The state Election Board wants the Oklahoma Supreme Court to order a revised lawsuit challenging the state’s new voter identification law transferred out of Tulsa County because of a venue issue.
The Election Board, represented by the state Attorney General’s Office, also maintains that the Tulsa County case, assigned to District Judge Jefferson Sellers, should be dismissed based on a contention that plaintiff Delilah Gentges lacks legal standing to proceed. The matter of whether the Supreme Court should take jurisdiction of the case is scheduled to be argued by lawyers on Nov. 15. The suit was filed by Tulsa attorney James Thomas.
The state Election Board filed a motion Monday asking Sellers to delay proceedings in his court until the Supreme Court resolves the challenge to his authority to exercise jurisdiction. Sellers is expected to issue a stay order.
The lawsuit filed in June asserts that the impact of the voter identification law, which took effect July 1, creates “serious interference” with the unrestricted right to vote for people who “do not have appropriate identifying credentials or who are unwilling to accept any level of this statewide infringement on the right to vote.”
Assistant Attorney General Martha Kulmacz, on behalf of the Election Board, asserts that the case should be transferred to Oklahoma County, where the board is located.
At a September hearing, Sellers ruled that Gentges has standing and that the case can proceed in a Tulsa County courtroom. Sellers did not rule on the merits of the suit’s constitutional challenge.