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Expert Brief

The State of Voting Rights Litigation (July 2019)

Here are the significant voting rights lawsuits in the states that we’re keeping our eyes on.

Published: July 31, 2019
Map showing litigation

Below are signi­fic­ant chal­lenges to restrict­ive voting prac­tices in the states that we’re keep­ing our eyes on. For addi­tional context, click here to review our report on the State of Voting of 2018 and related update.

ALABAMA

Greater Birm­ing­ham Minis­tries v. Merrill (N.D. Ala., No 2:15-cv-02193; 11th Cir., No. 18–10151)

In Decem­ber 2015, Greater Birm­ing­ham Minis­tries and the Alabama NAACP filed suit chal­len­ging Alabama’s voter ID law, which requires voters to present a photo ID to vote, but allows elec­tion offi­cials to vouch for the iden­tity of a voter without ID. They argue that the state’s photo ID law has a dispro­por­tion­ate impact on minor­ity voters in viol­a­tion of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Consti­tu­tion.

In Janu­ary 2018, a federal district court gran­ted the defend­ant’s motion for summary judg­ment and dismissed the case. The plaintiffs appealed to the Elev­enth Circuit, which heard oral argu­ment on July 27, 2018. The parties are await­ing a decision.

League of Women Voters v. Newby (D.D.C, No. 1:16-cv-00236; D.C. Cir. No. 16–5196)

See Geor­gia below.

Thompson v. Alabama (M.D. Ala., No. 2:16-cv-00783)

In Septem­ber 2016, Greater Birm­ing­ham Minis­tries and indi­vidu­als who were disen­fran­chised as a result of a felony convic­tion in their past brought a lawsuit chal­len­ging the state’s disen­fran­chise­ment process. The plaintiffs argue that the state’s disen­fran­chise­ment of indi­vidu­als convicted of a “felony involving moral turpitude” and its condi­tion­ing of restor­a­tion of the right to vote on full payment of all fines, court costs, fees, and resti­tu­tion viol­ate the U.S. Consti­tu­tion and section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

In May 2017, the Alabama Legis­lature passed a law defin­ing crimes of moral turpitude, which addressed part of the plaintiffs’ complaint.  In an opin­ion issued in Decem­ber 2017, a federal district court gran­ted in part and denied in part the state’s motion to dismiss the complaint. The court permit­ted the plaintiffs to proceed on their claims that the “moral turpitude” provi­sion of the Alabama Consti­tu­tion viol­ates the Eighth, Four­teenth, and Fifteenth Amend­ments and the Ex Post Facto clause of the U.S. Consti­tu­tion, and that the fees and fines provi­sion of state law viol­ates the Four­teenth Amend­ment. The case is proceed­ing in the district court.

ARIZONA

Navajo Nation v. Hobbs (D. Ariz. No. 3:18-cv-08329)

On Novem­ber 18, 2018, the Navajo Nation and tribal members filed a complaint against the Secret­ary of State and elec­tions offi­cials in three counties, alleging that the defend­ants’ fail­ure to provide suffi­cient language assist­ance, in-person early voting loca­tions, or voter regis­tra­tion loca­tions on the Navajo Indian Reser­va­tion resul­ted in more than one hundred absentee ballots cast by tribal members being rejec­ted in the 2018 elec­tion and will continue to have a discrim­in­at­ory impact on tribal members’ voting rights. The plaintiffs argue that the defend­ants’ fail­ure to provide adequate resources viol­ates the equal protec­tion clause of the Four­teenth Amend­ment, section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the First Amend­ment’s protec­tion of polit­ical asso­ci­ation, and the Arizona state consti­tu­tion.

On Decem­ber 24, 2018, the parties filed a joint motion for a tempor­ary stay of 120 days to facil­it­ate settle­ment nego­ti­ations. On April 23, 2019, the parties filed a second joint motion for a tempor­ary stay for another 120 days, which the court gran­ted.

Demo­cratic National Commit­tee v. Reagan (9th Cir. No. 18–15845; D. Ariz. No. 2:16-cv-01065)

In April 2016, the Demo­cratic National Commit­tee, the Demo­cratic Senat­orial Campaign Commit­tee, and the Arizona Demo­cratic Party (with others) filed a chal­lenge to Arizon­a’s policy of not count­ing provi­sional ballots cast in the wrong precinct and to HB 2023, a 2016 law that crim­in­al­ized third-party collec­tion of completed absentee ballots. The plaintiffs claimed that these policies viol­ate section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments to the U.S. Consti­tu­tion, and that HB 2023 also viol­ates the Fifteenth Amend­ment. 

The plaintiffs filed motions for prelim­in­ary injunc­tion against these policies, which were the subject of extens­ive skir­mish­ing in the district court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Ulti­mately, these policies were permit­ted to stand for the 2016 elec­tion.

The litig­a­tion contin­ued in the district court. In May 2018, follow­ing a ten-day bench trial, the court ruled in favor of the defend­ants on all of the plaintiffs’ claims.

The plaintiffs appealed. On Septem­ber 18, 2018, a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the district court in a 2–1 decision. The plaintiffs peti­tioned for the Ninth Circuit to hear the case en banc, however, and on Janu­ary 2, 2019, the peti­tion was gran­ted. Oral argu­ment was held on March 27, 2019. 

FLOR­IDA

League of Women Voters of Flor­ida v. Lee (N.D. Fl., No. 4:18-cv-00251)

In May 2018, the League of Women Voters, the Andrew Good­man Found­a­tion, and several students filed a lawsuit chal­len­ging the Secret­ary of State’s determ­in­a­tion that early voting sites could not be located on state univer­sity campuses.

On July 24, 2018, a federal district court issued a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion, strik­ing down the Secret­ary’s determ­in­a­tion, and hold­ing that it was inten­tion­ally discrim­in­at­ory on account of age, in viol­a­tion of the 26th Amend­ment. The decision restored discre­tion to elec­tion super­visors to desig­nate early voting sites on campuses, and on July 21, 2018, the Secret­ary issued a direct­ive to elec­tion super­visors in accord with the decision. In August 2018, the court stayed further proceed­ings in the case until after the Novem­ber midterms.

