratic Party granted and motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction denied November 6, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Hampshire

American Federation of Teachers v. Gardner, No. 216-2020-CV-570 (N.H. Super. Ct. Hillsborough Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Application Process, Witness & ID Requirements, Pre-Paid Postage, Ballot Receipt Deadline, Voter Assistance, Voter Registration, Drop Box Availability (Covid-19)

The American Federation of Teachers sued the New Hampshire secretary of state and attorney general, challenging the state’s absentee application process and state laws that require that voters provide proof of identity and domicile with absentee ballot applications, require that such applications be signed by a witness, fail to provide pre-paid postage for returning voted absentee ballots, reject absentee ballots received after 5:00 p.m. on Election Day, prohibit third parties from assisting voters by collecting and delivering sealed absentee ballots, impose cumbersome voter registration requirements, restrict the availability of ballot drop boxes and require that all such boxes be “staffed by a properly trained election official throughout the course of [their] use.” The amended complaint alleges violations of the New Hampshire Constitution, in that the challenged process and laws, variously, unduly burden the right to vote, impose a prohibited poll tax, deny voters procedural due process, violate voters’ free speech and associational rights, and treat similarly situated citizens in a disparate manner, thus denying equal protection.

Status: Motion to intervene by Donald J. Trump for President and the Republican National Committee granted September 4, 2020; Amended complaint filed August 31, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part, and defendants’ motion for a stay granted in part and denied in part October 2, 2020, requiring the secretary of state to comply with existing law “by developing a method to forward an absentee voter registration form directly” to any applicant who is domiciled in city or town and qualified to vote therein except for the fact that their name does not appear on the checklist to be used at the election, and who is temporarily absent therefrom or unable to “attend the meeting of the supervisors of the checklist” due to disability, and denying all other requested injunctive relief; Defendants’ motion for reconsideration filed denied November 2, 2020; Plaintiffs’ motion for interlocutory appeal denied December 10, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed January 15, 2021


Frye v. Gardner, No. 1:20-cv-751 (D.N.H)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Disability Access (Covid-19)

Three registered voters, the National Federation of the Blind of New Hampshire, and Granite State Independent Living sued the New Hampshire secretary of state and Department of State, challenging the State’s failure to make registering to vote and requesting and casting absentee ballots accessible to persons who have sight and/or print disabilities. The complaint alleges violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, in that the absentee voting program discriminates against persons with disabilities and fails to offer reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction withdrawn pursuant to settlement providing that defendants will take certain steps to make New Hampshire’s absentee voting program accessible to persons who are blind or have other print disabilities August 30, 2020; Case will remain open for enforcement purposes throughout 2020 election cycle; Motion to dismiss case as moot filed September 22, 2020; Amended complaint filed October 6, 2020; Motion to dismiss denied December 9, 2020; Second amended complaint filed February 11, 2021


League of Women Voters of New Hampshire v. Gardner, No. 226-2017-CV-433 (N.H. Sup. Ct., Hillsborough Cnty,); Nos. 2019-242, 2020-252 (N.H. S. Ct.)

Re: Voter Registration

The League of Women Voters of New Hampshire and three individual voters sued the New Hampshire secretary of state and attorney general, challenging laws that require all people seeking to register to vote to present documentary evidence to prove that they intend to remain domiciled in New Hampshire and impose criminal penalties for, among other things, registering on election day and failing to subsequently produce the required proof of domicile by a specified deadline. The complaint alleges violations of Part 1, Articles 1, 2, 10, 11, 12 and 14 of the New Hampshire Constitution and of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged laws deny New Hampshire residents the right to participate in free and equal elections, unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, conflict with the domicile qualifications set forth in the constitution, deny equal protection, are void for vagueness, deny equal protection, and deny or abridge the right to vote on account of age.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction granted, then stayed on appeal; Final order striking down the challenged provision as unconstitutional issued April 8, 2020; Notice of appeal filed by defendants May 8, 2020

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New Jersey

Donald J. Trump for President v. Murphy, No. 3:20-cv-10753 (D.N.J.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Receipt Deadline, In-Person Voting by Provisional Ballot (Covid-19)

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Republican National Committee, and the New Jersey Republican State Committee sued the New Jersey governor and secretary of state, challenging Executive Order 177 and the legislatively codified version thereof—A4475—which provides that vote-by-mail ballots shall be sent to all active registered voters for the November 2020 general election, extends the receipt deadline to November 10 for vote-by-mail ballots that are postmarked on or before election day, treats ballots lacking a postmark as having been timely cast if received within 48 hours of the closing of the polls, and requires voters who appear in person to vote without a voted mail-in ballot to cast a provisional ballot, and allows canvassing of mail-in ballots ten days before election day. The amended complaint alleges violations of federal statutes and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that A4475 permits vote to be counted before Election Day, permits vote to be cast after Election Day, and deprives voters of the right to vote and of equal protection because the expansion of the mail voting system “facilitates fraud and other illegitimate voting practices,” and will “force[ ]” county officials to adopt “arbitrary and varying procedures” to process provisional ballots.

Status: Complaint filed August 18, 2020; Atlantic County Democratic Committee’s motion to intervene denied and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s motion to intervene granted September 1, 2020; Amended complaint filed September 11, 2020; Motion to show cause why the amended complaint should not be dismissed filed October 2, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 6, 2020; Order dismissing case issued October 22, 2020


Gusciora v. McGreevey, No. L-2691-04 (N.J. Sup. Ct., Mercer Cnty.)

Re: Online Voting

New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Guscioria, The Coalition for Peace Action, and others sued the New Jersey governor and secretary of state, seeking to enforce a 2010 order which prohibits the use of internet voting in New Jersey, in light of public and private representations made by the offices of the New Jersey secretary of state and attorney general that internet-based voting would be used in the May 2020 primary. The letter brief in support of the motion asserts that the court unequivocally possesses the authority to enforce its own order, and alleges state constitutional claims, including violations of the New Jersey Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, in that the use of internet voting would be limited to disabled persons only, thus endangering their right to vote securely and constituting unequal treatment. The state retracted its decision to use online voting on May 18, 2020.

Status: Settled June 19, 2020


League of Women Voters of New Jersey v. Way, No. 3:20-cv-5990 (D.N.J.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

The LWV of New Jersey, the NAACP New Jersey Conference, and three individuals sued the New Jersey secretary of state, challenging a state law and practice of rejecting absentee and provisional ballots with perceived signature mismatches without first providing voters notice and an opportunity to cure any such issues. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law and practice deny the fundamental right to vote, the right of due process, and the right to equal protection.

Status: Stipulation reached June 16, 2020, as to July 7 primary only; Settled January 13, 2021; Stipulation of dismissal filed January 13, 2021


League of Women Voters of New Jersey v. Way, No. MER-L-001831-20 (Super. Ct. N.J., Mercer Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Electronic Transmission of Ballot (Covid-19)

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey sued the New Jersey secretary of state and director of the Division of Elections, seeking an injunction requiring defendants to electronically transmit absentee ballots to any  New Jerseyans displaced due to the pandemic, who have not received their absentee ballot in the mail by October 30. The complaint alleges violations of the New Jersey Constitution, in that, by failing to electronically transmit absentee ballots, defendants are depriving displaced New Jerseyans, of their fundamental right to vote and treating displaced New Jerseyans differently than those who were able to remain at their permanent mailing addresses during the pandemic.

Status: Complaint filed October 14, 2020; Dismissed October 23, 2020


Monmouth County Republican Party v. Way, No. MON-L-003019-20 (N.J. Super. Ct., Monmouth Cnty.); No. 3:20-cv-13914 (D.N.J.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Timely Postmark Presumption, Drop Box Availability (Covid-19)

The Monmouth County Republican Party sued the New Jersey secretary of state and the Monmouth County Board of Elections, challenging enforcement of Executive Order 177, which which provides that vote-by-mail ballots shall be sent to all active registered voters for the November 2020 general election, extends the receipt deadline to November 10 for vote-by-mail ballots that are postmarked on or before election day, treats ballots lacking a postmark as having been timely cast if received within 48 hours of the closing of the polls, requires voters who appear in person to vote without a voted mail-in ballot to cast a provisional ballot, and requires each county board of elections to establish at least 10 ballot drop boxes. The complaint alleges violations of EO177/Public Law 2020, c. 72, in that the secretary has failed to issue rules and regulations, guidelines, and “appropriate standards” to govern the conduct of the November 3 election, and further alleges that those laws violate federal statutes and the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, in that the ballot receipt deadline changes the date of the presidential and congressional election, and the use of ballot drop boxes promotes fraud.

Status: Complaint filed September 24, 2020; Order transferring case to federal court issued September 25, 2020; Case dismissed pursuant to stipulation October 23, 2020

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New Mexico

In re Bernanlillo County Petition for Secured Container, No. D-202-CV-2020-05052 (N.M. 2d Jud. Dist. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Dropbox Approval (Covid-19)

Status: Petition denied


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Toulouse Oliver, 1:20-cv-1289 (D.N.M.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application Distribution, Signature Verification, Witness Requirement, Drop Box Availability, Fraud Allegations (Covid-19)

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. sued the New Mexico secretary of state, its electors, and the State Canvassing Board, challenging the affirmative mailing of absentee ballot applications to all active, registered voters, the use of ballot drop boxes, the elimination of the absentee ballot witness requirement, and the state’s signature matching procedures, all of which plaintiffs allege promoted fraud. The motion for preliminary injunction alleges violations of the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution, in that the secretary “made significant changes to the legislatively defined election laws,” and seeks to vacate the certification of the state’s presidential election results and to “remand” certification authority to the legislature.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction filed December 14, 2020; Expedited briefing schedule ordered December 15, 2020; Amended complaint filed December 22, 2020; Order vacating expedited briefing schedule issued December 23, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee granted January 8, 2021; Motion to dismiss filed by Democratic National Committee January 8, 2021; Notice of voluntary dismissal and motion to dismiss without prejudice filed by plaintiff January 11, 2021; Dismissed February 2, 2021


New Mexico v. Oliver, No. S-1-SC-38228 (N.M. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution; In-Person Polling Place Closures (Covid-19)

Twenty-seven of New Mexico’s 33 county clerks sued the New Mexico secretary of state, seeking a writ directing defendant to conduct the April primary election using mail-in ballots only and do away with in-person polling places entirely.

Status: Petition filed March 30, 2020; Order denying petition in part, while directing the secretary to mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters issued April 16, 2020; Motion for rehearing denied May 7, 2020


Republican Party of New Mexico v. Oliver, No. S-1-SC-38537 (N.M. Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

The Republican Party of New Mexico, the minority leaders of the New Mexico House of Representatives and New Mexico Senate, and others sued the New Mexico secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s newly issued guidance on the processing of absentee ballots, which provides that poll watchers “are not allowed to monitor the initial” absentee ballot verification process performed by the county clerk, while also providing that poll watchers are allowed to challenge absentee ballots if the last four digits of the voter’s social security number are missing. The petition seeks clarification of the guidance prior to the election “rather than waiting until the only available remedy is the irrevocable rejection of ballots.”

