Wisconsin April Election Litigation
DNC v. Bostelmann
Challenging four Wisconsin laws which, in light of the unprecedented crisis caused by the corona virus, severely burden Wisconsin voters’ right to vote in the upcoming April 7, 2020 primary election and all elections taking place during this unprecedented situation. As Wisconsin voters are forced to socially distance themselves to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, in person registration and voting are no longer safe options and voters must turn to electronic and mail registration and voting. However, Wisconsin’s current electronic and by-mail registration deadline, Wisc. Stat. § 6.28(1), requires that copies of proof of residence and voter ID accompany electronic and by-mail voter registration and absentee applications, id. § 6.34, 6.86, respectively; and require that absentee ballots be received by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day to be counted, id. § 687. These restrictions all pose significant risks to voters seeking to exercise their right to vote. These laws set up an unconscionable choice between voters’ safety and their fundamental right to vote. Plaintiffs seek to have them enjoined and request that the current electronic and by-mail deadline get extended until April 3, 2020, the Court enjoin Wisconsin’s requirements that voters provide copies or scans of proof of residence and voter ID documentation until the COVID-19 crisis is over and that absentee ballots postmarked on or before election day and received within 10 days be counted. These challenges are made under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
NATURAL DISASTERS RESPONSE
Florida Hurricane Matthew Registration Deadline Extension
Florida Democratic Party v. Scott
Successfully obtained court-ordered extension of deadlines for voter registration following Hurricane Matthew. After Hurricane Matthew slammed into Florida on October 6, 2016, causing significant destruction and power outages throughout the state, then-Governor Rick Scott refused to extend the voter registration deadline and the deadline for local election officials to designate early voting sites. We filed an emergency lawsuit seeking an immediate injunction, requiring Governor Scott to extend the voter registration and the early voting site-designation deadlines. The court granted our motion and issued our requested emergency injunction in full, which required the State to extend all relevant deadlines.
Florida Hurricane Michael
Florida Democratic Party v. Detzner
Filed an emergency motion asking the Florida Secretary of State to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline by one week due to Hurricane Michael. Many Floridians were unable to register in the final days before the deadline because of power outages and evacuation orders. Plaintiffs – the New Florida Majority Education Fund, Common Cause and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund – asserted two claims, both under the Fourteenth Amendment.