On Janu­ary 21, 2019, the court direc­ted the parties to file briefs explain­ing whether or not the Secret­ary’s July 27 direct­ive mooted the case. On Febru­ary 22, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judge­ment to convert the prelim­in­ary injunc­tion to a perman­ent injunc­tion.

On June 17, 2019, the plaintiffs filed an emer­gency motion to continue a hear­ing on the motion for summary judg­ment set for June 19. The plaintiffs argued that a bill recently passed by the Flor­ida Legis­lature (SB 7066) contained provi­sions inten­ded to evade the court’s prelim­in­ary judg­ment and advised the court that, if the bill were signed or became law without gubernat­orial action, they would consider with­draw­ing their summary judg­ment motion and seek leave to amend their complaint. On June 18, 2019, the court gran­ted the motion and took the hear­ing off calen­dar.

On June 28, 2019, the bill was signed into law. On July 8, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file a supple­mental complaint, includ­ing a new First and Four­teenth Amend­ment claim and a new 26th Amend­ment claim chal­len­ging the contested provi­sions of SB 7066, as well as new factual alleg­a­tions and plaintiffs. The motion is pending.

Hand v. Scott (N.D. Fl., No. 4:17-cv-00128; 11th Cir., No. 18–11388)

In March 2017, the Fair Elec­tions Legal Network and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC filed a class action complaint on behalf of indi­vidu­als who were disen­fran­chised as a result of felony convic­tions in their past. The plaintiffs argue that the unfettered discre­tion given to Flor­id­a’s Exec­ut­ive Clem­ency Board to determ­ine whether or not to restore indi­vidu­als’ voting rights viol­ated the U.S. Consti­tu­tion.

In Febru­ary 2018, a federal district court ruled that the Clem­ency Board’s unfettered discre­tion viol­ates both the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments of the U.S. Consti­tu­tion. In March 2018, the court ordered the defend­ants to create a new voting rights restor­a­tion process.

The state appealed to the Elev­enth Circuit and reques­ted a stay of the district court’s order, pending resol­u­tion of the appeal. On April 25, 2018, the Elev­enth Circuit gran­ted the request and halted the district court’s order. Oral argu­ment on the merits appeal was held on July 25, 2018.

On Novem­ber 20, 2018, the Court of Appeals direc­ted the parties to brief whether the passage of Amend­ment 4 mooted the case, and the parties have filed supple­mental briefs in response.

Demo­cratic Exec­ut­ive Commit­tee of Flor­ida v. Ertel (N.D. Fl., No. 4:18-cv-00520, 11th Cir., No. 18–14758)

On Novem­ber 8, 2018, the Demo­cratic Exec­ut­ive Commit­tee of Flor­ida and the Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate campaign filed suit against the Flor­ida Secret­ary of State seek­ing to enjoin Flor­ida from reject­ing vote-by-mail and provi­sional ballots on the basis of a stand­ard­less signa­ture match­ing process. The plaintiffs argue that local canvassing boards decide whether to accept and count vote-by-mail and provi­sional ballots on a stand­ard­less and incon­sist­ent signa­ture process. Further­more, the plaintiffs argue that this process has a dispro­por­tion­ate impact on minor­it­ies as well as young, first-time voters.

The plaintiffs contend that Flor­id­a’s signa­ture match­ing process viol­ates the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments of the Consti­tu­tion. The plaintiffs filed an emer­gency motion for tempor­ary injunc­tion and restrain­ing order, and on Novem­ber 15, 2018, the district court gran­ted the motion.

On Febru­ary 15, 2019, the Elev­enth Circuit denied the defend­ant’s motion to stay the district court’s prelim­in­ary injunc­tion. On the same day, the district court denied the defend­ant’s motion to dismiss the case as moot.

On May 6, 2019, the court ordered the parties to brief what effect, if any, certain legis­la­tion (SB 7066) would have on the litig­a­tion, within ten days of it being signed into law. On May 29, 2019, the court stayed discov­ery, and it repeatedly exten­ded the stay. On July 2, 2019 the plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss the case volun­tar­ily without preju­dice, in light of the passage of SB 7066. On July 29, 2019, the court gran­ted the motion and dismissed the case without preju­dice. The Elev­enth Circuit appeal has not been dismissed.

Jones v. DeSantis (N.D. Fl., No. 4:19-cv-300) (Previ­ously Gruver v. Barton)

On June 28, 2019, the Bren­nan Center, the ACLU, the ACLU of Flor­ida, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educa­tion Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of indi­vidual return­ing citizens, the Flor­ida NAACP, and the League of Women Voters of Flor­ida against ten local super­visors of elec­tions and Flor­ida Secret­ary of State Laurel Lee. The plaintiffs chal­lenge SB7066, Flor­id­a’s newly enacted voting rights restor­a­tion law.

On Novem­ber 6, 2018, nearly 65 percent of Flor­ida voters approved Amend­ment 4, a consti­tu­tional amend­ment that auto­mat­ic­ally restored voting rights to as many 1.4 million Flor­idi­ans, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, who had completed the terms of their sentence includ­ing parole or proba­tion. On May 3, 2019, however, the Flor­ida legis­lature voted along party lines to pass SB7066, which prohib­its return­ing citizens from regis­ter­ing to vote unless they pay off all legal finan­cial oblig­a­tions (“LFOs”) imposed by a court as part of a sentence for a felony convic­tion, includ­ing those LFOs conver­ted to civil oblig­a­tions, even if they cannot afford to pay.

The plaintiffs allege that by condi­tion­ing the right to vote on payment of LFOs, SB7066 viol­ates funda­mental fair­ness and uncon­sti­tu­tion­ally burdens the right to vote under the Four­teenth Amend­ment, discrim­in­ates on the basis of wealth in viol­a­tion of the Equal Protec­tion Clause, viol­ates the prohib­i­tion against poll taxes enshrined in the Twenty-Fourth Amend­ment, and imposes punit­ive sanc­tions in viol­a­tion of the Ex Post Facto Clause. The plaintiffs allege that SB7066 is uncon­sti­tu­tion­ally vague in viol­a­tion of the Due Process Clause because Flor­ida fails to provide return­ing citizens with suffi­cient inform­a­tion to determ­ine whether LFOs continue to disqual­ify them from voting. The plaintiffs further allege that SB7066 chills the League and Flor­ida NAACP’s voter regis­tra­tion activ­it­ies in viol­a­tion of the First Amend­ment. Finally, the plaintiffs allege that SB7066 inten­tion­ally discrim­in­ates on the basis of race.

