Courts Scramble to Rule on Challenges to Restrictive State Voting Laws before November Election

From AllGov:

By Sarah Smith, ProPublica

There are 15 states with new voting laws that have never before been used during a presidential election, according to a report (pdf) by the Brennan Center for Justice. These laws include restrictions like voter ID requirements and limits on early voting. Many are making their way through the courts, which have already called a halt to two laws in the past month — one in North Carolina and one in North Dakota.

“All the sides were pushing for opinions over the summer so that nobody would run into the concern that it was all of a sudden too late to shift what the state had been planning to do,” said Jennifer Clark, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program.

We’re tracking the new laws and the suits against them in the run-up to Election Day. We’ll keep this updated as decisions roll in.

ALABAMA

Status: Litigation Pending. New voting law will be in place on Election Day.

While a federal judge declined to issue a preliminary injunction against Alabama’s photo-ID law in February, a case against the law will go forward, with a trial expected in 2017. Alabama election law also requires proof of citizenship, a statute upheld in late June (the D.C. Circuit court of appeals will hear arguments in September).

ARIZONA

Status: Litigation pending.

The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed suit against Maricopa County on June 2, after the county cut down the number of polling places for the presidential primary by 70 percent. The reduction in polling place caused lines so long that some people waited up to five hours, and many people left without voting. The county had only one polling place for every 21,000 voters.

The suit asks for court supervision …

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