State of Alabama

Alabama Absentee Ballot Assistance Restrictions Challenge

Alabama State Conference of the NAACP v. Marshall

Lawsuit filed on behalf of five Alabama civil rights organizations against Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) and the district attorneys for several counties challenging several provisions of Senate Bill 1, a new law that makes it illegal for individuals and organizations to assist voters in submitting their absentee ballots. S.B. 1 makes it a felony to pay or provide a gift to any third party who assists voters at any step of the absentee voting process. 

The plaintiffs argue that S.B. 1 violates the First Amendment right to free speech because it makes political activities that are part of their core values, including spending money on efforts to assist absentee Alabama voters, a crime. They also argue the law violates their First Amendment rights to free association because the law prevents the organizations from banding together to assist voters with their absentee ballots through voter registration and participation drives as they have in the past.  

The plaintiffs also allege that S.B. 1 violates Section 208 of Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), a federal law which allows blind, disabled or illiterate voters to receive voter assistance. Lastly, the plaintiffs argue that S.B. 1 violates the Help America Vote Act  because it makes it a crime for one of the plaintiffs, the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, to receive federal funds to assist disabled voters 

The plaintiffs ask the court to temporarily and permanently block S.B. 1 and prevent the state  from enforcing the provisions they’re challenging against their organizations.

On April 16, 2024, the judge dismissed the Alabama district attorneys from this lawsuit.

STATUS: On May 3, 2024, the plaintiffs’ filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block Alabama from enforcing SB1 during the 2024 election. Litigation is ongoing.

Case Documents

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