Status: Emergency petition for extraordinary writ filed October 24, 2020; Petition denied October 27, 2020


Republican Party of New Mexico v. Oliver, No. D-101-CV-202002344 (N.M. Dist. Ct., 1st Dist.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Dropbox Availability (Covid-19)

The Republican Party of New Mexico sued the New Mexico secretary of state and the county clerks of Guadalupe and Taos counties, challenging the secretary’s issuance of guidance allowing drop boxes that are not held to the same security requirements as the “secured containers” provided for by statute, including video monitoring. The complaint seeks a declaration that the same security requirements must apply to drop boxes as well as an injunction prohibiting defendant county clerks from allowing voters to deposit voted absentee ballots in unattended drop boxes.  

Status: Complaint filed October 26, 2020

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New York

Andrew Goodman Foundation v. Dutchess County Board of ElectionsNo. 2020-527337 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Dutchess Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Polling Place Availability, Safety & Accessibility (Covid-19)

The Andrew Goodman Foundation, Election@Bard, and three individual voters and college students sued the Dutchess County Board of Elections and its commissioners, challenging the use of a church as a polling place for the 5th Legislative District in Dutchess County. The verified petition alleges violations of the New York State Constitution and New York election laws, in that the existing polling place is inaccessible to persons with disabilities, is not accessible from public transportation, that its use burdens Petitioners with “onerous requirements, thus constructively denying them the right to vote,” and that the site has not been subjected to an access survey to verify substantial compliance with accessibility standards.

Status: Petition filed September 4, 2020; Petition denied October 14, 2020; Decision reconsidered and petition granted October 23, 2020


Gallagher v. N.Y. State Board of ElectionsNo. 1:20-cv-5504 (S.D.N.Y.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Pre-Paid Postage, Postmark Requirement, Postal Service Delivery (Covid-19)

Individual voters and political candidates, on behalf of a class, sued the New York State Board of Elections, commissioners and co-chairs of the NYS BOE, co-executive directors of the BOE, and the governor, challenging a state law requiring that ballots be postmarked, and an executive order, providing that ballot postage be pre-paid, in connection with the U.S. Postal Service’s practice of not stamping mail with pre-paid postage, resulting in thousands of ballots being delivered without a postmark. The amended complaint alleges violations of Article 2 of the New York State Constitution and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the vote-by-mail regime severely and unduly burdens the right to vote and denies the rights of due process and equal protection to absentee voters.

Status: Motions for preliminary injunction granted August 3, 2020; Emergency motion to compel denied August 7, 2020; Amended complaint filed September 11, 2020; Motion to expand preliminary injunction denied October 23, 2020


Harley v. Kosinski, No. 1:20-cv-4664 (E.D.N.Y.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Electronic Ballot Transmission (Covid-19)

Individual voters who reside abroad, on behalf of a class, sued election officials in seven states, challenging defendants’ failure to accept and count ballots returned via electronic means. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ inaction, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, unduly burdens the right to vote and denies equal protection to voters who reside outside of the United States.

Status: Complaint filed September 30, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 13, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed October 13, 2020


Hernandez v. N.Y. State Board of Elections, No. 1:20-cv-4003 (S.D.N.Y.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Disability Access (Covid-19)

Individual voters, Disability Rights New York, the National Federation of the Blind of New York, and others sued the New York State Board of Elections, its chair and commissioner, and others, challenging the state’s absentee voting program, which requires voters to fill out and sign a paper ballot with a pen or marker and return by mail, providing no alternatives to accommodate voters with print disabilities who vote from home. The complaint alleges violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in that the program denies individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to access the benefits of a service, program, or activity provided by a public entity, and of § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in that the program denies “a qualified handicapped person the opportunity accorded others to participate in program … receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction withdrawn in connection with settlement as to the June 23, 2020 elections; Second motion for preliminary injunction denied August 14, 2020, with an order that defendants must “submit a proposed injunction consistent with Defendants’ written and oral representations regarding implementation of an accessible absentee voting system for the November 3 election”; Settlement discussions ongoing 


Jones v. U.S. Postal Service, No. 1:20-cv-6516 (S.D.N.Y.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery (Covid-19)

Individual political candidates and voters, on behalf of a class, sued the United States Postal Service (“USPS”), the Postmaster General of the USPS, and the United States president, challenging USPS cutbacks, slowdowns, policy changes, and failure to make aggressive efforts to deliver vote-by-mail ballots. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ actions and omissions unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, violate the principle of “one person, one vote,” deny equal protection to voters who are particularly susceptible to Covid-19 exposure, reside abroad, or otherwise rely on the delivery of absentee ballots in order to vote.    

Status: Complaint filed August 17, 2020; Motion to expedite granted August 20, 2020; Amended complaint filed September 9, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part September 21, 2020, providing, among other things, that the USPS “shall, to the extent that excess capacity permits, treat all Election Mail as First-Class Mail or Priority Mail Express [and] shall pre-approve all overtime…through November 6, 2020.” Settled September 25, 2020


League of Women Voters USA v. Kosinski, 1:20-cv-5238 (S.D.N.Y.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

The LWV of U.S.A., the LWV of New York, and an individual voter sued the commissioners and executive directors of the New York State Board of Elections in connection with the State’s practice of rejecting absentee ballots without affording voters notice and an opportunity to cure any perceived signature mismatch issues or other defects. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged practices deny voters’ right to due process, unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, and violate the right to equal protection.

Status: Stipulated consent order filed September 17, 2020, providing for post-election day notice and cure procedures


National Coalition on Black Civic Participation v. Wohl, No. 1:20-cv-8668 (S.D.N.Y.)

Re: Voter Intimidation, Robo-Calls (Covid-19)

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and individual voters sued Project 1599, a lobbying firm, and two individuals, challenging defendants’ sending of robocalls for the alleged purpose of misinforming and intimidating would-be voters. The complaint alleges violations of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act and Section 2 of the Ku Klux Klan Act, in that defendants “intimidate, threaten, coerce or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote,” and have conspired to deprive Black voters of equal protection and dissuade eligible voters from casting their vote.

Status: Complaint filed October 16, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order granted October 28, 2020; Motion for reconsideration and stay denied October 29, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 29, 2020; Motion to dismiss denied January 12, 2021; Motion to stay discovery pending outcome of defendants’ criminal cases filed January 19, 2021; Notice of interlocutory appeal of January 12 order filed February 8, 2021; Letter motion seeking stay denied February 22, 2021


Tenney v. Oswego County Board of Elections, No. EFC-2020-1376 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oswego Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Contests & Counting (Covid-19)

A Republican U.S. Congressional candidate sued her Democratic and Libertarian opponents and the relevant boards of election, seeking to preserve all voting materials pertaining to the November 3 election for the 22nd District’s Congressional seat, to verify the tallies of votes tabulated on electronic voting machine and the challenges to absentee ballots, and ultimately to certify her as the victor of the election. The complaint seeks enforcement of the New York Constitution and state election law.

Status: Order to show cause seeking to end the canvassing process and certify Petitioner candidate (Tenney) as the winner filed December 2, 2020; Proposed order to show cause seeking, among other things, a review and accounting of contested ballots and a manual audit filed by Respondent Democratic candidate (Brindisi) December 2, 2020; Order denying Tenney’s motion, while granting in part and denying in part Brindisi’s motion, issued December 8, 2020, directing the respondent boards of election to “fulfill their statutory canvassing duties, immediately correct all of the canvassing errors, and where errors cannot be corrected, recanvass those ballots”; Notice of appeal filed January 8, 2021; Brindisi conceded February 8, 2021

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North Carolina

Advance North Carolina v. North Carolina, No. 20CV-2965 (Wake Cnty. Super. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Assistance Ban (Covid-19)

Advance North Carolina sued the State of North Carolina, the State Board of Elections, and others, challenging a state law that “prohibits the vast majority of individuals and organizations from assisting voters in completing absentee ballot applications and from submitting absentee ballot applications on a voter’s behalf.” The complaint alleges violations of Art. I, § 10 (Free Elections Clause), § 14 (freedom of speech), § 12 (freedom of assembly), and § 19 (equal protection) of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the law unconstitutionally burdens the right to vote and infringes on associational and speech rights.

Status: Complaint filed March 4, 2020; Case remains pending as of January 22, 2021


Arnett v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, No. 20-CV-570 (Gen. Ct. Justice, Super. Ct. Div., Duplin Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Challenge Process (Covid-19)

The chairman of the Duplin County Republican Party and the North Carolina Republican Party sued the State Board of Elections, its chair and others, seeking a judicial decree that would enable plaintiffs to lodge challenges to approvals or disapprovals of absentee ballots, stop the counting process while challenges are being adjudicated, and permit appeals of the adjudication of challenges. The complaint alleges violations of the North Carolina Constitution and the North Carolina Public Records Act, in that defendants have refused to permit plaintiffs to “inspect and examine” absentee ballot envelopes, which are public records, and that the existing pre-election day absentee ballot processing procedures “create an unconstitutionally unequal status among voters who vote absentee by mail versus voters who vote in-person,” thus depriving voters of equal protection.

Status: Complaint filed October 5, 2020; Motions to intervene and to stay proceedings filed by North Carolina Democratic Party October 12, 2020; Order granting motion to intervene and denying requested relief issued October 15, 2020


Chambers v. North Carolina, No. 20 CVS 500124 (Wake Cnty. Super. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Witness Requirement (Covid-19)

Four individual voters sued the State of North Carolina, the speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, president pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate, and others challenging the requirement that absentee ballots be witnessed by another adult and restricts who can serve as a witness, notably excluding “an owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident.” The complaint alleges violations of Article 1, §§10, 12, 14 and 19 of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the regime infringes on the right to participate in a free and fair election, unduly burdens the right to vote, and violates the guarantee of equal protection.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction denied September 3, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed January 11, 2021


Community Success Initiative v. Moore, No. 19-cv-15941 (Wake Cnty. Super. Ct.)

Re: Felony Disenfranchisement

Community Success Initiatives, Justice Served NC, and the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP sued the North Carolina secretary of state, the president pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate, and others, challenging state laws that prohibit persons convicted of felonies from voting until they have fully discharged their sentences, including parole and probation, and further condition restoration of voting rights on full payment of all court fines, fees and restitution. The complaint alleges violations of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the laws deny the state constitutional guarantees of “substantially equal voting power,” and to participate in free and fair elections.

Status: Motion for summary judgment or in the alternative for a preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part September 4, 2020, permitting individuals who have been released from supervision but who still owe legal financial obligations to register and vote


Democracy North Carolina v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, No. 1:20-cv-457 (M.D.N.C.)