On June 30, 2019, several chal­lenges to SB 7066 – Jones v. DeSantis (4:19-cv-300), Raysor v. Lee (4:19-cv-301), Gruver v. Barton (4:19-cv-302), McCoy v. DeSantis (4:19-cv-304), and Mendez v. DeSantis (4:19-cv-272) – were consol­id­ated for case manage­ment purposes on the Jones v. DeSantis common docket.

GEOR­GIA

League of Women Voters v. Newby (D.D.C, No. 1:16-cv-00236; D.C. Cir. No. 16–5196)

In Febru­ary 2016, the Bren­nan Center, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, and Kirk­land & Ellis LLP filed suit on behalf of the League of Women Voters and state affil­i­ates. The suit chal­lenges letters sent by Elec­tion Assist­ance Commis­sion (“EAC”) Exec­ut­ive Director Brian Newby in Janu­ary 2016 to the secret­ar­ies of state of Alabama, Geor­gia, and Kansas. Without explan­a­tion, he allowed the three states to require that applic­ants using the federal voter regis­tra­tion form provide docu­ment­ary proof of citizen­ship.

The suit asserts that Newby lacked the author­ity to make this decision, and that issu­ing the letters viol­ated both EAC policy and federal law. On June 29, 2016, the district court ruled that Alabama, Geor­gia, and Kansas could imple­ment their proof of citizen­ship require­ments for the 2016 elec­tion. The plaintiffs appealed this decision to the D.C. Circuit.

On Septem­ber 9, 2016, the D.C. Circuit prelim­in­ar­ily enjoined the EAC from chan­ging the federal voter regis­tra­tion form to allow Kansas, Alabama, and Geor­gia to require docu­ment­ary proof of citizen­ship. That means docu­ment­ary proof of citizen­ship is not on the federal form. 

On Febru­ary 24, 2017, the district court remanded the matter to the EAC. Judge Richard Leon instruc­ted the Commis­sion to determ­ine whether Exec­ut­ive Director Newby had author­ity to allow the three states to require proof of citizen­ship on the federal form. The prelim­in­ary injunc­tion remains in place.

Geor­gia Coali­tion for the Peoples’ Agenda v. Raffen­sper­ger (N.D. Ga. No. 1:18-cv-04727)

On Octo­ber 11, 2018, a coali­tion of civil rights groups brought a chal­lenge to Geor­gi­a’s “no-match, no vote” system, which requires an exact match between inform­a­tion on the voter regis­tra­tion form and inform­a­tion about the applic­ant in the state’s data­bases in order to complete the regis­tra­tion process. The plaintiffs argue that the system is discrim­in­at­ory and consti­tutes an undue burden on the right to vote in viol­a­tion of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Consti­tu­tion. The plaintiffs also argue that the system viol­ates Section 8 of the National Voter Regis­tra­tion Act because it fails to ensure that voters who submit timely and accur­ate voter regis­tra­tion forms are registered as active voters.

On Novem­ber 2, 2018, the district court entered a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion with respect to these voting rules for the approx­im­ately 3,141 indi­vidu­als whose voter regis­tra­tions have been placed in “pending” status because their citizen­ship inform­a­tion did not match. The court observed that a mismatch could occur when a person obtains a Geor­gia driver’s license prior to becom­ing a citizen, then becomes a natur­al­ized citizen, and then submits a voter regis­tra­tion applic­a­tion claim­ing citizen­ship.

The court ordered the Secret­ary of State to allow county elec­tion offi­cials to permit people placed in “pending” status because of citizen­ship to vote a regu­lar ballot by provid­ing proof of citizen­ship to poll managers or deputy regis­trars. Prior to the order, if these voters wanted to present proof of citizen­ship at the polls, they had to have their proof reviewed by a deputy regis­trar. The court cred­ited evid­ence that deputy regis­trars were not always avail­able at poll places and determ­ined that the state’s system consti­tuted a severe burden on the right to vote.

The case has proceeded to discov­ery, which is sched­uled to end on Septem­ber 3, 2019.

Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, Geor­gia, Inc v. Raffen­sper­ger (previ­ously Fair Fight Action v. Raffen­sper­ger) (N.D. Ga., 1:18-cv-05391-SCJ)

On Novem­ber 27, 2018, Fair Fight Action and Care in Action filed a lawsuit against the Geor­gia Secret­ary of State and the State Elec­tion Board. The plaintiffs allege that the defend­ants are respons­ible for a host of elec­tion related offenses, includ­ing fail­ing to provide absentee ballots and improp­erly hand­ling completed absentee ballots; fail­ing to train local elec­tion offi­cials; fail­ing to prop­erly main­tain the voter regis­tra­tion list; improp­erly block­ing regis­tra­tions and purging voters; improp­erly prevent­ing voters from using provi­sional ballots; improp­erly allow­ing long lines at polling loca­tions; and fail­ing to provide a suffi­cient number of paper ballots at polling places.

Collect­ively, the plaintiffs argue that these actions viol­ate the First, Four­teenth, and Fifteenth Amend­ments of the U.S. Consti­tu­tion, section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the Help Amer­ica Vote Act.

The state defend­ants filed a motion to dismiss on March 5, 2019. On May 30, 2019, the court dismissed certain claims against the State Elec­tion Board based on sover­eign immunity. However, the court denied the state’s motion to dismiss the Voting Rights Act claim against the State Elec­tion Board as well as all claims against the Secret­ary of State. On June 13, 2019, the defend­ants filed an answer to the complaint.

Geor­gia Shift v. Gwin­nett County (N.D. Ga. 1:19-cv-01135)

On March 11, 2019, Geor­gia Shift, a civic organ­iz­a­tion repres­ent­ing margin­al­ized young people, filed a lawsuit against Gwin­nett, Fulton, Dekalb, and Cobb counties – the four most popu­lous counties in Geor­gia. The plaintiff alleges that, in recent elec­tions, these counties failed to provide suffi­cient polling places, voting machines, and elec­tions staff. The plaintiff argues that this fail­ure consti­tutes an undue burden on the right to vote in viol­a­tion of the Four­teenth Amend­ment to the U.S. Consti­tu­tion, and asks the court to order the defend­ants to provide suffi­cient resources for the 2020 elec­tion, includ­ing enough polling places, voting machines, and elec­tion staff to prevent unreas­on­ably long lines on Elec­tion Day and to process all regis­tra­tion forms and absentee ballot applic­a­tions within one day.

