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Latest Information & Analysis   

Three-Judge Panel Finds Voting Rights Act and Constitutional Violations in Creation of Texas House of Representatives Districts

Apr. 21 (1:30 PM) - A little over a month after ruling that Texas\' Congressional redistricting plan violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Consistution, a three-judge panel similarly ruled (2-1) with regard to the creation of Texas\' state-level House of Representatives districts. The court issued a 171-page order in which it ruled for the state on some claims. The court also made separate findings of fact. The case is Perez v. Abbott.

U.S. District Judge Again Finds Texas Law in Violation of Voting Rights Act

Apr. 11 (9:22 AM) - On remand from the Fifth Circuit, a U.S. District Judge again determined that Texas\' voter ID law was passed with discriminatory purpose in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The case is Veasey v. Abbott.

District Judge Dismisses Georgia Voter Rolls Case

Mar. 20 (1:15 AM) - In an order released late Friday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten dismissed a lawsuit filed against Georgia\'s Secretary of State by the advocacy organization Common Cause, which alleged that Georgia unlawfully removed voters from registration lists preceding the 2016 Presidential election. The case is Common Cause v. Kemp.

Divided District Court Panel Finds Racial Gerrymandering in Texas

Mar. 13 (9:05 AM) - In a 2-1 decision, a 3-judge district court panel determined that Texas legislators unlawfully drew some Congressional districts as part of the redistricting process. The court found that geographical boundaries of certain districts were the result of racial gerrymandering in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The case is Perez v. Abbott.

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Opinion in Virginia Gerrymandering Case

Mar. 1 (4:20 PM) - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in a Virginia redistricting case, sending the case back to the district court to apply the proper standard for determining whether an unconstitutional racial gerrymander has occurred. According to the Supreme Court, an unconstitutional gerrymander can occur even when a redistricting plan follows traditional principles, if race is nevertheless the predominant consideration. The case is Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections.

DOJ Withdraws Discriminatory Intent Claim in Texas Voter ID Case

Feb. 28 (9:37 AM) - Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice withdrew a claim that Texas enacted voter ID legislation with discriminatory intent. This represents a reversal in stance from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration. Private plaintiffs in the case continue to assert this claim, on which the court will eventually issue a decision. The case is Veasey v. Abbott.

U.S. District Judge Rules that Ohio Voter Services Website Violates ADA

Feb. 1 (5:00 AM) - A U.S. District Judge issued an opinion finding that the Ohio Secretary of State\'s voter services website violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not accessible to visually impaired Ohio voters. Judge George C. Smith ordered Secretary of State John Husted to make the site more accessible by September 29, 2017. As discussed in the opinion, the information on the voter services site does not meet established standards of accessibility for visually impaired voters who use screen reading software. The case is Hindel v. Husted.

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Recount Resources

Election Law @ Moritz has assembled a set of resources concerning the topic of elections going into overtime.

Swing State Focus

Media Hotline: (614) 292-0283

EL@M in the News

Edward B. Foley

White House drops Obama-era discrimination claim against Texas voter ID law

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor in an article about how the Trump administration dropped a discrimination claim against a Texas voter ID law. Viewed as one of the strictest voting requirements in the country by voting rights advocates, the law required voters to show one of seven valid forms of ID.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the law disproportionately impacted minorities and those living in poverty. The court required the state to adjust its requirements before the general election. According to court testimony, Hispanic voters were twice as likely to lack proper ID under the law, while black voters were three times as likely.

“Voting litigation is increasing, not decreasing,” Foley said. “The main impression … is that when a law looks like it’s engaging in outright disenfranchisement of a valid voter, even conservative judges have been stopping that. [But] the judiciary is more tolerant with state legislatures adjusting issues of convenience and accessibility, if the adjustment is not outright disenfranchisement.”
 

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Current Litigation

North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. The North Carolina State Board of Elections

State: North Carolina
Issue: Whether the North Carolina and County Boards of Elections cancellation of the voter registrations of thousands of North Carolina voters, based on a single piece of undeliverable mail, in the final weeks and months before Election Day violates that National Voter Registration Act and other federal laws.

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