Re: Voter Registration Deadline; Vote-by-Mail Assistance Restrictions, ID & Witness/Notary Requirements; Dropboxes; Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure; In-Person & Early Voting (Covid-19)

Democracy North Carolina, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, and individual voters sued the North Carolina State Board of Elections, the board’s chair, and others, challenging state laws, policies, and practices that impose various restrictions on voter registration, mail-in absentee ballots, in-person early voting, and Election Day administration. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, § 208 of the Voting Rights Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, in that the laws and practices, variously, unduly burden the right to vote, condition the right to vote on compelling forfeiture of bodily integrity, violate the rights of free speech and association, deny the right to procedural due process, and fail to provide reasonable accommodations for and disparately impact persons with disabilities.

Status: Notice of appeal of denial of motion to intervene by Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, and North Carolina Republican Party pending; Motions to dismiss and for leave to file third amended complaint filed July 30, 2020; Amended motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part August 4, 2020; Appeal held in abeyance August 26, 2020; Motions for reconsideration denied September 30, 2020; Plaintiffs’ motion to enforce order granting in part preliminary injunction granted as to expedited consideration and denied in all other respects October 2, 2020; Order issued October 14, 2020, enjoining the cure procedure for missing witness signatures and denying all other requested relief (including relief requested in Moore v. Circosta and Wise v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, below); Motion for clarification denied October 30, 2020


Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, No. 20CV09947 (Gen. Ct. Justice, Super. Ct. Division, Wake Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Witness Requirement, Notice/Opportunity to Cure Missing Witness Signature (Covid-19)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the North Carolina Democratic Party sued the North Carolina State Board of Elections, its chair and its executive director, challenging defendants’ failure to provide all voters with an adequate opportunity to cure ballot defects related to the witness requirement. The complaint alleges violations of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the lack of a notice and cure opportunity deprives voters of procedural due process, equal protection, and the right to participate in free and fair elections, and burdens the fundamental right to vote without being justified by a sufficiently important state interest.

Status: Complaint filed September 8, 2020


Holmes v. Moore, 18 CVS 15292 (Gen. Ct. Justice, Sup. Ct. Division, Wake Cnty.); No. COA19-762 (N.C. Ct. App.)

Re: Photo ID Requirement (In-Person and Vote-by-Mail)

Individual voters sued the speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, president pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate and others, challenging a 2018 law (SB 824) that requires that in-person and absentee voters, with narrow exceptions, present one of eight forms of photo ID. The complaint alleges violations of Article 1, §§10, 12, 14 and 19 of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the law intentionally discriminates and disparately impacts African-American and American Indian voters; unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote; unjustifiably creates separate classes of voters who are treated differently, thus denying the constitution’s guarantee of equal protection; imposes a financial cost and a property requirement as a condition of voting, in violation of the Free Elections and Property Qualifications Clauses; and impedes voters’ ability to engage in political expression and speech by voting, in violation of the right of assembly and petition and freedom of speech.

Status: Lower court denied plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction and granted defendants’ motions to dismiss as to all but one claim (discriminatory intent). The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, directing the lower court to grant the requested preliminary injunction. Legislative Defendants’ motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction filed July 9, 2020


Moore v. Circosta, Nos. 4:20-cv-182, 5:20-cv-507, 1:20-cv-911 (E.D.N.C.); No. 20-2104 (4th Cir.); No. 20A72 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Postmark Requirement, Witness Requirement, Voter Assistance, Notice/Opportunity to Cure Ballot Defects (Covid-19)

The speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate and individual voters sued the chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections (“NCSBE”), challenging the consent judgment entered in North Carolina Alliance of Retired Americans v. State of North Carolina, No. 20-CVS-8881 (Gen. Ct. Justice, Super. Ct. Div., Wake Cnty.), above, and related memos issued by the NCBSE, which extend the absentee ballot receipt deadline, provide voters with notice and an opportunity to cure ballot defects after election day, allow voted absentee ballots to be dropped off at one-stop early voting locations and county board offices, and do not reject ballots that are dropped off by third parties. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections Clause and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged judgment and memos change the time, place and manner of holding federal elections and deny equal protection to voters who had already cast ballots before the judgment and memos were issued.

Status: Motion to intervene filed by North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans and individual voters September 30, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democracy North Carolina, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and individual voters October 1, 2020; Emergency motion for temporary restraining order granted October 3, 2020, temporarily enjoining defendants from enforcing the September 2020-19 Memo, and Numbered Memos 2020-22 and 2020-23 until October 16, 2020 and transferring case to Hon. William L. Osteen; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 14, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 17, 2020; Order granting request for en banc hearing and consolidating with Wise v. Circosta on appeal issued by 4th Circuit October 19, 2020; Order denying emergency motion for injunctive relief pending appeal issued by 4th Circuit October 20, 2020; Emergency application for writ of injunction filed in U.S. Supreme Court October 22, 2020; Application for stay pending appeal denied by U.S. Supreme Court October 28, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed January 15, 2021


North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans v. State of North Carolina, No. 20-CVS-8881 (Gen. Ct. Justice, Super. Ct. Div., Wake Cnty.); No. P20-513 (N.C. Ct. App.); No. 440P20 (Sup. Ct. N.C.); Berger v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, No. 20A74 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Witness Requirement, Pre-Paid Postage, Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure, Voter Assistance Ban; In-Person Polling Place Safety & Disability Access (Covid-19)

The North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans and individual voters sued the State of North Carolina, the State Board of Elections, and its chair, challenging state laws and procedures that (1) limit the number of days and hours of early voting that counties are permitted to offer, (2) require that all absentee ballot envelopes be signed by a witness, (3) fail to provide pre-paid postage for absentee ballots and request forms, (4) require rejection of any absentee ballots received more than three days after the election, even when postmarked by election day, (5) allow counties to reject ballots for signature defects without providing sufficient advance notice and opportunity to cure, (6) prohibit voters from receiving assistance from most individuals and organizations in completing or submitting absentee ballot request forms, and (7) “severely restrict[ ] voters’ ability to obtain assistance in delivering their marked and sealed absentee ballots to county boards, and impos[e] criminal penalties for providing such assistance.” The complaint alleges violations of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the challenged laws and practices unconstitutionally burden the right to vote, deprive voters of equal protection, and deny North Carolinians’ right to free and fair elections.

Status: Complaint filed August 10, 2020; Joint motion for entry of consent judgment filed September 22, 2020, stipulating that, for the 2020 elections, (1) an absentee ballot shall be counted as timely if it is either received by 5:00 p.m. on election day or postmarked by election day and received by November 12, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.; (2) defendants shall institute a process to notify voters of ballot deficiencies that may be cured by certification, which certification must be received by 5:00 p.m. on November 12; (3) voted absentee ballots may be dropped off at one-stop early voting locations and county board offices; (4) defendants shall take additional reasonable steps to inform the public of the changes; (5) plaintiffs shall withdraw their motion for preliminary injunction; and (5) all remaining claims against the Executive Defendants related to the conduct of the 2020 elections shall be dismissed with prejudice; Findings of fact and conclusions of law supporting order granting joint motion for entry of consent judgment issued October 5, 2020; Temporary stay issued by North Carolina Court of Appeals October 15, 2020; Order dissolving temporary stay issued by North Carolina Court of Appeals October 19, 2020; Republican National Committee’s motion to stay pending appeal denied by North Carolina Supreme Court October 23, 2020Application for stay pending appeal denied by U.S. Supreme Court October 29, 2020


North Carolina Democratic Party v. North CarolinaNo. 19-CV-14688 (Gen. Ct. of Justice, Super Ct. Div., Wake Cnty.)

Re: Early Voting

The North Carolina Democratic Party, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee  sued the State of North Carolina, the State Board of Elections, and the chair of the BOE challenging state laws that restrict early voting opportunities. The amended complaint alleges violations of Art. I, § 10 (Free Elections Clause), § 14 (freedom of speech), § 12 (freedom of assembly), and § 19 (equal protection) of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the challenged provisions unduly burden the right to vote.

Status: Amended complaint filed December 20, 2019


North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. Cooper, No. 1:18-cv-1034 (M.D.N.C.); North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. Raymond, Nos. 19-1091, 19-1094, 19-2273 & 20-1092 (4th Cir.)

Re: Photo ID Requirement (Vote-by-Mail & In-Person Voting); Poll Watchers

The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Chapel Hill-Carboro NAACP, Greensboro NAACP, and others sued the governor of North Carolina, the chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections and others, challenging a state law that requires that voters present one of a limited number of photo IDs (excluding public assistance IDs) in order to cast a ballot and expanded the number of permitted poll watchers and bases for challenging ballots. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the law was motivated by impermissibly racially discriminatory intent, discriminates on the basis of race, and denies or abridges the right to vote on account of race or color.

The district court granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, prohibiting defendants from implementing the law’s voter ID requirements and ballot-challenge provisions for any election, pending further court order.

Status: Appeal filed January 24, 2020; Denial of motion to intervene vacated by 4th Circuit August 14, 2020; Stay of mandate issued by 4th Circuit September 11, 2020; Petition for rehearing en banc granted October 5, 2020; Order reversing lower court’s preliminary injunction and upholding the constitutionality of the challenged statute issued by 4th Circuit December 2, 2020; Petition for rehearing en banc denied February 8, 2021


North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, 20-CVS-5035 (N.C. Super. Ct., Wake Cnty.)

Re: In-Person Voting Machines (Covid-19)

The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and 4 individual voters sued the North Carolina State Board of Elections and various county boards of elections, challenging the counties’ use of ExpressVote electronic ballot-marking devices, which, plaintiffs allege, “suffer from security vulnerabilities, are inaccurate, tabulate votes based on a bar code that cannot be read by the voter, and cannot be sufficiently audited.” The complaint alleges violations of Article 1, § § 10 and 19 of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the use of the machines severely burdens plaintiffs’ right to participate in free and fair elections that “accurately ascertain the will of the people,” and denies equal protection to voters in counties which employ the machines.

Status: Complaint filed April 15, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied August 19, 2020


Stringer v. North Carolina, No. 20-CVS-5615 (N.C. Super. Ct., Wake Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Notary/Witness Requirement, Prepaid Postage, Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

Individual North Carolina voters sued the State of North Carolina, the State Board of Elections, and others, challenging state laws that (1) require that each absentee ballot be witnessed and certified by a notary or two qualified individuals; (2) require most voters to pay for postage when applying for an absentee ballot; (3) reject ballots received more than three days past the election, even if postmarked on or before Election Day; (4) fail to prescribe uniform standards for signature verification; and (5) fail to provide notice and an opportunity to cure to voters whose signatures are perceived to be inconsistent. The amended complaint alleges violations of Art. I, § 10 (Free Elections clause), § 14 (freedom of speech), § 12 (freedom of assembly), and § 19 (equal protection) of the North Carolina Constitution, in that the laws infringe on the right to participate in free and fair elections, and unconstitutionally burden the right to vote.