On April 18, 2019, the defend­ants filed motions to dismiss. On May 30, 2019, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, and responses to the amended complaint are due on August 5, 2019.

INDI­ANA

Indi­ana NAACP v. Lawson (S.D. Ind., No. 1:17-cv-02897; 7th Cir., No. 18–2492)

In August 2017, the Bren­nan Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Indi­ana NAACP and League of Women Voters, chal­len­ging the state’s new voter purge process. The law provides for use of the error-prone Crosscheck Program to remove voters without the notice and wait­ing period required by the National Voter Regis­tra­tion Act.

On June 8, 2018, a federal district court issued a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion, block­ing the law. The court held that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in show­ing that Indi­ana’s laws viol­ated the National Voter Regis­tra­tion Act. The state appealed the court’s order to the Seventh Circuit. Oral argu­ment was held on Janu­ary 14, 2019, and the parties are await­ing a decision. Discov­ery is proceed­ing in the district court.

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

On May 16, 2019, Common Cause Indi­ana and several Indi­ana voters filed a class action lawsuit against the Indi­ana Secret­ary of State and the St. Joseph’s County Elec­tion Board, chal­len­ging certain signa­ture-match­ing provi­sions of Indi­ana’s absentee ballot laws. The plaintiffs allege that Indi­ana law requires elec­tion offi­cials to determ­ine whether the voter’s signa­ture on a mail-in absentee ballot envel­ope is genu­ine in order to count the ballot, but does not set forth any criteria for making this determ­in­a­tion or offer offi­cials train­ing in hand­writ­ing analysis, does not require noti­fic­a­tion to the voter if the ballot is rejec­ted, and makes elec­tion offi­cials’ determ­in­a­tions final and unre­view­able. As a result of this system, the plaintiffs allege that at least several hundred mail-in absentee ballots were not coun­ted in the 2018 elec­tion.

The plaintiffs argue that this system viol­ates the Four­teenth Amend­ment because it deprives them of their right to vote without due process of law and consti­tutes an undue and incon­sist­ently applied burden on the right to vote. They ask the court to issue an injunc­tion prohib­it­ing the rejec­tion of absentee ballots based solely on a purpor­ted signa­ture mismatch in future federal elec­tions.

On July 11, 2019, the county defend­ants moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ amended complaint – that motion is pending. On July 17, 2019, the Secret­ary of State answered the complaint.

IOWA

League of United Latin Amer­ican Citizens v. Pate (Polk County Dist. Ct., No. CVCV056403; Iowa Sup. Ct., No. 18–1276)

On May 30, 2018, LULAC Iowa and an Iowa voter filed a lawsuit chal­len­ging HF 516, a 2017 law that, among other things, cut back on early voting days, made it harder to cast absentee ballots, and imple­men­ted new voter ID require­ments in elec­tions after 2018.

In July 2018, a state district court issued tempor­ary injunc­tion, block­ing parts of the law making it more diffi­cult to apply for an absentee ballot and cutting back on the early/absentee voting period. The court also prohib­ited state offi­cials from advert­ising that ID was required to vote this Novem­ber in connec­tion with the state’s “soft rollout” of its new voter ID law.

On August 10, 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s tempor­ary injunc­tion in part, but it reversed the injunc­tion with respect to the absentee/early voting period, restor­ing the state’s cutback. The case was remanded to the district court. A trial was held from June 24 to June 29, 2019.

KANSAS

Fish v. Kobach (D. Kan. No. 2:16-cv-02105; 10th Cir. No. 16–3147)

Bednasek v. Kobach (D. Kan. No. 2:15-cv-09300; 10th Cir., No. 18–3186)

In Febru­ary 2016, the ACLU brought suit on behalf of affected would-be voters alleging that Kansas viol­ated the National Voter Regis­tra­tion Act by requir­ing Kansans who attempt to register to vote while apply­ing for or renew­ing a driver’s license to produce docu­ment­ary proof of citizen­ship. In a separ­ate case – Bednasek v. Kobach – would-be voters brought suit arguing that the docu­ment­ary proof of citizen­ship require­ment consti­tuted an undue burden on their right to vote in viol­a­tion of the Four­teenth Amend­ment.

A federal district court consol­id­ated the cases for trial and held a bench trial in March 2018. After trial, the district court struck down the law. The state appealed to the Tenth Circuit, and the case was argued on March 18, 2019.

League of Women Voters v. Newby (D.D.C, No. 1:16-cv-00236; D.C. Cir. No. 16–5196)

See Geor­gia above.

KENTUCKY

Harbin v. Bevin (E.D. Ky. No. 6:18-cv-00277)

On Janu­ary 4, 2019, four Kentucki­ans with previ­ous felony convic­tions filed a complaint chal­len­ging Kentuck­y’s voting rights restor­a­tion policy. (One of the plaintiffs had previ­ously filed a complaint and an amended complaint, pro se, on Octo­ber 29, 2018 and Novem­ber 2, 2018, respect­ively.) The plaintiffs claim that Kentuck­y’s policy, which the plaintiffs allege perman­ently disen­fran­chises indi­vidu­als with felon­ies unless the Governor restores their rights and grants the Governor unfettered discre­tion to decide whether or not to do so, viol­ates their rights under the First Amend­ment of the U.S. Consti­tu­tion. The plaintiffs ask the court to issue a perman­ent injunc­tion repla­cing the current system with a system that restores the right to vote based upon neut­ral, object­ive, uniform rules.

On Febru­ary 15, 2019, the defend­ant filed a motion to dismiss. That motion is pending.

