Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Voting is an essential right and expanding access to the ballot is not only in line with our values, it is good for our democracy. While President Trump’s baseless and disproven claims of voter fraud embolden Republican voter suppression efforts, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has made a joint investment of over $10 million with the DSCC to remove barriers to the ballot for Americans across this country. We are in this fight, and we plan to win.

DCCC Chairwoman, Cheri Bustos

Read more about the DCCC’s eight-figure investment in legal strategy here.

California Vote by Mail Intervention

RNC v. Newsom and Issa v. Newsom

The RNC, NRCC, California Republican Party, and individuals backed by the conservative group Judicial Watch sued California over the State’s plan to implement a primarily vote by mail election in November. On behalf of the DCCC and the California Democratic Party, we intervened in the case to defend California and support the expansion of vote by mail.

Read more about the case here.

Florida Ballot Order

Jacobson v. Lee

Constitutional challenge to Florida’s ballot order statute, which requires that candidates of the political party of the Governor be listed first on the ballot in all elections. Expert analysis shows that the first listed candidate on the ballot receives a certain percentage of additional votes solely due to position, and in Florida, Republican Party candidates receive a 5.35 percentage point average advantage in elections in the State. We contend that the statute unduly burdens the right to vote in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and treats similarly situated candidates differently without sufficient justification, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Learn more about the case here.

Georgia Ballot Order

S.P.S. ex rel Short v. Raffensperger

Constitutional challenge to Georgia’s ballot order statute, which requires that candidates of the political party of the Governor be listed first on the ballot in all elections. Expert analysis shows that the first listed candidate on the ballot receives a certain percentage of additional votes solely due to their ballot position. We contend that the statute unduly burdens the right to vote in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and treats similarly situated candidates differently without sufficient justification, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Learn more about the case here.

Kansas Election Reform Bill

Kansas Democratic Party v. Schwab

In 2019, Kansas passed an election reform bill that, among other things, permits out of precinct voting and creates a cure process for signature mismatch. However, this good law for voting rights was stalled when the Republican Secretary of State announced that the law will not be implemented in time for 2020.

Learn more about the case here.

Maine Ballot Order

DSCC v. Dunlap

We are planning to sue Maine, in state court, challenging their alphabetical who regime. Maine’s ballot name order scheme requires every ballot in the state to be “arranged alphabetically with the last name first, under the proper office designation.” We contend that the statute unduly burdens the right to vote in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and treats similarly situated candidates differently without sufficient justification, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Learn more about the case here.

Minnesota Ballot Order

Pavek v. Simon

Federal court challenge to Minnesota’s ballot order rules, which mandate that major partisan candidates are listed in reverse order of their average vote in the last election. Expert analysis shows that the first listed candidate on the ballot receives a certain percentage of additional votes solely due to their ballot position. We contend that the statute unduly burdens the right to vote in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and treats similarly situated candidates differently without sufficient justification, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Learn more about the case here.

Minnesota Voter Assistance/Ballot Collection

DSCC v. Simon

Challenging a Minnesota law that makes it a crime to help too many people vote. Regardless of the language barriers or disabilities faced by a voter being assisted, Minnesota limits the number of voters an individual may help (1) complete their in-person or absentee ballot and (2) submit their absentee ballots.  Specifically, a person may help no more than three voters mark their ballots. Similarly, a person may help no more than three voters return their absentee ballots. These laws especially impact Minnesota’s sizable language minority communities, including Hmong and Somali Americans, as well as Minnesotans with disabilities. The penalty for helping too many Minnesotans vote is steep: anyone who helps a single additional person could face felony charges. By criminalizing efforts to assist voters in completing and submitting ballots, the Voter Assistance Bans inhibit constitutionally protected political activity and hinder the ability of Minnesotans to participate in the political process.

Read the press release here.

Learn more about the case here.

Nevada Vote by Mail Federal Intervention

Paher v. Cegavske

We intervened as defendants on behalf of the Nevada State Democratic Party, DNC, DCCC, Priorities and an individual voter. Plaintiffs in this federal case are attempting to shut down the Nevada Secretary’s move to an all-mail election due to the unprecedented public health crisis caused by COVID-19. We intervened to support the Secretary’s decision to designate this an all-mail election, while still noting that the Secretary’s policy does not go far enough to protect all Nevada voters by referencing our Nevada four pillars case.

Learn more about the case here.

Nevada Four Pillars

Corona v. Cegavske

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we sued on behalf of individual plaintiffs, the Nevada State Democratic Party, the DNC, the DCCC and Priorities USA ahead of the June 2020 Nevada Primary Election. The Nevada Secretary of State announced this primary would be all-mail, closing every polling location except for one in each county. This plan will leave too many Nevadans without a meaningful ability to vote, as it excludes qualified voters with “inactive” status and exacerbates existing problems with Nevada’s election laws such as a ballot collection ban and signature matching rules. We argue that while vote by mail is necessary during this time, it must be paired with meaningful opportunities to vote safely in person and include safeguards to prevent disenfranchisement of voters like what we saw in Wisconsin’s primary election in April.