Status: Amended complaint filed July 8, 2020


Taliaferro v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, No. 5:20-cv-411 (E.D.N.C.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Disability Access (Covid-19)

Four individual voters, the North Carolina Council of the Blind, the Governor Morehead School Alumni Association, and others sued the North Carolina State Board of Elections, its director, chair, and others, challenging the state’s absentee voting program, which requires voters to complete a paper ballot using an ink marking device and physically return the voted ballot to the County Board of Elections, and is thus inaccessible to blind voters who wish to vote independently. The complaint alleges violations of Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in that the absentee voting program denies individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to access the benefits of the program, fails to provide reasonable modifications to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, excludes individuals with disabilities from participation in the program, and discriminates on the basis of disability.

Status: Motions for preliminary injunction granted September 24, 2020; Proceedings stayed for sixty days on consent November 22, 2020; Joint motion to extend stay until March 15 granted January 27, 2021


Wise v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, Nos. 5:20-cv-505, 1:20-cv-912 (E.D.N.C.); No. 20-2014 (4th Cir.); No. 20A71 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Postmark Requirement, Witness Requirement, Voter Assistance, Notice/Opportunity to Cure Ballot Defects (Covid-19)

Individual voters, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Republican National Committee and others sued the State Board of Elections, its chair and others, challenging the consent judgment entered in North Carolina Alliance of Retired Americans v. State of North Carolina, No. 20-CVS-8881 (Gen. Ct. Justice, Super. Ct. Div., Wake Cnty.), above, and related memos issued by the Board, which extend the absentee ballot receipt deadline, provide voters with notice and an opportunity to cure ballot defects after election day, allow voted absentee ballots to be dropped off at one-stop early voting locations and county board offices, and do not reject ballots that are dropped off by third parties. The complaint alleges violations of Article I, Section 4, Article 2, Section 1 of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged judgment purportedly changes the time, place and manner of elections for senators, representatives and presidential electors, dilute the fundamental right to vote by allowing fraudulent or illegal votes, and denies equal protection to those who had already voted prior to issuance of the judgment and memos.

Status: Emergency motion for temporary restraining order granted October 3, 2020, temporarily enjoining defendants from enforcing the September 2020-19 Memo, and Numbered Memos 2020-22 and 2020-23 until October 16, 2020 and transferring case to Hon. William L. Osteen; Motion to convert temporary restraining order into preliminary injunction denied October 14, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 17, 2020; Order granting request for en banc hearing and consolidating with Wise v. Circosta on appeal issued by 4th Circuit October 19, 2020; Order denying emergency motion for injunctive relief pending appeal issued by 4th Circuit October 20, 2020; Emergency application for writ of injunction denied by U.S. Supreme Court October 28, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed January 7, 2021

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North Dakota

Cross v. Fox, No. 1:20-cv-177 (D.N.D.), No. 20-3424 (8th Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail in Tribal Elections (Covid-19)

Two individual voters sued members of the Three Affiliated Tribes Tribal Business Council, challenging the requirement that non-resident Three Affiliated Tribes (“TAT”) voters “return to the reservation to vote in all TAT elections and defendant’s refusal to allow plaintiffs to vote by absentee ballot, regardless of personal circumstances such as age, physical disability, poverty, etc. The complaint alleges violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ failures deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, and severely burden the fundamental right to vote and deprive plaintiffs of the guarantee of equal protection.  

Status: Complaint and motion for preliminary injunction filed September 29, 2020; Motion to dismiss granted October 28, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 19, 2020


Self Advocacy Solutions North Dakota v. Jaeger, No. 3:20-cv-71 (D.N.D.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Signature Matching (Covid-19)

Self Advocacy Solutions N.D., the League of Women Voters of North Dakota, and a North Dakota resident sued the North Dakota secretary of state and the county auditor of Grand Forks County, challenging a state law that rejects any ballot with perceived signature mismatch issues without providing the voter an opportunity to cure. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the law denies due process and the fundamental right to vote.

Status: Permanent injunction granted August 28, 2020

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Ohio

A. Philip Randolph Institute of Ohio v. LaRoseNo. 1:20-cv-1908 (N.D. Ohio)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Dropbox Availability (Covid-19)

The A. Philip Randolph Institute of Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio State Conference of the NAACP, and individual voters sued the Ohio secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s directive prohibiting county boards of elections from providing more than one ballot drop box per county, which drop box must be located directly outside of each county board of elections’ office. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the secretary’s directive substantially burdens the fundamental right to vote and deprives voters of equal protection by arbitrarily valuing the votes of residents of counties with smaller populations over those who reside in more heavily populated counties.

Status: Complaint filed August 26, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed September 4, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Ohio Republican Party, the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee granted September 15, 2020; Order issued September 25, 2020, holding that plaintiffs have standing, holding the motion for preliminary injunction in abeyance “to see if the conclusion of the state litigation [in Ohio Democratic Party v. LaRose, No. 20 CV 5634 (Ohio Ct. Common Pleas, Franklin Cnty.), below] moots this case,” and directing the secretary to file, by. September 30, a report on efforts to “work closely with the Cuyahoga County board of elections to develop and implement a plan to alleviate the looming crisis for voters who plan to personally deliver their ballots for the November 3 election;” Order dismissing the case without prejudice issued October 6, 2020; Motion for reconsideration and motion for preliminary injunction granted October 8, 2020, enjoining the secretary of state from (1) enforcing the portion of the directive that prohibits counties from installing multiple drop boxes and (2) prohibiting county boards of election from deploying its staff for off-site ballot delivery, and declining to issue a stay; Notice of appeal filed October 8, 2020; Order staying lower court order issued by 6th Circuit October 9, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed October 22, 2020


League of Women Voters of Ohio v. LaRose, 2:20-cv-3843 (S.D. Ohio)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

The League of Women Voters of Ohio, the A. Philip Randolph Institute of Ohio, and two individual voters sued the Ohio secretary of state, challenging state laws and practices that require elections officials to compare voters’ signatures on absentee ballots and voter registration records without providing statewide standards therefor, and further reject any ballots with perceived signature mismatch issues without providing the voter with an opportunity to cure. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the state’s inconsistent signature matching procedures deny voters the freedom of association and the right to equal protection and unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, and that the failure to provide voters with adequate notice and sufficient opportunity to cure signature mismatch issues denies the right of procedural due process.

Status: Motion to intervene filed by Donald J. Trump for President, the Ohio Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, and National Republican Congressional Committee granted September 4, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied September 27, 2020


Ohio Democratic Party v. LaRoseNo. 20CV4997 (Ohio Ct. Common Pleas, Franklin Cnty.); 20AP000421 (Ct. of App. of Ohio, 10th Appellate Dist.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Electronic Transmission of Ballot Application (Covid-19)

The Ohio Democratic Party and an individual voter sued the Ohio secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s refusal to permit voters to apply for absentee ballots by emailing images of their absentee ballot applications to their respective county boards of elections. The amended complaint alleges violations of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Ohio Constitution and seeks a declaration that existing state law (Ohio Revised Code 3509.03) does not prohibit qualified electors from submitting ballot applications via electronic mail, and further that the law affords qualified electors have a right to do so.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction and expedited schedule filed July 31, 2020; Amended complaint filed August 4, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed August 11, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. August 17, 2020; Preliminary injunction granted September 11, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 11, 2020; Secretary of state’s motion to stay filed September 11, 2020; Intervenor defendants’ motion to dismiss filed September 14, 2020; Preliminary injunction stayed by Court of Appeals of Ohio September 11, 2020; Preliminary injunction reversed by the Court of Appeals of Ohio September 29, 2020; Decisions on motions scheduled for July 2, 2021


Ohio Democratic Party v. LaRose, No. 20 CV 5634 (Ohio Ct. Common Pleas, Franklin Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Dropbox Availability (Covid-19)

The Ohio Democratic Party and an individual voter sued the Ohio secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s directive prohibiting county boards of elections from providing more than one ballot drop box per county, which drop box must be located directly outside of each county board of elections’ office. The complaint seeks a declaration that the relevant state statute does not limit the number and locations of secure drop boxes that county boards may provide to the voters of their respective counties.

Status: Complaint filed August 25, 2020; Order issued September 15, 2020, declaring that Ohio law permits county boards of election to obtain and use ballot drop boxes and that the secretary’s prohibition on the use of more than one drop box per county or placing drop boxes at locations separate from board offices is “arbitrary and unreasonable”; Order to show cause for contempt filed by plaintiffs September 16, 2020; Order granting preliminary injunction and stay pending appeal issued September 16, 2020; Notice of appeal filed September 16, 2020; Order issued by Court of Appeals of Ohio October 2, 2020, affirming in part and reversing in part, holding that the Ohio law “neither prescribes nor prohibits ballot drop boxes at locations other than the boards of elections,” while reversing the lower court’s preliminary injunction, as the secretary “was not statutorily required to…allow for additional drop boxes.”

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Oklahoma

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee v. Ziriax, No. 4:20-cv-211 (N.D. Okla.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Receipt Deadline, Voter Assistance Restrictions, Notary/Witness & Photo ID Requirements, Prepaid Postage (Covid-19)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Oklahoma Democratic Party sued the secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board and other OSEB members, challenging state laws that (1) reject absentee ballots unaccompanied by a notarized affidavit, subject to limited exceptions; (2) require all other voters who wish to cast an absentee ballot to send copy of an approved photo ID with the ballot; (3) require postage to be provided by anyone who wishes to cast an absentee ballot via mail; (4) reject any ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day, irrespective of the postmark; (5) impose criminal penalties for helping a voter obtain an absentee ballot; (6) prohibit anyone from helping a voter mail an absentee ballot; and (7) make it a felony offense to assist more than 10 voters in returning sealed absentee ballots. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the laws unduly burden the right to vote, impose a poll tax, deny due process, and abridge free speech and associational rights.

Status: Motion to dismiss improper parties and dismiss or transfer venue denied August 4, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied September 17, 2020

 

 

 

 

Pennsylvania

Barnette v. Lawrence, No. 2:20-cv-5477 (E.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Pre-Canvassing, Notice & Opportunity to Cure; Ballot Counting; Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

A congressional candidate and an individual voter sued the Montgomery County Board of Elections, its chair, vice chair and director of mail-in voting, challenging the pre-canvassing of absentee and mail-in ballots prior to 7:00 a.m. on Election Day and the practice of notifying and providing voters with an opportunity to cure perceived ballot defects. The complaint alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ alleged actions “place[d] Montgomery County mail-in and absentee voters on a pedestal,” thus depriving other voters of equal protection.