MISSIS­SIPPI

O’Neil v. Hose­mann (S.D. Miss. No. 3:18-cv-00815)

On Novem­ber 21, 2018, the Missis­sippi State Confer­ence of the NAACP and three Missis­sippi voters filed a chal­lenge to Missis­sip­pi’s absentee ballot proced­ures, claim­ing that those proced­ures consti­tute an undue burden on the right to vote in viol­a­tion of the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments to the U.S. Consti­tu­tion. Accord­ing to the plaintiffs, the state allows a voter to use an absentee ballot only if the voter meets one of a limited number of excuses and requires the voter to get both the request form and the ballot itself notar­ized. The relev­ant forms are not avail­able online and cannot be photo­copied. And Missis­sippi is one of three states to require that absentee ballots be received before Elec­tion Day.

The plaintiffs further alleged that these proced­ures were even more burden­some in the context of the Novem­ber 27, 2018 runoff elec­tion, because county clerks only star­ted send­ing out ballots on Novem­ber 17th, so voters would have to complete all of the required steps in about a week and might also be required to pay for overnight ship­ping in order to get their ballot coun­ted.

On Novem­ber 26, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a tempor­ary restrain­ing order and prelim­in­ary injunc­tion, seek­ing an exten­sion of the dead­line for absentee ballots to be returned for the runoff. On Novem­ber 27, the court denied the motion.

The litig­a­tion is ongo­ing. A settle­ment confer­ence was held on July 19, 2019. Follow­ing the confer­ence, the court stayed all discov­ery, instruc­ted the parties to continue settle­ment discus­sions, and set a status confer­ence for August 9, 2019.

MISSOURI

Missouri NAACP v. State of Missouri (Cole County Cir. Court, No. 17AC-CC00309; West­ern District Court of Appeals, No. WD81484)

In June 2017, the Missouri NAACP and League of Women voters brought suit, chal­len­ging the state’s new voter ID law. The plaintiffs argue that the manner in which the state has imple­men­ted the law viol­ates state law and the state Consti­tu­tion.

In Janu­ary 2018, the trial court gran­ted the defend­ants’ motion for judg­ment on the plead­ings and dismissed the case. The plaintiffs appealed, and on Octo­ber 30, 2018, the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s decision, and sent the case back to the district court for further proceed­ings. Discov­ery is ongo­ing.

Prior­it­ies USA v. State of Missouri (Cole County Circuit Court, No. 18AC-CC00226)

In June 2018, Prior­it­ies USA and an indi­vidual voter brought a lawsuit chal­len­ging the state’s voter ID law. The plaintiffs argue that the law viol­ates the state Consti­tu­tion.

In Septem­ber 2018, the court held a trial. On Octo­ber 9, 2018, the court issued an order strik­ing down part of the voter ID law. Specific­ally, the court perman­ently enjoined the state from requir­ing other­wise-qual­i­fied voters that lacked photo ID to execute an affi­davit in order to vote. In addi­tion, the court enjoined the state from dissem­in­at­ing mislead­ing mater­i­als suggest­ing that voters without photo ID could not vote. On Octo­ber 19, 2018, the Missouri Supreme Court denied the defend­ants’ request for a stay of the trial court’s order. On Novem­ber 9, 2018, the defend­ants filed a notice of appeal.

NEW HAMP­SHIRE

League of Women Voters v. Gard­ner (Super­ior Court, Hills­bor­ough North­ern District, No. 226–2–17-CV-00432 and –00433)

In August 2017, the League of Women Voters of New Hamp­shire (along with certain indi­vidual plaintiffs) and the New Hamp­shire Demo­cratic Party filed complaints chal­len­ging Senate Bill 3, a voter regis­tra­tion law that crit­ics claim was designed to make it more diffi­cult for students to vote.

The trial court held a weeks-long prelim­in­ary injunc­tion hear­ing that concluded in early Septem­ber 2018. On Octo­ber 22, 2018, the trial court issued a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion, partially block­ing SB3. Specific­ally, the court enjoined the state’s use of a new affi­davit for voters regis­ter­ing within 30 days of the elec­tion without docu­ment­a­tion prov­ing domi­cile.

On Octo­ber 26, 2018, the New Hamp­shire Supreme Court stayed the trial court’s prelim­in­ary injunc­tion until after the Novem­ber 6 elec­tion. A bench trial is sched­uled to begin on Decem­ber 2, 2019.

Casey v. Gard­ner (D.N.H. 1:19-cv-00149)

On Febru­ary 13, 2019, two New Hamp­shire college students filed a chal­lenge to HB 1264 – a 2018 law that changed the legal defin­i­tion of resid­ence. The plaintiffs allege that this change imposes signi­fic­ant costs on some voters because it effect­ively requires anyone with a driver’s license or car who registers to vote in New Hamp­shire to obtain a New Hamp­shire driver’s license and register that car in New Hamp­shire.

The plaintiffs claim that the law imposes an undue burden on the right to vote in viol­a­tion of the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments to the U.S. Consti­tu­tion, that it has the purpose and effect of abridging the right to vote on account of age in viol­a­tion of the 26th Amend­ment, and that it consti­tutes a poll tax in viol­a­tion of the 24th Amend­ment. And the plaintiffs ask the court to declare HB 1264 uncon­sti­tu­tional and to strike the law down.

On April 10, 2019, the trial court consol­id­ated Casey with the case New Hamp­shire Demo­cratic Party v. Gard­ner (D.N.H. 1:19-cv-00201), which chal­lenged HB 1264 on similar grounds.

NORTH CARO­LINA

Holmes v. Moore (Wake Cty. Sup. Ct. 18-cvs-15292)

In the Novem­ber 2018 elec­tion, North Caro­lina voters passed a ballot meas­ure that amended the state Consti­tu­tion to add a photo­graphic voter ID require­ment. In the lame-duck session follow­ing the elec­tion, the North Caro­lina legis­lature passed enabling legis­la­tion (SB 824), over Governor Roy Cooper’s veto.

On Decem­ber 18, 2018, several North Caro­lina voters filed a state court chal­lenge to SB 824, alleging that the law viol­ates a vari­ety of provi­sions of the state Consti­tu­tion, includ­ing because it is discrim­in­at­ory and consti­tutes a signi­fic­ant burden on the right to vote and the right to free speech and assembly. The plaintiffs also filed a request that the case be heard by a three-judge panel, arguing that state law requires that they be assigned to such a panel because their claims are facial chal­lenges to the valid­ity of an act of the legis­lature. 

