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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Litigation

NAACP-SCP v. Cortes

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: October 23, 2008 / January 28, 2009
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Voting Technology
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Case 2:08-cv-05048)

Issue:

Whether polling locations can be required to distribute emergency paper ballots to voters when 50% or more voting machines become inoperable at a specific location.  Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes has issued a directive requiring that paper ballots be distributed when 100% of the voting machines at a polling location have failed.  The plaintiffs, concerned about long lines due to malfunctioning voting machines, allege that not providing emergency paper ballots in cases where there is less than 100% voting machine failure would violate the constitutional rights of voters. 

Status:

Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed on 10/23/08.  Motion for Preliminary Injunction granted on 10/29/08.  Order granting all defendants an extension of time to move, answer or otherwise respond to the complaint until 1/9/09 entered 12/15/08. Motion for Permanent Injunction filed by NAACP on 1/26/09.  Motion for Permanent Injunction Granted 1/28/09.

District Court Documents

Related Links

Commentary

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral Fix We Really Need

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral College winner should be the majority choice in each state that counts towards that Electoral College victory.

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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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Info & Analysis

District Judge Dismisses Georgia Voter Rolls Case

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.

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