Status: Complaint and motion for temporary restraining order filed November 3, 2020; Motion for TRO withdrawn November 5, 2020; Case voluntarily dismissed November 11, 2020


Bognet v. Boockvar, No. 3:20-cv-215 (W.D. Pa.), No. 20-3214 (3d Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Receipt Deadline, Timely Postmark Presumption (Covid-19)

A congressional candidate and four individual voters sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth and the boards of elections of each Pennsylvania county, challenging the extension of the absentee ballot receipt deadline and presumption that ballots received by 5:00 p.m. on November 6, 2020, were timely mailed, even if they lack a postmark, both of which were ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar, below. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, in that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision changes the date of the elections for Congress and Presidential electors and usurps state legislative authority to determine the state laws concerning federal elections.

Status: Complaint filed October 22, 2020; Secretary of state’s motion to transfer case to Hon. Nicholas Ranjan denied October 26, 2020; Democratic National Committee’s motion to intervene granted October 26, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied October 28, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 29, 2020; Motion for expedited briefing schedule denied by Third Circuit October 30, 2020; Denial of temporary restraining order affirmed by the Third Circuit November 13, 2020


Bolus v. Boockvar, No. 3:20-cv-1882 (M.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Poll Watcher Access & Residency Restriction, In-Person Return to Satellite Offices and Drop Boxes, Naked Ballots (Covid-19)

An individual sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth and every county board of election, challenging the use of “unmonitored mail-in voting,” and the “[d]anger of unpredictable human error related to mail-in voting,” which allegedly caused the disposal of  nine military absentee ballots, seven of which had been cast for Donald J. Trump. The complaint alleges violations of the Pennsylvania’s election code and the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions, and seeks an order prohibiting in-person return of absentee and mail-in ballots to drop boxes or satellite offices, requiring the rejection of ballots lacking the inner secrecy envelope, and enjoining the poll watcher residency restriction.

Status: Complaint filed October 13, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 27, 2020; Case dismissed with prejudice November 23, 2020


In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 201100874 (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.), No. 1136 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 31 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.) No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and an individual voter sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s decision to count 1,211 absentee and mail-in ballots that were signed but lacked other identifying information. The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and seeks an order reversing the Board’s decision and directing that the ballots in question not be counted.

Status: Notice of appeal via petition for review filed November 10, 2020; Petition to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee November 12, 2020; Petition for review denied November 13, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 14, 2020; Transferred to Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 18, 2020; Lower court decision affirmed November 23, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite filed in U.S. Supreme Court December 20, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 201100875 (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.), No. 1137 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 32 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and an individual voter sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s decision to count 1,259 ballots “that were completed except for the date of the signature.” The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and seeks an order reversing the Board’s decision and directing that the ballots in question not be counted.

Status: Notice of appeal via petition for review filed November 10, 2020; Petition to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee November 12, 2020; Petition for review denied November 13, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 14, 2020; Transferred to Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 18, 2020; Lower court decision affirmed November 23, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 20, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 201100876 (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.), No. 1138 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 33 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and an individual voter sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s decision to count 553 ballots that were completed “with signature, date and street address and are missing the printed name of the voter.” The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and seeks an order reversing the Board’s decision and directing that the ballots in question not be counted.

Status: Notice of appeal via petition for review filed November 10, 2020; Petition to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee November 12, 2020; Petition for review denied November 13, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 14, 2020; Transferred to Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 18, 2020; Lower court decision affirmed November 23, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 20, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 201100877 (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.), No. 1139 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 34 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and an individual voter sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s decision to count 866 ballots that “had the signature of the voter as well as the date of signature and the printed name of the elector [but were] missing the street address of the voter.” The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and seeks an order reversing the Board’s decision and directing that the ballots in question not be counted.

Status: Notice of appeal via petition for review filed November 10, 2020; Petition to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee November 12, 2020; Petition for review denied November 13, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 14, 2020; Transferred to Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 18, 2020; Lower court decision affirmed November 23, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 20, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 201100878 (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.), No. 1140 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 35 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and an individual voter sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s decision to count 4, 466 ballots that were completed with the voter’s signature and the date of signing but were “missing the printed name and the street address.” The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and seeks an order reversing the Board’s decision and directing that the ballots in question not be counted.

Status: Notice of appeal via petition for review filed November 10, 2020; Petition to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee November 12, 2020; Petition for review denied November 13, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 14, 2020; Transferred to Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 18, 2020; Lower court decision affirmed November 23, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 20, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


In re Canvassing Observation, No. 201107003 (Ct. Common Pleas, Philadelphia- Election Court); No. 1094 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct.); No. 30 EAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.); Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)

Re: Poll Watcher Access (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign sued the City of Philadelphia challenging limitations on poll watchers’ ability to observe absentee ballot processing and counting.

Status: Oral motion to allow closer observation of ballot canvassing denied November 3, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 4, 2020; Order issued by Commonwealth Court November 5, 2020, reversing and remanding to Court of Common Pleas with instructions to enter an order “requiring that all candidates, watchers or candidate representatives be permitted to be present for the canvassing process pursuant to [the Pennsylvania Election Code] and be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols”; Appellate order reversed and trial court order reinstated by Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 17, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 20, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. DeJoy, No. 2:20-cv-4096 (E.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Practices (Covid-19)

The Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the States of California, Delaware, Maine, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia sued the postmaster general, the chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, and the U.S. Postal Service, challenging several of the USPS’s recent operational and policy changes, including prohibiting late or extra trips by postal workers, requiring carriers to rigidly adhere to start and stop timelines regardless of whether all mail for their route has arrived or been delivered, and limiting the use of overtime, all of which impact delivery of election mail. The complaint alleges violations of the Postal Reorganization Act and of the Elections Clause, Electors Clause, and the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that the changes impact service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis but were made without first submitting a proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission, without giving “the highest consideration to the requirement for the most expeditious collection, transportation and delivery of important letter mail,” have interfered with how plaintiffs have exercised their constitutional authority to set the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives,” and to appoint presidential electors, and are intended to interfere with plaintiffs’ “ability to count votes cast by mail and to make voters in Plaintiff states, especially senior citizens, less willing to vote by mail.”

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction granted September 28, 2020; Order granting, in part, defendants’ motion to clarify issued October 9, 2020; Plaintiffs’ motion for appointment of an independent monitor denied without prejudice October 21, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 27, 2020; Appeal voluntarily dismissed January 20, 2021


Crossey v. Boockvar, No. 108-MM-2020; (S. Ct. Pa.); 266-MD-2020 (Commonwealth Ct. of Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail, Prepaid Postage, Ballot Receipt Deadline, Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure, Voter Assistance Ban (Covid-19)

Individual voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth and the director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries, challenging state laws and practices which require that voters provide their own postage on mail-in ballots, reject any mailed ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, fail to afford voters with notice and an opportunity to cure any perceived signature mismatch issues, and, with limited exceptions, prohibit third parties from helping voters to return ballots. The complaint alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Free and Equal Elections and Equal Protection Clauses and violations of due process, in that the challenged laws and practices fail to implement adequate safeguards to protect the right to vote, in person and by mail, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, substantially burden the right to vote, and disproportionately burden the right of certain groups to vote, including but not limited to, voters who are especially vulnerable to Covid-19 infection, minority voters, rural voters, and voters with limited financial means.

Status: Complaint transferred June 17, 2020; Amended petition filed July 13, 2020; Opinion and order issued September 17, 2020, dismissing postage claim as moot (in light of the secretary’s announcement that the state will provide funding to county boards for pre-paid postage), denying the voter assistance claim, and dismissing as moot the challenge to the election day receipt deadline, in light of the Court’s decision in Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar, below.


Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 2:20-cv-966 (W.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Dropbox Availability, Temporary/Mobile Ballot Return Locations, “Naked Ballots,” Ballot Verification & Signature Matching Procedures, Double Voting, Voter Assistance; Poll Watcher Residency Requirement; Potential for Fraud (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign, individual voters, the Republican National Committee, and others sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth and the Board of Election for each Pennsylvania county, challenging the counties’ regulations and implementation of the Commonwealth’s new “vote-by-mail” law and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, among other things, prohibiting the return of absentee ballots to “unmanned” drop boxes, mandating uniform ballot verification and signature matching, permitting poll watchers to be present in all locations where votes are cast or counted, and prohibiting voters from voting in person if they have already cast an absentee ballot. The second amended complaint alleges violations of Art. I, § 4 and Art. II, § 1 and of the 1st and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and of the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Equal Protection and Free and Equal Elections Clauses, in that the challenged practices infringe upon the right to vote through invalid enactment of regulations of the time, place, and manner of election, deny equal protection by disparately treating non-disabled absentee/mail-in voters among different counties, and infringe upon the right to vote through failure to sufficiently safeguard against dilution of vote by fraud or tampering, and infringe on the right to vote through “improper voting at polling places.”

Status: Motions to intervene granted August 3, 2020; Motions to compel granted August 13, 2020; Motions to dismiss granted in part and case stayed August 23, 2020; Motion to modify stay order and for limited preliminary injunction denied September 8, 2020; Stay lifted September 17, 2020, in light of decision in Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar, below; Orders setting forth the scope of remaining claims issued September 23, 2020; Second amended complaint filed September 23, 2020; Motion for summary judgment filed by plaintiffs October 1, 2020; Motion for summary judgment filed by Washington County Board of Elections October 2, 2020; Motions for summary judgment filed by Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future/Sierra ClubAllegheny County Board of Electionsand others October 3, 2020; Order granting defendants and intervenors’ motions for summary judgment, denying plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and dismissing the case issued October 10, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 602 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail ID Requirement, Notice & Opportunity to Cure; Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth and every county board of election, challenging the secretary’s guidance, issued on November 1, 2020, allowing county boards to count absentee ballots that arrive lacking the required proof of identification if the voter provides verified proof of identification by Thursday, November 12. The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code, in that the law states that ballots shall not be counted if a voter’s identification is not received by the 6th day following the election (i.e, November 9) and seeks a declaration that county boards of elections may not permit absentee and mail-in voters an opportunity to provide missing proof of identification on or after November 8, and/or may not count ballots for which identification is not received and verified by November 9, 2020.

Status: Petition filed November 4, 2020; Order requiring counties to segregate ballots for which identification is received between November 9 through 12 issued November 5, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee granted November 12, 2020; Order enjoining county boards of elections from counting any segregated ballots issued November 12, 2020 upon finding that the Secretary lacked the authority to change the deadline for electors to verify proof of identification


Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 4:20-cv-2078 (M.D. Pa.), No. 20-3371 (3d Cir.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Pre-Canvassing, Election Day Receipt Deadline, Naked Ballots, Notification of Rejected Ballots, Ballot Spoilage, Ballot Distribution; In-Person Voting via Provisional Ballots; Poll Watcher Access; Double-Voting; Fraud Allegations; Certification Challenge (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign and two individual voters sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth, and the boards of elections of seven Pennsylvania counties, challenging, among other things, the access given to poll watchers, the timing of pre-canvassing activities, and notifying and allowing voters who returned defective absentee or mail ballots to vote by provisional ballot. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Electors Clauses of and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ actions impermissibly alter the time, place and/or manner of holding elections, are fundamentally unfair, promote fraud, treat voters differently based on their county of residence, and dilute plaintiffs’ votes, thus denying their due process and equal protection rights.

