Wednesday, November 2, 2016

BREAKING: Arizona Democrats Still Fighting To Allow Columbus-Day/1-Day-Late Registrants To Vote; Reagan Says Did NOT Contradict Herself (READ)

Democrats filed a new motion in federal court this morning, asking the Court to order Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan to ensure that 2,069 people who mailed their voter registration forms in at the last minute are permitted to cast provisional ballots on Tuesday. The State quickly responded, saying that Reagan cannot order the County Recorders to do that. (Both pleadings are published below)

The deadline to register to vote fell on Columbus Day, and the U.S. Postal Service did not deliver mail that day. Reagan had turned down requests to extend the deadline one day, so the Arizona and national Democrats filed a lawsuit. They sought an emergency order requiring all Arizona counties to add the voters to their Election Day pollbooks.

A hearing was held before U.S.  District Court Judge Steven Logan on October 21, and post-hearing filings were filed by both sides. Then, on Friday, Reagan issued a news release in which she said "We also hope to add an additional 2,069 potential voters if the court allows those who registered after the statutory deadline to be added to the rolls." (emphasis added).

That prompted the Democrats and the Judge to ask for a Halloween Day clarification. The State said (below) that there was no contradiction: "(T)he Secretary’s intent was to make an aspirational statement that, should she receive an adverse ruling in this matter, she would do her utmost to comply."

This morning, the Democrats filed a Motion To Modify Relief Sought. Instead of forcing the names to be added to the Election Day pollbooks, the Democrats asked that the 2,069 be permitted to cast provisional ballots and that those ballots be counted with other valid provisionals. They also ask that Reagan quickly mail out a notice to the 2,069, informing them of their right to vote a provisional.

Within the past hour, the State responded, insisting that even if Judge Logan orders Reagan to do so, Reagan has no authority to force all of the County Recorders to accept and count the ballots. The State is mystified as to WHY the Democrats have not named the County Recorders as Defendants. (Arizona's Politics is, as well.)

Judge Logan will likely rule quickly.

(Tempe attorney Paul Weich, who includes election law in his practice, contributed this article.)

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