Battles over voting rights are heating up in states that could play a critical role in the November election. The pressure is on to resolve key issues in a timely manner as courts are often reluctant to make legal changes too close to Election Day. “It’s very important not to disrupt the machinery and the administration of the voting process,” says Edward Foley of the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University. “Judicial rulings too soon to the election can be disruptive, and in the past the Supreme Court has made it very clear that it doesn’t want that disruption.” … In the coming days, Supreme Court justices will rule on an emergency petition filed by North Carolina asking the court to allow provisions of the state’s omnibus 2013 election law to remain in effect. The law boosts voter ID requirements, restricts early voting days and eliminates same-day registration.
With the conventions over and Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton locked in a close contest, a ground-level fight for an edge in the presidential race will unfold this summer in the nation’s courts. Legal challenges to state election laws are still working through federal courts and possibly on to the Supreme Court this fall. The outcome of those cases on issues such as photo identification, polling locations and registration could affect voter turnout in about a dozen swing states. The courts have been siding with challengers to election law changes, including rulings in July to soften voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin, block a voter ID law and other election changes in North Carolina, halt a voter ID requirement in North Dakota, and strike down a registration law in Kansas.
New York: Dollars and Sense: Election commissioners suits cost taxpayers thousands | The Poughkeepsie Journal
Court documents have shed light on the thousands of dollars several lawsuits between Dutchess County’s top election officials have cost taxpayers in legal fees. Three attorneys’ invoices could total $14,688 for expenses incurred while they filed and defended Dutchess County Democratic Election Commissioner Fran Knapp in lawsuits alleging violations of the state election law that requires the Democratic and Republican commissioners to act together on election-related matters. Taxpayers may be on the hook for thousands of dollars more. An appeal is being filed to overturn a May decision to dismiss a contempt-of-court charge against Republican Commissioner Erik Haight. Meanwhile, Haight’s attorney fees are pending court approval. Payments come out of the county Board of Elections’ budget, Knapp previously told the Journal. Knapp wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Attorney Charles A. Pascal, Jr., has filed a Motion For Reconsideration on behalf of members of the specially appointed Venango County Election Board. The filing was made this afternoon in response to President Judge Oliver J. Lobaugh’s order dismissing the Board yesterday. Citing ongoing investigations into serious voting machine problems reported during the May 17 primary election, the specially appointed Election Board requested that they be allowed to continue their work until 11:59 PM on December 31, 2011.
“The members of the specially appointed Board of Elections believes that it is necessary to continue their work in order to assure the voters of the County of Venango of the integrity of the election process in the county,” the Motion states, “and to assure that any possible violations of policy, protocol, best practices, or the law, or any directive of the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, are not repeated in future elections.”