Status: Complaint filed November 9, 2020; Motions to intervene filed by NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, Common Cause Pennsylvania, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, and others and by Democratic National Committee granted November 12, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by private citizen denied November 12, 2020; Motions to dismiss filed November 12, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction and motions to dismiss filed November 12, 2020; Trump campaign motion to compel defendants to respond immediately to discovery requests filed November 13, 2020; Amended complaint and motion to dismiss amended complaint filed November 15, 2020; Oral argument heard November 17, 2020; Trump campaign’s order to show cause alleging harassment denied November 18, 2020; Motion for leave to file second amended complaint denied, motion to dismiss granted and case dismissed with prejudice November 21, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 22, 2020; Emergency motion for expedited review filed in the 3rd Circuit November 22, 2020; Defendants’ motion for clarification denied and plaintiffs’ amended motion for emergency expedited review granted November 23, 2020; Order affirming dismissal issued by Third Circuit November 27, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Bucks County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election), No. 2020-5786 (Ct. Common Pleas, Bucks Cnty, Pa.), No. 1191 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting, Election Day Receipt Deadline, Ballot Defects (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, and the campaigns for Republican candidates for Attorney General and Treasurer of Pennsylvania sued the Bucks County Board of Elections, challenging the counting of 2,175 allegedly defective absentee and mail-in ballots. The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Elections Code, in that the challenged ballots, variously, were received after 8:00 p.m. on election day, lacked a hand-printed name, address, date, or contained a partial address, a mismatched address.

Status: Petition filed November 9, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic National Committee November 11, 2020; Stipulation conceding, among other things, that the Trump campaign was not alleging, nor did they have any evidence of fraud, misconduct, impropriety, nor undue influence entered into by the parties November 16, 2020; Order dismissing case issued November 19, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 20, 2020; Dismissal affirmed by Commonwealth Court November 25, 2020; Emergency petition for appeal denied by Pennsylvania Supreme Court December 8, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Montgomery County Board of Elections, No. 2020-18680 (Ct. Common Pleas, Montgomery Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Verification & Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, Heidelbaugh for Attorney General, and others sued the Montgomery County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s canvassing and counting of 592 absentee and mail-in ballots whose outer secrecy envelopes are missing information or the voter’s signature. The petition alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code, in that ballots that are not fully completed must be voided and not counted.

Status: Petition for review of decision filed November 5, 2020; Petition to intervene filed by the Democratic National Committee granted November 6, 2020; Petition for review denied November 13, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 16, 2020; Appeal withdrawn November 19, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., v. Philadelphia County Board of Elections, No. 02035 (Ct. Common Pleas, Philadelphia Cnty.)

Re: Poll Watchers (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, Commissioner Lisa M. Deeley, and others, seeking an order requiring defendants to “permit representatives of the Campaign to enter and remain in the satellite election offices to serve as [poll] watchers.”

Status: Petition for emergency election relief denied October 9, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 9, 2020; Order affirmed by Commonwealth Court October 27, 2020


Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Philadelphia County Board of Elections, No. 2:20-cv-5533 (E.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Poll Watcher Access, Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s failure to allow poll watchers sufficient access to observe absentee and mail-in counting processes. The complaint and motion for emergency injunction alleges violations of the order issued by the Commonwealth Court on November 5, allowing poll watchers to observe within 6 feet and seeks an order to stop the counting of ballots until Republican poll watchers are given sufficient access.

Status: Complaint filed, hearing held and case settled November 5, 2020; Motion for leave to withdraw filed by plaintiff’s attorney January 7, 2021, alleging that the plaintiff “has used the lawyer’s services to perpetrate a crime”; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed January 8, 2021


Drenth v. Boockvar, No. 1:20-cv-829 (M.D. Penn.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Distribution, Disability Access (Covid-19)

The National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania and its first vice president sued the secretary and the Department of State, challenging the Commonwealth’s absentee and mail-in ballot process and laws, which require that all such ballots cast by civilians who live in the Commonwealth be filled out by hand and returned by mail. Members of the military have the option of applying for and receiving their mail-in ballots online, an option that plaintiffs urge should also be made available to blind voters. The complaint alleges violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in that the laws and practices deny qualified individuals an equal opportunity to access the benefits, programs, or activities of a public entity.

Status: Preliminary injunction granted May 27, 2020; Defendant’s motion for summary judgment granted August 18, 2020 following agreement that a remote ballot marking system will be implemented for the November 2020 general election


Hamm v. BoockvarNo. 600 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notice & Opportunity to Cure; Provisional Ballots; Voter Information Records (Covid-19)

Two GOP political candidates and four individual voters sued the Pennsylvania secretary of state, challenging the secretary’s guidance, issued on November 2, 2020, providing that county boards of elections “should provide information to party and candidate representatives during the pre-canvass that identifies the voters whose ballots have been rejected,” and reiterates earlier guidance that voters whose absentee and mail-in ballots are rejected “for reasons unrelated to voter qualifications may be issued a provisional ballot.” The complaint alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code, in that the law does not explicitly permit the curing of defective ballots, and explicitly prohibits the disclosure of “the results of any portion of any pre-canvass meeting prior to the close of the polls” and further seeks an order enjoining the secretary from permitting voters to cure defective mail and absentee ballots by submitting provisional ballots, and further from disclosing identifying information about voters who have submitted defective ballots.

Status: Complaint filed November 3, 2020; Order issued November 6, 2020, providing that provisional ballots cast on Election Day where the voter’s absentee or mail-in ballot was timely received be segregated from other provisional ballots, pending compliance with the statutory procedures for verifying the validity of provisional ballots, denying all other requested relief and staying the matter pending further order


Johnakin v. U.S. Postal Service, No. 2:20-cv-4055 (E.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Postal Service Delivery, Ballot Receipt Deadline (Covid-19)

An individual voter and independent Congressional candidate sued the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”), the Postmaster General, and the President, in connection with a state law that rejects absentee ballots that are not received by 8:00 p.m. on election day, and challenging defendants’ actions, which have disrupted mail delivery and created obstacles to the timely return and receipt of Pennsylvanians’ absentee ballots in the upcoming November general election. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants actions infringe upon plaintiff’s right to vote and deprive him of equal protection and seeks a declaratory judgment requiring that absentee ballots be counted if received within seven days of election day, as well as temporary and permanent injunctions enjoining defendants from engaging in further conduct that will delay the delivery of election mail.

Status: Complaint filed August 19, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction filed September 18, 2020; Settled October 8, 2020; Stipulation of dismissal filed November 25, 2020


Judicial Watch v. Pennsylvania, No. 1:20-cv-708 (M.D. Pa.)

Re: Voter List Maintenance

Judicial Watch, Inc., sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the secretary of the commonwealth, and others, challenging several counties’ relatively low rate of voter purges. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, in that defendants have failed to make reasonable efforts to cancel the voter registrations of registrants who are ineligible to vote in Pennsylvania’s federal elections and have failed to make requested records available to plaintiff.

Status: Motion to dismiss filed July 10, 2020; Order staying discovery until after the November 3 election issued August 3, 2020; Common Cause Pennsylvania and League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania permitted to intervene November 19, 2020


Kelly v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 620 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 68 MAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.), Nos. 20A98, 20-810 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse Requirement; Election Certification (Covid-19)

Republican state and federal congressional candidates and individual voters sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania General Assembly and others, challenging the constitutionality of Act 77, which allows all qualified Pennsylvanians to vote by mail without providing an excuse. The petition alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Constitution, in that Act 77 “attempts to vastly expand the exceptions to [in person] voting requirements beyond what is presently authorized under the Pennsylvania Constitution” and seeks an injunction prohibiting defendants from certifying the results of Pennsylvania’s General Elections on a state-wide basis and instead “compels Defendants to certify the results of the election based solely on the legal votes or, alternatively, directs that Pennsylvania’s General Assembly choose Pennsylvania’s electors.”  

Status: Petition for review filed November 21, 2020; Order issued November 25, 2020, preliminarily enjoining defendants from taking “any further action to perfect the certification of the results of the 2020 General Election for the offices of President and Vice President,” and from certifying the remaining results of the election pending a hearing scheduled for Friday, 11/27; Notice of appeal filed November 25, 2020; Order vacating the Commonwealth Court’s preliminary injunction and dismissing the case with prejudice issued by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania November 28, 2020; Emergency application for a writ of injunction filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 1, 2020; Withdrawal of U.S. Supreme Court injunction application and emergency application for a stay of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s 11/28 order filed December 2, 2020; emergency application for a stay denied by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on December 3, 2020; Second application for injunctive relief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 3, 2020; Injunctive relief denied by U.S. Supreme Court December 8, 2020; Petition for writ of certiorari and motion to expedite consideration filed in U.S. Supreme Court December 11, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, No. 2:20-cv-3850 (E.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, and two individual voters sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth, the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries and others, challenging the state’s signature verification process and its failure to provide voters with notice and an opportunity to cure missing or mismatched signatures on voted ballots. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the state’s failures unduly burden the fundamental right to vote, and deprive mail-in voters of equal protection and the fundamental right to vote without providing due process.

Status: Complaint filed August 7, 2020; Republican Committees’ motion to intervene filed September 1, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed September 14, 2020 in response to guidance issued by the Secretary of the Commonwealth stating that “The Pennsylvania Election Code does not authorize the county board of elections to set aside returned absentee or mail-in ballots based solely on signature analysis by the county board of elections.”


Metcalfe v. Wolf, No. 636 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notice & Opportunity to Cure, Pre-Canvassing, Provisional Ballots, Poll Watcher Access, Election Audit, Certification Challenge (Covid-19)

Eleven individual voters sued the Pennsylvania governor, the secretary of the commonwealth, and Pennsylvania’s Democratic presidential electors, challenging alleged “election violations and irregularities,” and defendants’ failure to implement the recommendations of the December 2019 “performance audit report” in time for the November 2020 election. The amended complaint alleges violations of Pennsylvania’s election code and seeks an order prohibiting certification of the commonwealth’s election results.    

Status: Complaint filed December 4, 2020; Amended complaint and application for emergency relief filed December 7, 2020; Emergency application denied December 9, 2020; Plaintiffs withdrew the action December 10, 2020


In re Motion for Injunctive Relief of Northampton County Republican Committee, No. C-48-CV-2020-6915 (Ct. Common Pleas, Northampton Cnty., Pa.), No. 1100 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Record Disclosure, Notice/Opportunity to Cure via Provisional Ballots (Covid-19)

The Northampton County Republican Committee sued to block the local election board from disclosing the identity of voters whose ballots were rejected in order to offer them an opportunity to cast provisional ballots.