On Janu­ary 22, 2019, the indi­vidual state legis­lator defend­ants filed a motion to dismiss the case. On Febru­ary 21, 2019, the State and the State Board of Elec­tions also filed a motion to dismiss (along with an answer to the complaint).

On March 13, 2019, the Court issued an order largely deny­ing the legis­lat­ors’ motion to dismiss and trans­fer­ring the case to a three-judge panel.

On June 28, 2019, the Super­ior Court held oral argu­ment in the case. On July 19, 2019, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion.

North Caro­lina State Confer­ence of the NAACP v. Cooper (M.D.N.C. No. 1:18-cv-01034)

On Decem­ber 20, 2018, the North Caro­lina State Confer­ence of the NAACP, along with local NAACP chapters, sued the Governor, the Secret­ary of State, and the members of the State Board of Elec­tions, chal­len­ging SB 824, North Caro­lin­a’s new voter photo ID law. The plaintiffs argue that the law viol­ates the Four­teenth and Fifteenth Amend­ments to the U.S. Consti­tu­tion and section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In addi­tion to asking the court to enjoin the law, they request that the court bail the state into pre-clear­ance under section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act.

On Janu­ary 14, 2019, the Pres­id­ent Pro Tempore of the North Caro­lina Senate and the Speaker the North Caro­lina House moved to inter­vene in oppos­i­tion to the chal­lenge to SB 824 – that motion was denied on June 3, 2019.. On Febru­ary 28, 2019, the State Board of Elec­tions defend­ants and the Governor filed separ­ate motions to dismiss. On July 2, 2019the court denied the State Board defend­ants’ motion and gran­ted the Governor’s motion, dismiss­ing him from the case.

North Caro­lina State Confer­ence of the NAACP v. Moore (Wake Cty. Sup. Ct. 18-cvs-9806, NC Supreme Ct. No. 261P18–2)

On August 6, 2018 the North Caro­lina NAACP and Clean Air Caro­lina filed suit in state court, chal­len­ging the valid­ity of four proposed consti­tu­tional amend­ments that were to be put on the Novem­ber 2016 ballot, includ­ing a new voter ID require­ment. The plaintiffs sought to prevent the amend­ments from being included on the ballot, arguing that the meas­ures were mislead­ingly worded and that they had been passed by an illeg­ally gerry­mandered legis­lature and so were invalid.

A three-judge panel hear­ing the case gran­ted a partial prelim­in­ary injunc­tion, hold­ing that two of the amend­ments (not the voter ID amend­ment) were mislead­ing or inad­equately inform­at­ive. (The legis­lature subsequently re-wrote the amend­ments, which were then included on the ballot.) The panel found that it did not have juris­dic­tion to review the plaintiffs’ claim that the amend­ments were invalid because the legis­lature was unlaw­fully consti­tuted.

On Octo­ber 11, 2018, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint before a single-judge court, and on Novem­ber 2, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judg­ment on their claim that the amend­ments were invalid because the legis­lature was unlaw­fully consti­tuted. On Novem­ber 6, 2018, North Caro­lina voters passed two of the chal­lenged amend­ments, includ­ing the voter ID amend­ment.

On Febru­ary 22, 2019, the Wake County Super­ior Court struck down the two amend­ments. The Court held that because the legis­lature that passed the amend­ments was illeg­ally gerry­mandered, it did not repres­ent the people of the state, and there­fore lacked the power to pass legis­la­tion amend­ing the state consti­tu­tion.

The defend­ants have appealed. On March 21, 2019, the Court of Appeals issued a stay of the Super­ior Court’s order, pending resol­u­tion of the appeal. On April 29, 2019, plaintiffs peti­tioned the North Caro­lina Supreme Court to take direct review of the appeal. On June 11, 2019, the Supreme Court denied the peti­tion.

NORTH DAKOTA

Brake­bill v. Jaeger (D.N.D., No. 1:16-cv-08; 8th Cir. No. 18–1725; U.S. Sup. Ct., No. 18A335)

In Janu­ary 2016, seven Native Amer­ican plaintiffs filed suit under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. and North Dakota Consti­tu­tions, chal­len­ging the state’s strict photo ID law and arguing that it dispro­por­tion­ately denies Native Amer­ican citizens the right to vote. On August 1, 2016, a federal trial court issued a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion order­ing North Dakota to provide a “fail-safe” option for voters without photo ID if it intends to enforce the ID require­ment.

In April 2017, North Dakota passed a revised voter ID law, and the plaintiffs filed a motion to enjoin the new law. In April 2018, the district court issued a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion, tempor­ar­ily halt­ing the state from enfor­cing parts of the new law that could disen­fran­chise signi­fic­ant numbers of Native Amer­ic­ans. The state appealed to the Eighth Circuit and reques­ted a stay of part of the district court’s injunc­tion, which required the state to accept voter ID that includes a current mail­ing address rather than a current resid­en­tial street address.

On Septem­ber 24, 2018, the Eighth Circuit gran­ted the state’s request for a stay of the district court’s injunc­tion with respect to the resid­en­tial street address require­ment, pending appeal. On Octo­ber 9, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ applic­a­tion to vacate the Eighth Circuit’s stay. The merits appeal has been fully briefed and submit­ted to the Eighth Circuit. 

Update Aug. 1, 2019: On July 31, 2019, the Eighth Circuit vacated the district court’s prelim­in­ary injunc­tion, hold­ing that the plaintiffs’ alleged burdens did not justify a statewide injunc­tion.

Spirit Lake Tribe v. Jaeger (D.N.D. No. 1:18-cv-00222)

On Octo­ber 30, 2018, the Spirit Lake Tribe and indi­vidual Native Amer­ican voters brought a chal­lenge to North Dakota’s require­ment that voter IDs include the voter’s resid­en­tial street address. This lawsuit followed on the Eighth Circuit’s Septem­ber 24, 2018 stay order in Brake­bill v. Jaeger (see above), which indic­ated that while that court would not uphold the district court’s statewide injunc­tion of the resid­en­tial address require­ment at that junc­ture, voters impacted by the require­ment could bring targeted chal­lenges to the law based on its impact on them.

