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Litigation

United States v. Alabama

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: May 1, 2006 / September 18, 2008
State: Alabama
Issue: State Voter Registration Databases
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (Case 2:06-cv-00392-WKW-SRW)

Issue:

Whether Alabama has failed to comply with the Help America Vote Act by not implementing technology or procedures required to create a statewide voter registration database.

Status:

Substance of D's HAVA compliance plan accepted, timeline rejected. Court has appointed Governor Bob Riley as Special Master to administer the plan.  Final Status Report filed by the Special Master on 8/22/08.  Final Order and Judgment issued on 9/18/08.

Case Summary

In this case, the United States has brought an action to enforce the requirements of §303(a) and §303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 ("HAVA"). It is alleged that Defendants, the State of Alabama and the Alabama Secretary of State, have failed to comply with these HAVA requirements by failing to implement new technology that would create and maintain a centralized voter registration list. Specifically, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants have failed to: (1) publish any regulations regarding the creation of maintenance of a centralized voter registration list; (2) contract with any company to develop a centralized voter registration list; (3) develop technical requirements necessary for the implementation of a centralized voter registration list; (4) coordinate state agency databases with a centralized voter registration list; (5) require voter registration applicants to provide their driver license number or last four digits of their social security number; and, (6) coordinate with the Social Security Administration to match data from the centralized voter registration list with information from the federal social security number database. Accordingly, Plaintiff is now seeking declaratory and injunctive relief requiring Defendants to comply with these HAVA requirements.

District Court Documents

Related Links

Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President? Letís Find Out

Daniel P. Tokaji

Donald Trump has revived the question whether Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to serve as President due to his birth in Canada. The issue cries out for judicial resolution, but there are constitutional and prudential obstacles to a federal court deciding it.  This comment argues that the most promising avenue  is a state court lawsuit challenging Senator Cruz’s eligibility and seeking his removal from the primary ballot. There’s at least one state – Pennsylvania – where the deadline for filing hasn’t yet expired, but if skeptics of Cruz’s eligibility want to sue there they must act quickly, no later than Tuesday. Litigating the case through state court would tee up the issue for Supreme Court review, which would be helpful in resolving the recurrent question of what it means to be a “natural born Citizen."

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

An Obscure Ohio State Law Could Shake Up the Republican Convention

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an ABC News article about the Republican Convention:

“It’s entirely imaginable that these kind of controversies will emerge if Donald Trump goes into Cleveland without 1,237,” said Dan Tokaji, an expert in election law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, referring the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. “There’s going to be a furious jockeying for these delegates.”

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Info & Analysis

U.S. District Judge Rules for Plaintiffs in Ohio Early Voting Case

Today, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in an Ohio early voting case, determining that Ohio\'s reduction of in-person early voting days violated Equal Protection and the Voting Rights Act. Judge Watson dismissed additional claims brought by the plaintiffs. A bench trial was held in late 2015. The case is Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Husted.

more info & analysis...