Learn more about the case here.

North Carolina Early Vote Location

North Carolina Democratic Party v. North Carolina

State constitutional challenge to SB 325 (“Uniform & Expanded Early Voting Act), which eliminated the only mandatory weekend day of Early Voting (the last Saturday before Election Day), and imposed uniformity requirements among early voting locations in each county that ultimately led to a reduction in early voting hours and locations in many of North Carolina’s counties during the 2018 general election.

Learn more about the case here.

Oklahoma COVID-19 Election Relief

DCCC v. Ziriax

On behalf of the DCCC and the Oklahoma Democratic Party, we challenged Oklahoma’s vote by mail restrictions ahead of their June 30, 2020 primary. The restrictions at issue were Oklahoma’s notary and witness requirements, rule that county election boards notify “proper authorities” if there is a large number of absentee ballot requests, refusal to prepay postage for absentee ballots, rejection of absentee ballots delivered after 7:00pm on Election Day, and ban on organizations from collecting ballots.

Learn more about the case here.

South Carolina Four Pillars (Federal)

Middleton v. Andino

On behalf of individual voters, the South Carolina Democratic Party, the DNC and the DCCC, we challenged South Carolina’s vote by mail restrictions. The state requires a witness signature on absentee ballots, does not provide pre-paid postage, and has an Election Day cut-off of not counting ballots received after 7:00 PM on Election Day. South Carolina also makes it a felony for a candidate or paid campaign staff to assist voters with returning their voted absentee ballots to elections officials. These voting hurdles, especially during the unprecedented public health crisis caused by COVID-19, disenfranchises voters in South Carolina and particularly burdens African American voters.

Learn more about the case here.

Texas Straight Ticket Voting

Bruni v. Hughs

Challenging the State’s elimination of straight ticket voting that will go into effect in 2020 for the first time. Straight ticket voting is widely used by voters in Texas—a state that often employs long ballots—as in the 2018 election, two-thirds of voters cast a straight ticket vote. The elimination of straight ticket voting will likely lead to longer lines and wait times for all voters, which would likely deter voting. In addition, the elimination of straight ticket voting would likely lead to voter confusion and increased difficulty in casting a ballot.

Read the press release here.

Learn more about the case here.

Texas Wet Signature

Texas Democratic Party v. Hughs

Challenging the State of Texas over its announced prohibition against accepting electronically signed voter registration applications. In 2018, a mere five days before the voter registration deadline, the Texas Secretary of State instructed county registrars to reject over 2,400 voter registration applications that were collected and submitted by a third-party organization in connection with its efforts to expand voter participation and increase turnout in Texas.  The Secretary claimed that the applications were incomplete because they lacked an original, wet signature.  As a result, thousands of Texas voters were left scrambling to register to vote before the midterm elections, and many were unable to do so. The wet signature rule imposes an arbitrary requirement that limits access to the franchise and forces organizations like Plaintiffs to expend additional resources in order to assist potential registrants in complying with antiquated, bureaucratic rules that serve no legitimate State interest.

Read the press release here.

Learn more about the case here.

Texas Ballot Order

Miller. v. Hughs

Constitutional challenge to Texas’s ballot order statute, which requires that candidates of the political party of the Governor be listed first on the ballot in all elections. Expert analysis shows that the first listed candidate on the ballot receives a certain percentage of additional votes solely due to their ballot position. We contend that the statute unduly burdens the right to vote in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and treats similarly situated candidates differently without sufficient justification, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Read the press release here.

Learn more about the case here.

Texas Mobile Polling Locations

Gilby v. Hughs

Constitutional challenge to a recent change in Texas law that limits the discretion of county election administrators in providing temporary early voting locations. These locations, which opened for limited hours and days during the two-week early voting period, were used to provide early voting opportunities for groups with limited access to transportation, including students. We contend that this law imposes an unconstitutional burden on the voting rights of students in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and also violates the Equal Protection Clause and Twenty-Sixth Amendment.

Read the press release here.

Learn more about the case here.

Texas DMV Voter Registration

Stringer v. Hughes

Intervening in the district court case started by the Texas Civil Rights Project to pursue Equal Protection claims against the state. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires that a state allow for simultaneous application for voter registration along with motor vehicle transactions, including license renewals and change of address. For online transactions, Texas currently has a box people check that states “yes, I would like to register to vote,” but that does not actually register you. It instead merely provides you a hyperlink to the Secretary of State’s website, where you have to fill out an entirely new registration form. Plaintiffs brought an Equal Protection claim because in-person and mail change of address and renewal forms in Texas currently serve as simultaneous voter registration applications, unlike online transactions. The district court found that the state has provided no interest at all to justify this law and struck it down as unconstitutional, but the victory was reversed after the plaintiffs updated their registration. Our intervention will use the entire evidentiary record already before the district court to reinstate this victory.

Learn more about the case here.