Status: Oral motion denied November 5, 2020; Notice of appeal filed November 5, 2020; Appeal withdrawn November 6, 2020


NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference v. Boockvar, No. 364-MD-2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Request & Receipt Deadlines, Ballot Distribution, In-Person Polling Place Availability, Voting Safety Measures (Covid-19)

The NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth and the director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries, challenging the Commonwealth’s failures to take appropriate steps to protect voters from the Covid-19 pandemic, and policies that prevent voters from casting ballots, such as reducing the number of polling places without providing adequate notice to voters, employing touchscreen voting machines, failing to timely provide requested absentee and mail-in ballots, rejecting ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, and failing to allow for early voting. The petition alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Free and Equal Elections Clause, in that the challenged laws and practices severely burden the right to vote during the pandemic and severely and disproportionately burden racial minorities’ right to vote during the pandemic.

Status: Petition filed June 18, 2020; Dismissed September 11, 2020


National Election Defense Coalition v. Boockvar, No. 674 MD 2019 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.)

Re: In-Person Voting: Electronic Voting Machines

The National Election Defense Coalition, Citizens for Better Elections and individual voters sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth, challenging the secretary’s certification of the “ExpressVote XL” electronic voting machine, which plaintiffs contend is insecure, unreliable, and inaccessible to users with disabilities. The amended complaint alleges violations of multiple sections of the Pennsylvania Election Code and Article 1, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, in that the machines fail to “[p]rovide acceptable ballot security procedures and impoundment of ballots to prevent tampering with or substitution of any ballots or ballot cards,” fail to routinely and consistently “record[ ] correctly and compute[ ] and tabulate[] accurately every valid vote registered, are not “suitably designed and equipped to be capable of absolute accuracy,” fail to ensure “voting in absolute secrecy,” are inaccessible to persons with disabilities, fail to adhere to the Election Code’s ballot formatting requirements, and deny voters’ right to participate in free and equal elections and their right to the free exercise of suffrage, and discriminate against the civil right to vote.

Status: Amended complaint filed February 4, 2020; Discovery stayed May 1, 2020; Application to expedite denied June 16, 2020; Oral argument held October 15, 2020


In re November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 149 MM 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.);  Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, No. 20-845 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching (Covid-19)

The Pennsylvania secretary of state filed a King’s Bench Application with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, seeking a declaration as to whether state law “authorizes or requires county election boards to reject voted absentee or mail-in ballots…based on signature analysis where there are alleged or perceived signature variances.”

Status: Order issued October 14, 2020, permitting intervention by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, the Republican National Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee and agreeing to decide the issue presented; Order prohibiting the rejection of absentee or mail-in ballots “based on signature comparison conducted by county election officials or employees, or as the result of third-party challenges based on signature analysis and comparisons” issued by Pennsylvania Supreme Court October 23, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion to expedite filed in the U.S. Supreme Court December 20, 2020; Motion to expedite consideration denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021; Petition for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


Parnell v. Allegheny County Board of Elections, No. 2:20-cv-1570 (W.D. Penn.)

Re: Poll Watchers, Duplicate Ballot Issuance (Covid-19)

Two congressional candidates “on behalf of all citizen electors in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania,” and two aspiring poll watchers sued the Allegheny County Board of Elections, the County Executive of Allegheny County, and two members of the Allegheny County Board of Elections, challenging the county’s failure to grant poll watcher certificates to two voters who requested them, and further challenging the county’s issuance of erroneous ballots and its reissuance of official, non-provisional ballots to those voters. The amended complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants’ conduct deprives plaintiffs of equal protection, unduly burdens plaintiffs’ rights to challenge the mishandled ballots, and is unconstitutionally arbitrary.

Status: Complaint and motion for temporary restraining order filed October 16, 2020; Amended complaint and amended motion for temporary restraining order filed October 22, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Pennsylvania Democratic Party granted October 22, 2020; Order denying in part amended motion for temporary restraining order issued October 23, 2020; Dismissed pursuant to consent order October 26, 2020


Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar, No. 407 MD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct. Pa.); No. 133 MM 2020 (Pa. Sup. Ct.); Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, Nos. 20A54, 20-542 (S. Ct.); Scarnati v. Boockvar, No. 20A53, 20-574 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notice/Opportunity to Cure Ballot Defects, Receipt Deadline, Dropbox Availability; Poll Watchers (Covid-19)

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party and individual Democratic political candidates and incumbents sued the secretary of the commonwealth and 67 county boards of election challenging the commonwealth’s vote-by-mail regime, which as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic, results in large numbers of vote-by-mail ballots being rejected due, among other things, to minor defects, lack of secrecy envelopes, and receipt after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment and injunction and alleges violations of Article 1, §§ 5 and 28 and Article 7, § 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Pennsylvania Election Code in that the regime, as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic, denies voters the right to participate in a free and fair election and to equal protection. The complaint also seeks a declaratory judgment that the poll watcher residency requirement (currently being challenged in Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, above) does not violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Status: Order and opinion issued September 17, 2020: (1) holding that Pennsylvania law “permits county boards of election to collect hand-delivered mail-in ballots at locations other than their office addresses, including drop-boxes”; (2) ruling that otherwise valid mailed ballots postmarked by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day must be counted if received by 5:00 p.m. on November 6, and ballots with missing or illegible postmarks shall be treated as having been timely mailed if received by November 6, “unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that [they were] mailed after Election Day”; (3) finding the poll watcher residency requirement is constitutional; (4) denying the request to establish a notice and cure process for mail ballot defects; and (5) ruling that mail ballots lacking an inner secrecy envelope are invalid under the state election code; Application for stay by intervenor legislator respondents denied September 24, 2020; Emergency applications for stay of extension of ballot receipt deadline denied by U.S. Supreme Court October 19, 2020; Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration of petition for certiorari filed by Republican Party of Pennsylvania in U.S. Supreme Court October 23, 2020; Application for partial stay and modification of state court’s September 17 judgment filed by Republican Party of Pennsylvania in state supreme court on October 23, 2020; Letter notifying the Court of the state’s intention to segregate all mail-in and civilian absentee ballots received between 8:00 p.m. on November 3 and 5:00 p.m. on November 6 filed by Pennsylvania attorney general October 28, 2020; Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s motion for expedited consideration of its petition for a writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court October 28, 2020; Motion to intervene filed by the Trump Campaign November 4, 2020; Emergency application for injunction pending certiorari review filed by Republican Party of Pennsylvania November 6, 2020; Order issued by U.S. Supreme Court (Alito) requiring election boards to comply with the secretary of state’s guidance to segregate and separately count ballots received after Election Day, while declining to grant the Pennsylvania GOP’s request to stop counting such ballots; Oppositions to petitions for certiorari filed November 30, 2020; Petitions for writ of certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court February 22, 2021


Pennsylvania Voters Alliance v. Centre County, No. 4:20-cv-1761 (M.D. Pa.), No. 20-3175 (3d Cir.), No. 20-553 (S. Ct.)

Re: Election Funding (Covid-19)

The Pennsylvania Voters Alliance and 14 individual voters “who oppose the election of progressive candidates” sued Centre County, Delaware County and the City of Philadelphia, challenging defendants’ acceptance of more than $14 million in grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to help the city administer the November election. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Supremacy Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, of the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”), and the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), in that these jurisdictions acted “without legal authority, to form a public-private partnership for federal election administration with CTCL,” and that their actions are preempted by HAVA and the NVRA.

Status: Complaint filed September 25, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order filed September 28, 2020; Order dismissing case issued October 21, 2020; Notice of appeal filed October 22, 2020; Motion for injunction pending appeal denied by 3rd Circuit October 28, 2020; Petition for certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court January 11, 2021


Pirkle v. Wolf, No. 4:20-cv-2088 (M.D. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notice & Opportunity to Cure, Ballot Distribution, Double Voting, Vote-by-Mail Ballot Assistance, Election Fraud and Misconduct Allegations, Certification Challenge (Covid-19)

Four individual voters sued the Pennsylvania governor and secretary of the commonwealth, challenging the administration of the presidential election in four counties in which Joseph R. Biden received more votes than Donald J. Trump. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the “certification of presidential electors without excluding certain counties would violate plaintiffs’ fundamental right to vote by vote-dilution.”

Status: Complaint filed November 10, 2020; Motion to consolidate with Donald J. Trump v. Boockvar, No. 4:20-cv-2078 (M.D. Pa.), above, filed November 11, 2020; Motion for declaratory judgment and preliminary injunction filed November 12, 2020; Voluntarily dismissed November 16, 2020


In re Pre-Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 General Election, No. 2020-5627 (Ct. Common Pleas, Bucks Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Record Request Disclosure, Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

The Trump campaign appealed a decision of the Bucks County Board of Elections, which denied the campaign’s objection to the disclosure of the identity of voters whose ballots had been rejected in the pre-canvass review, consistent with guidance issued by the secretary of state. The petition for review alleges violations of Pennsylvania statutes and the U.S. Constitution, in that Pennsylvania law prohibits the disclosure of the “results of any pre-canvass meeting prior to the close of the polls,” and that the secretary’s guidance changes the time, place, or manner of a federal election, thus usurping legislative authority.

Status: Notice of appeal via petition for review filed November 3, 2020; Order dismissing case issued November 4, 2020


Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Boockvar, No. 1:20-cv-1905 (M.D. Pa.)

Re: Voter List Purges (Covid-19)

The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth, challenging the secretary’s alleged failure to remove deceased voters from Pennsylvania’s voter registration rolls. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, in that the secretary has failed to conduct required voter list maintenance.

Status: Complaint filed October 15, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 19, 2020; Amended complaint filed November 5, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed November 19, 2020


Public Interest Legal Foundation v. VoyeNo. 2:20-cv-279 (W.D. Pa.)

Re: Voter List Purges

The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued the manager of elections for Allegheny County and the members of the Allegheny County Board of Elections, challenging defendants’ alleged failure to remove from the voter registration list the names of deceased individuals and those who have changed address. The complaint alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires election officials to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters by reason of” death or change of address.

Status: Complaint filed February 24, 2020; Joint stipulation of dismissal filed May 18, 2020


In re Tuesday, November 3, 2020 General ElectionNo. CV-2020-008086 (Ct. Common Pleas, Delaware Cnty.)