The plaintiffs argue that this require­ment imposes an undue burden on their right to vote in viol­a­tion of the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments to the U.S. Consti­tu­tion. They ask the court to bar the state from enfor­cing the resid­en­tial street address require­ment against Native Amer­ican voters living on reser­va­tions or altern­at­ively, to allow those voters to identify their resid­ences on the precinct map in order to verify their eligib­il­ity to vote in the precinct.

On Octo­ber 31, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a tempor­ary restrain­ing order against the voter ID require­ment. On Novem­ber 1, 2018, the district court denied the motion.

On June 20, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint. On July 17, the defend­ant filed a motion to dismiss.

OHIO

Ohio A. Philip Randolph Insti­tute v. LaRose (6th Cir. No. 18–03984; S.D. Oh. No. 2:16-cv-00303)

On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a contro­ver­sial Ohio purge prac­tice in a 5–4 decision in Husted v. A. Phil­lip Randolph Insti­tute (APRI). Under the chal­lenged law, voters in Ohio who miss a single federal elec­tion are flagged to receive a confirm­a­tion notice, and if they fail to respond to that notice (or engage in other defined activ­it­ies) in the next four years, they are removed from the voter rolls.  

Follow­ing the Supreme Court’s decision, the district court lifted a stay it had previ­ously entered and proceeded to consid­er­a­tion of the remain­ing issues in the case. Most crit­ic­ally, the plaintiffs argued that the form of the confirm­a­tion notice described above viol­ated federal law, and they sought a perman­ent injunc­tion to remedy the alleged viol­a­tion. On Octo­ber 10, 2018, the district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for perman­ent injunc­tion with respect to the form of the confirm­a­tion notice.

On Octo­ber 12, 2018, the plaintiffs appealed, and on Octo­ber 15, 2018, they filed an emer­gency motion for injunc­tion, pending appeal. On Octo­ber 31, 2018, the Sixth Circuit gran­ted the plaintiffs’ emer­gency motion, in part. The court ordered Ohio to count ballots cast by voters who had been purged between 2011 and 2015 through the fail­ure-to-vote process, as long as the purged voter casts his or her ballot at the correct polling place, contin­ues to reside in the same county where he or she had been registered, and has not become ineligible to vote due to a felony convic­tion, mental inca­pa­city, or death.

On March 11, 2019, the district court exten­ded that relief to the May 7, 2019 primary, pursu­ant to a joint stip­u­la­tion of the parties.

On March 15, 2019, the Sixth Circuit’s medi­ation office became involved in the appeal, and the brief­ing sched­ule has been repeatedly exten­ded.

PENNSYLVANIA

Adams Jones et al. v. Boock­var (Common­wealth Court of Pa., No. 717 MD 2018)

On Novem­ber 13, 2018, the ACLU of Pennsylvania along with other civil rights organ­iz­a­tions filed a lawsuit chal­len­ging the Common­wealth’s dead­line for submit­ting absentee ballots. Among the plaintiffs are nine indi­vidu­als who applied for an absentee ballot on time but received the ballot either too close to or after Pennsylvani­a’s dead­line for return­ing ballots (by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Elec­tion Day). Accord­ing to the plaintiffs’ complaint, the state’s dead­line for return­ing absentee ballots is the earli­est in the nation. The plaintiffs are asking the court to estab­lish a new dead­line, arguing that the early dead­line for return­ing absentee ballots viol­ates both the U.S. and the Pennsylvania Consti­tu­tion.

The defend­ants have filed motions to dismiss (or “prelim­in­ary objec­tions”), which are pending. Oral argu­ment on the motions was held on June 5, 2019.

TEXAS

Allen v. Waller County (S.D. Tex. No. 4:18-cv-3985)

On Octo­ber 22, 2018, several students of color at Prairie View A&M Univer­sity (PVAMU), a histor­ic­ally Black univer­sity, filed suit, alleging that Waller County elec­tions offi­cials refused to provide them with early voting oppor­tun­it­ies equal to those provided to non-Black, non-student voters in the county, in viol­a­tion of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the Four­teenth, Fifteenth, and 26th Amend­ments to the U.S. Consti­tu­tion. This lawsuit is a continu­ation of a decades-long fight against discrim­in­at­ory voting prac­tices in Waller County. On Octo­ber 24, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a tempor­ary restrain­ing order (“TRO”).

On Octo­ber 25, 2018, Waller County took steps to expand early voting oppor­tun­it­ies for PVAMU students – adding a day of early voting at a loca­tion in the city of Prairie View (which surrounds PVAMU) and extend­ing early voting hours at the PVAMU campus center. On Octo­ber 26, 2018, the plaintiffs moved to with­draw their TRO motion without preju­dice, and on Octo­ber 30, the court gran­ted the motion to with­draw.

On April 26, 2019, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, and on May 10, 2019, the defend­ants filed a motion to dismiss, which is pending.

TENNESSEE

Tennessee State Confer­ence of the NAACP v. Hargett (M.D. Tenn. No. 3:19-cv-00365)

On May 2, 2019, the Tennessee State Confer­ence of the NAACP, Demo­cracy Nashville-Demo­cratic Communit­ies, the Equity Alli­ance, and the Andrew Good­man Found­a­tion filed a lawsuit chal­len­ging a newly enacted law on third-party voter regis­tra­tion. The law imposes a vari­ety of new restric­tions, includ­ing regis­tra­tion and train­ing require­ments for organ­iz­a­tions conduct­ing voter regis­tra­tion drives (and crim­inal penal­ties for fail­ure to comply with the require­ments), penal­ties for filing a certain number of “incom­plete” voter regis­tra­tion applic­a­tions, and a prohib­i­tion on any public commu­nic­a­tion regard­ing regis­tra­tion status by a polit­ical commit­tee or organ­iz­a­tion that does not display a disclaimer that the commu­nic­a­tion is not author­ized by the Secret­ary of State. The law exempts volun­teers and organ­iz­a­tions that use only volun­teers to conduct regis­tra­tion drives from most of these require­ments.

The plaintiffs argue that the law’s vague­ness viol­ates the Four­teenth Amend­ment’s due process clause; that its impos­i­tion of burdens on paid regis­tra­tion work­ers viol­ates their First Amend­ment rights; that its disclaimer require­ment compels speech in viol­a­tion of the First Amend­ment; and that its provi­sions regard­ing “incom­plete” voter regis­tra­tion applic­a­tions consti­tute an undue burden on polit­ical speech and asso­ci­ation in connec­tion with the right to vote in viol­a­tion of the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments.

