Federal Court Dismisses Right-Wing Lawsuit Attempting to Upend Maryland Election Administration 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maryland’s 2024 elections will continue as planned despite a long-shot right-wing challenge seeking to upend election administration in the state. A new federal court decision marks the first failure for the United Sovereign Americans, an emerging right-wing group that has vowed to pursue an aggressive litigation strategy ahead of the 2024 elections. 

In March, two right-wing groups filed a lawsuit challenging Maryland’s voter roll maintenance practices and a host of other election procedures. Maryland Election Integrity and United Sovereign Americans — a right-wing group that identifies itself as trying to “get answers to clear questions about election fraud” — filed its inaugural case seeking to sow chaos before 2024. 

In a profile of United Sovereign Americans, Sarah D. Wire and Mackenzie Mays of the Los Angeles Times described the group as “part of a cottage industry of far-right election deniers that has sown disinformation since Trump lost his reelection bid.” The group is “prepared” to file similar lawsuits in nine states and “preparing evidence” in 13 others, according to its website.

Just in time for the state’s primary election, which is set for May 14, a federal judge dismissed the case. In the opinion dismissing the far-flung challenge, the judge found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their lawsuit and failed to show that the groups would be harmed by the state’s election procedures. “Here, the mere hypothetical possibility of a past, speculative injury,” the judge wrote of the groups’ claims, “does not give rise to a certainly impending injury.” 

The plaintiffs alleged that the Maryland Board of Elections has failed to keep accurate voter rolls, improperly uses voting machines that are not certified correctly and unlawfully denied public information requests. Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that Maryland’s voter rolls are “not accurate and current” in violation of the National Voter Registration Act. This case was one of 16 active lawsuits in Democracy Docket’s case database that specifically targets voter rolls or voting machines in an attempt to create distrust. 

The lawsuit went so far as requesting that the court prevent the State Board of Elections from certifying any election until the groups’ claims of irregularities and other perceived violations were remedied.  

Despite the right’s attempts to upend election administration, this decision is a victory for voters in Maryland as the case was firmly rejected. 

Read the opinion here. 

Learn more about the case here.