Re: Election Certification Challenge (Covid-19)

Status: Petition denied November 24, 2020


Woodruff v. Philadelphia County Board of Elections, No. 201002188 (Ct. Common Pleas Philadelphia)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Application Deadline, Ballot Counting & Replacement Ballots

The minority inspector of Ward 54, Division 8 in Philadelphia sued the Philadelphia County Board of Elections and three city commissioners, challenging the issuance of absentee and mail-in ballots requested after the statutory deadline of October 27 and respondents’ issuance of replacement mail-in and absentee ballots to voters who have requested but not received absentee or mail-in ballots, rather than requiring them to cast provisional ballots. The amended petition for a writ of mandamus alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code, in that respondents are accepting applications after the statutory deadline and seeks to disqualify ballots obtained by belatedly submitted applications.

Status: Petition denied November 2, 2020


Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re 2,349 Ballots in the 2020 General Election), No. GD-20-11654 (Ct. Common Pleas, Allegheny Cnty.), No. 1162 CD 2020 (Commonwealth Ct., Pa.), No. 29 WAP 2020 (Sup. Ct. Pa.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

A state senatorial candidate sued the Allegheny County Board of Elections, challenging the canvassing of 2,349 ballots for which voters failed to write the date next to their signature on the declaration envelope. The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code, in that ballots with undated declarations are defective.

Status: Petition for review filed November 12, 2020; Order dismissing appeal and affirming the decision of the Board of Elections issued November 18, 2020; Order reversing lower court’s dismissal and remanding for further proceedings issued by Commonwealth Court November 19, 2020; Order reversing the Commonwealth Court’s order and affirming the decision of the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas’ issued by Pennsylvania Supreme Court November 23, 2020


Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections, No. GD-20-11793 (Ct. Common Pleas, Allegheny Cnty.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

A state senatorial candidate sued the Allegheny County Board of Elections, challenging the canvassing of approximately 300 provisional ballots on which voters signed their names once instead of twice. The petition for review alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Election Code and seeks to throw out the challenged ballots.

Status: Petition for review filed November 16, 2020; Pennsylvania Democratic Party and opposing candidate permitted to intervene November 17, 2020; Order dismissing appeal and affirming the decision of the Board of Elections issued November 18, 2020


Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections, No. 2:20-cv-1831 (W.D. Pa)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

A state senatorial candidate sued the Allegheny County Board of Elections, its members, and the Pennsylvania secretary of state, challenging the order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re 2,349 Ballots in the 2020 General Election), above, and seeking to prohibit the inclusion of 2,349 signed but undated mail-in ballots in the results of the state’s election. The complaint alleges violations of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in that defendants and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court caused similarly situated voters to be treated differently and caused valid votes to be diluted, thus depriving plaintiffs of due process and the fundamental right to vote.

Status: Complaint filed and motion for temporary restraining order denied November 25, 2020; Motion for summary judgment filed by plaintiff December 23, 2020; Motions to dismiss filed December 30, 2020; Judgment in favor of defendants issued January 12, 2021


Ziccarelli v. Westmoreland County Board of Elections (a.k.a. In re 2020 General Election Provisional Ballot Challenges), No. 4152 of 2020 (Ct. of Common Pleas, Westmoreland Cnty., Pa.)

Re: Provisional & Naked Ballot Counting (Covid-19)

A state senatorial candidate sued the Westmoreland County Board of Elections, challenging the Board’s decision to count ballots of voters of provisional ballots who were erroneously instructed to sign the poll book, and their decision to count nine ballots that were missing the inner secrecy envelope. The petition for review alleges violations of Pennsylvania statute, in that the Board failed to confirm that the poll book signature provisional ballot electors did not vote twice, and applied inconsistent standards to ballots lacking secrecy envelopes.

Status: Petition for review filed November 18, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puerto Rico

Ocasio v. Comisión Estatal de Elecciones, No. 3:20-cv-1432 (D.P.R.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail & Early Voting Excuse Requirements (Covid-19)

Individual voters sued the Comisión Estatal de Elecciones and its president, challenging Puerto Rico’s laws limiting the availability of absentee and early in-person voting to those who qualify for certain enumerated excuses, which do not include allowances for senior citizens, or those who suffer from pre-existing health conditions that render them particularly vulnerable to exposure to Covid-19, or are temporarily living or working outside of Puerto Rico on election day. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged restrictions unduly burden the right to vote.

Status: Amended motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order granted in part and denied in part on September 14, 2020, granting the right to vote early by mail to all voters aged 60 and over and extending the deadline to request absentee ballots for those voters, while denying plaintiffs’ request to direct defendants to provide a list identifying voters over sixty years of age; Order issued September 23, 2020, converting preliminary injunction into a permanent injunction

 

 

 

 

Rhode Island

Common Cause Rhode Island v. Gorbea, No. 1:20-cv-318 (D.R.I.); No. 20-1753 (1st Cir.); No. 20A28 (S. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notary/Witness Requirement (Covid-19)

Common Cause Rhode Island, the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island, and 3 individual voters sued the Rhode Island secretary of state and members of the Rhode Island Board of Elections, challenging a state law requiring that mail-in ballots be signed by a notary or two witnesses. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in that, as applied during the Covid-19 pandemic, the notary/witness requirement unduly burdens the right to vote, and that defendants have failed to make reasonable modifications to the notary/witness requirement to avoid discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Status: Republican National Committee’s motion to intervene denied, then reversed in part by 1st Circuit August 10, 2020; Consent decree entered July 30, 2020, providing that the witness/notary requirement will be suspended for the September 8, 2020, primary election and the November 3, 2020, general election; Republican National Committee’s motions to stay the consent decree denied by 1st Circuit August 10, 2020, and by SCOTUS August 13, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina

League of Women Voters of South Carolina v. Andino, No. 2:20-cv-3537 (D.S.C.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Signature Matching, Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

The League of Women Voters of South Carolina, the Family Unit, Inc., and an individual voter sued the South Carolina secretary of state, the Director of Voter Services of the South Carolina State Election Commission, and others, challenging a state law requiring rejection of absentee ballots that are missing the voter’s signature on the outside of the ballot envelope, and reported state practice of conducting signature comparison, despite not being required by law, in both cases, failing to afford voters with notice and an opportunity to cure defects prior to rejection. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the challenged provisions deny voters the right to vote by absentee ballot without affording due process, and unduly burden the right to vote.

Status: Complaint filed October 2, 2020; Second amended complaint filed October 9, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part on October 27, 2020, enjoining the state and its affiliate counting boards from utilizing signature matching procedures to disqualify otherwise validly-submitted ballots unless affected voters are provided timely notice and a timely procedure to contest the determination before a neutral tribunal and holding that “[a]ny validly completed absentee ballots shall be processed without the use of signature matching procedures unless the county board has first obtained approval of the court of its procedures to provide timely notice and timely opportunity to contest a determination that the voter’s signature is not genuine”; Notice of appeal filed by defendants October 27, 2020; Order issued by 4th Circuit October 29, 2020, staying the portion of the district court’s order requiring that voters be provided with notice and an opportunity to cure perceived signature mismatches, while retaining the portion of the order that enjoins the use of signature matching.


Middleton v. Andino, No. 3:20-cv-1730 (D.S.C.); No. 20-2022 (4th Cir.); No. 20A55 (Sup. Ct.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Excuse & Witness Requirements, Prepaid Postage, Ballot Receipt Deadline, Voter Assistance Restrictions (Covid-19)

Individual South Carolina voters, the South Carolina Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, and others sued the executive director, the chair, and various other members of the South Carolina State Election Commission, challenging state laws that, variously, restrict who can vote by absentee ballot by age (unless a statutorily enumerated excuse is provided), require a witness signature on such ballot envelopes, require paid postage to cast a ballot, restrict who can assist a voter with returning a ballot, and reject any ballot received after 7 p.m. on Election Day. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st, 14th, 24th, and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and §§ 2 and 208 of the Voting Rights Act, in that the laws impose a poll tax, deny or abridge the right to vote on account of age, unduly burden the right to vote, violate equal protection, have the effect of discriminating on the basis of race or color, infringe upon the right of free speech, and are preempted by the Voting Rights Act.

Status: Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part; Settled re: pre-paid postage July 8, 2020; Motion for judgment on the pleadings denied July 24, 2020; South Carolina House of Representatives Speaker and South Carolina Senate President permitted to intervene August 21, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction granted in part and denied in part September 18, 2020, enjoining enforcement of the witness requirement for the November 2020 election only, and denying all other requested injunctive relief; Motion to stay injunction pending appeal denied by 4th Circuit September 30, 2020; Injunction stayed by the United States Supreme Court October 5, 2020, reimposing the witness requirement except as to ballots previously cast and received within two days of the order; Motion for partial summary judgment filed by defendants December 4, 2020; Stipulation of dismissal filed by plaintiffs December 17, 2020


Shernoff v. Andino, No. 2:20-cv-3654 (D.S.C.)

Re: Vote-by-Mail Notice/Opportunity to Cure (Covid-19)

An individual voter and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sued the executive director and director of voter services of the State Election Commission and others, challenging the state’s failure to provide voters with notice and an opportunity to cure ballot defects related to the requirement that absentee ballots be signed by a witness. The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that the rejection of ballots without affording voters with notice and an opportunity to cure alleged defects unduly burdens the right to vote, and denies equal protection and procedural due process.

Status: Complaint filed October 18, 2020; Motions to intervene filed by South Carolina legislators and South Carolina Republican Party October 19, 2020; Motion to consolidate with League of Women Voters of South Carolina v. Andino, above, filed October 19, 2020; Amended complaint filed October 20, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied without prejudice in light of order issued in League of Women Voters of South Carolina v. Andino, above, October 27, 2020; Motion to dismiss filed December 4, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed December 17, 2020


South Carolina Progressive Network Education Fund v. Andino, No. 3:20-cv-3503 (D.S.C.)

Re: Voter Registration Deadline (Covid-19)

The South Carolina Progressive Network Education Fund sued the executive director of the South Carolina State Election Commission, its chair, and others, challenging the state’s voter registration deadline of October 2 (for in-person registration), October 4 (for internet registration), and October 5, 2020 (for mailed registrations). The complaint alleges violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, in that, during the pandemic, defendants’ enforcement of the voter registration deadline severely and unduly burdens the right to register voters and denies due process to would-be voters.

Status: Complaint filed October 2, 2020; Motion for preliminary injunction denied October 9, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed October 19, 2020


South Carolina Voter’s Alliance v. Charleston County, No. 2:20-cv-3710 (D.S.C.)

Re: Election Funding (Covid-19)

The South Carolina Voter’s Alliance and three individual voters sued Charleston and Richland Counties, challenging defendants’ acceptance of $1.425 million in philanthropic grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to help the counties administer the November election. The complaint alleges violations of the Elections and Supremacy Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, of the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”), and the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”), and state statute, in that defendants acted “without legal authority, to form a public-private partnership for federal election administration with CTCL,” and that their actions are preempted by HAVA and the NVRA.

Status: Complaint filed October 22, 2020; Motion for temporary restraining order denied October 26, 2020; Notice of voluntary dismissal filed November 17, 2020<