On June 3, 2019, the defend­ants filed a motion to dismiss, which is pending.

League of Women Voters of Tennessee v. Hargett (M.D. Tenn. No. 3:19-cv-00385)

On May 9, 2019, the League of Women Voters of Tennessee, League of Women Voters of Tennessee Educa­tion Fund, Amer­ican Muslim Advis­ory Coun­cil, Mid-South Peace & Justice Center, Rock the Vote, and Spread the Vote filed a lawsuit chal­len­ging the same third-party voter regis­tra­tion law at issue in Tennessee State Confer­ence of the NAACP v. Hargett. The plaintiffs argue that the law burdens their polit­ical expres­sion rights, compels speech, and is substan­tially over­broad in viol­a­tion of the First Amend­ment, that it is void for vague­ness under the Four­teenth Amend­ment, and that it consti­tutes an undue burden on polit­ical speech and asso­ci­ation in connec­tion with the right to vote in viol­a­tion of the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments.

On June 7, 2019, the defend­ants filed a motion to dismiss, which is pending.

WISCON­SIN

Frank v. Walker (E.D. Wis., No. 11-cv-1128; 7th Cir., Nos. 14–2058, 15–3582, 16–3003; U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 14A352)

In Decem­ber 2011, several Wiscon­sin voters brought suit, chal­len­ging Wiscon­sin’s strict photo ID law as discrim­in­at­ory against African-Amer­ican and Hispanic voters and a denial of the vote, bring­ing claims under the U.S. Consti­tu­tion and section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

In April 2014, the trial court struck down the law; the state appealed to the Seventh Circuit, which over­turned the trial court’s decision and upheld the law. However, after the Supreme Court stepped in, the law was not in effect for the Novem­ber 2014 elec­tion. It went into effect in April 2015, after the Supreme Court declined to recon­sider the Seventh Circuit’s ruling uphold­ing the law.

The plaintiffs under­took a second stage of litig­a­tion, in which they argue that the strict photo ID law is uncon­sti­tu­tional for those who cannot get ID. In July 2016, the trial court issued an order instruct­ing that voters who lack photo ID must be able to cast a regu­lar ballot in the Novem­ber 2016 elec­tions after complet­ing an affi­davit.

Wiscon­sin filed an emer­gency appeal of this decision with the Seventh Circuit and on August 10, 2016, the Seventh Circuit stayed the district court’s order. On August 26, 2016, the full Seventh Circuit declined to recon­sider this decision. Because of the Seventh Circuit’s order, Wiscon­sin’s law was in effect without the affi­davit altern­at­ive for those without ID during the 2016 elec­tions.

After the Seventh Circuit issued the emer­gency stay of the district court’s order, the case proceeded to the Seventh Circuit on appeal. Oral argu­ment was held on Febru­ary 24, 2017. The parties are await­ing a decision.

One Wiscon­sin Inst., Inc. v. Nichol (W.D. Wis., No. 15-cv-324; 7th Cir., No. 16–3091)

In May 2015, One Wiscon­sin Insti­tute, affected voters, and Wiscon­sin Citizen Action brought suit to chal­lenge vari­ous elec­tion law policies, includ­ing the voter ID provi­sion and legis­lat­ive restric­tions on early voting oppor­tun­it­ies, under the U.S. Consti­tu­tion and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

On July 29, 2016, the trial court blocked many of the chal­lenged restrict­ive voting provi­sions. The trial court ruled, among other things, that Wiscon­sin could not main­tain its voter ID law without creat­ing a func­tional safety net for those without ID and permit­ting students to use expired but other­wise valid student IDs. The court also found that the limit­a­tions on in-person absentee voting were inten­tion­ally racially discrim­in­at­ory. The decision was appealed to the Seventh Circuit.

On August 22, 2016, a panel of the Seventh Circuit denied Wiscon­sin’s request to put the trial court’s decision on hold in advance of the Novem­ber elec­tion. On August 26, 2016, the full Seventh Circuit declined to recon­sider this decision.

On Septem­ber 30, the district court ordered state offi­cials to invest­ig­ate whether DMV clerks were prop­erly instruct­ing voters on the process to obtain ID for voting, after record­ings of applic­ants receiv­ing incor­rect inform­a­tion were made public. The court held a hear­ing on the issue on Octo­ber 13th, and issued an order find­ing that Wiscon­sin had failed to suffi­ciently inform the public about ID options and had failed to suffi­ciently train DMV offi­cials on how to issue IDs for voting. The court ordered the state to increase its educa­tion efforts, retrain DMV offi­cials, and submit weekly progress reports to the court up until the elec­tion, but declined to enjoin the voter ID law for the Novem­ber 2016 elec­tion.

The case is currently on appeal with the Seventh Circuit. Oral argu­ment was held on Febru­ary 24, 2017. The parties are await­ing a decision.

In Decem­ber 2018, Wiscon­sin passed a new law impos­ing early voting and voter IDs restric­tions (among other meas­ures). On Decem­ber 17, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion arguing that the new meas­ures viol­ated the district court’s injunc­tions, and on Janu­ary 17, 2019, the Court gran­ted the motion, enjoin­ing the chal­lenged provi­sions.

Common Cause v. Thom­sen (W.D. Wis. No. 3:19-cv-00323)

On April 23, 2019, Common Cause, Common Cause Wiscon­sin, and a Wiscon­sin student filed a lawsuit chal­len­ging provi­sions of Wiscon­sin’s voter ID law that require student IDs to bear an issu­ance date, an expir­a­tion date not more than two years after the issu­ance date, and the student’s signa­ture in order to be used to vote. The plaintiffs note that, in One Wiscon­sin Insti­tute (described above), the court previ­ously enjoined Wiscon­sin’s require­ment that student IDs be unex­pired, but did not address these addi­tional require­ments because the plaintiffs in One Wiscon­sin Insti­tute did not ask that they be enjoined. The plaintiffs argue that the chal­lenged provi­sions consti­tute an undue burden on the right to vote in viol­a­tion of the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments.

On July 19, 2019, the Court stayed proceed­ings in the case until the appeal in One Wiscon­sin Insti­tute resolved.