This case was filed in anticipation of Alabama’s August municipal elections and the November 2020 Presidential Election. Plaintiffs went to court to force Alabama elected officials to use emergency powers to further modify absentee ballot application requirements and employ new in-person voting procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alabama Secretary of State had authorized Alabama voters to obtain absentee ballots without medical excuse, but did not waive any other state requirements for obtaining and submitting an absentee ballot or unilaterally overhaul election day in-person voting procedures.
Plaintiffs alleged in their complaint that Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill and Governor Kay Ivey violated Plaintiffs’ right to vote by failing to order no-excuse absentee voting and waiver of Alabama’s photo ID, notary/witness, and deadline requirements for absentee ballot applications for all 2020 elections. Plaintiffs also alleged that Merrill and Ivey violated their right to vote by failing to allow drive through voting, extensive early voting, and other modifications to election day state voting procedures in 2020.
The Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama dismissed Plaintiffs’ action without prejudice due to failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, lack of standing due to Defendants’ sovereign immunity, and recognition of Plaintiff’s claim as a non-justiciable political question.