Election Administration Litigation
McLemore v. Hosemann
The NRF is supporting a group of voters in Mississippi who are challenging Mississippi’s electoral vote system for statewide races, which requires that statewide officers win both a majority of the popular vote and a majority of the House Districts. If an individual does not win both the popular and electoral vote, the decision is kicked to the Mississippi House of Representatives, who selects the winner from between the two candidates receiving the most statewide popular votes. The provision was added to the Mississippi State Constitution at the Convention in 1890, with the explicit goal of diluting the influence of African-American voters in the state. The plaintiffs are also seeking a preliminary injunction asking the Court to ensure African-Americans have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice in the 2019 election.
Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction (May 30, 2019)
Newton v. Walker (closed)
The NRF successfully supported a group of Wisconsin voters who challenged Governor Scott Walker’s refusal to hold special elections for two state legislative seats. The trial court rejected Walker’s argument that elections for these seats were unnecessary and ordered the governor to call the special elections. Governor Walker attempted to circumvent that ruling, seeking an 8-day extension of compliance with the court’s order, purportedly so that the legislature would have time to change the underlying law. But this effort was rejected – twice – first by the trial court and then on appeal. In the end, the state legislature gave up its effort to change the law and Walker called the special elections. This was a huge victory for Wisconsin voters.
One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen
The NRF is supporting One Wisconsin Institute and Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, as well as individual voters, in pursuing legal action against a brazen lame duck power grab by Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature and outgoing Governor Scott Walker. Shortly after their party lost every statewide office on the ballot in November, Republicans in the state rushed to pass—and Governor Walker signed into law—restrictive voting measures, including voter ID and early-voting restrictions that will harm minority voters in Democratic leaning areas. These restrictive voting provisions are similar to provisions that were struck down in federal court in 2016. This action seeks a ruling that the early vote and voter ID provisions of the lame duck legislation violate the 2016 injunction.