Democratic National Party of Georgia v. Raffensperger

1:19-mi-99999-UNA | Closed

Plaintiffs, the Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) and other democratic groups, filed suit against Georgia Secretary of State claiming that a subset of Georgia voters had been disenfranchised, despite a revised vote-by-mail scheme that was passed by the state legislature. The legislation came after absentee ballot litigation post-2018 mid-term elections.  It was designed to prevent absentee ballots from being rejected over missing or mismatched signatures and to provide an option to cure the ballots for up to three days after an election.  They claim that this relaxing of safeguards and elimination of previously enforced technical requirements is still insufficient.  Their main complaint is that the procedure for curing faulty ballots is not standardized across the state, and given confusing ballot designs, voters continue to make mistakes on their absentee ballots.

Remarkably, they claim this will have the greatest impact on minority voters.  “This disparity is particularly acute in Gwinnett County, where people of color make up nearly 45 percent of registered voters. African-American and Latino voters make up over 35 percent of Gwinnett County’s active voting population, and they accounted for 49 percent of rejected absentee ballots during the 2018 general election.”  In a press release announcing this lawsuit, DPG Chair Nikema Williams said, “This disparity is particularly acute in Gwinnett County, where people of color make up nearly 45 percent of registered voters. African-American and Latino voters make up over 35 percent of Gwinnett County’s active voting population, and they accounted for 49 percent of rejected absentee ballots during the 2018 general election .”

The remedies they sought included a series of declarations that the updated vote-by-mail scheme violates the US Constitution and injunctive relief to standardize the notification process for defective ballots.  Ultimately, this resulted in the “Consent Decree” settlement that caused further litigation as Secretary Raffensperger did not have the authority to enter into an agreement that usurped the Georgia legislature.

 

 

Case Details

State

Filing Date

03/06/2020

Original Court

US District Court

Documents

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