Some Wisconsin Election Managers Ignoring Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling on Absentee Ballots

There are different rules for returning absentee ballots in some Wisconsin communities.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court in February reinstated an order from a Waukesha County judge that banned ballot drop boxes and stated that voters can only return their own ballot to the polling place or elections office.

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Conservative Justices Question Racial Gerrymandering, Equal Protection in Wisconsin Map Ruling

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has decided on a new political map, and it’s raising questions about race and judicial activism.

The court ruled 4-3 Thursday to adopt the maps drawn by Gov. Tony Evers.

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Washington Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Talks Schumer’s Voting Rights Act and Filibuster

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Naitonal Political Editor for The Tennessee Star Report, Neil W. McCabe live from Washington, D.C. to weigh in on Voting Rights Act progress and the filibuster vote.

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Virginia Redistricting Commission Spends a Week Providing Clarification to Map Drawers

After a strategy shift, the Virginia Redistricting Commission spent its two meetings this week discussing guidance from legal teams about how to ensure legal compliance with the Voting Rights Act (VRA), and how to consider political subdivisions, communities of interest, and partisan equity. Republican and Democratic legal teams shared different analyses of how to ensure compliance with section two of the VRA, which requires that districts not dilute the voting power of protected minorities. Democratic legal counsel argued that map drawers must create majority-minority districts where possible including through coalitions of minority groups. Republican counsel said that while creating those districts was permissible and even likely to happen, explicitly instructing the mapdrawers to consider race fell outside the legal criteria under which race can be considered, violating the Equal Protection Clause.

The commission debated the issue for hours across two meetings on Monday and Wednesday and defeated three proposals to say the mapdrawers “shall,” “may,” or “shall provide where practicable,” the majority-minority districts.

Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) summarized the debate over the “shall” language Monday: “This motion specifically means that we’re going to get sued one way or the other — one counsel is saying we specifically can’t do this, one counsel is saying we specifically have to do this.”

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Commentary: Supreme Court Raised the Bar for Challenge to Georgia Election Law

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee has prompted extensive commentary about the implications for future challenges to election laws under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Litigants arguing that some laws, such as Georgia’s newly enacted SB 202, disproportionately affect racial minorities may have a greater challenge meeting the standard set forth by the court than the standard that some lower courts had been using in recent years.

But while the justices split on a 6-3 vote on whether a pair of Arizona statutes ran afoul of the Act, it voted 6-0 (with three justices not addressing the question) in concluding that Arizona did not act with discriminatory intent. This holding sets the stage for the Justice Department’s recent lawsuit against Georgia, and it offers hints at how district courts and reviewing courts should behave. In short, the Justice Department has an uphill battle.

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Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Voting Restrictions, ‘Not Racially Discriminatory’

Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld Arizona law prohibiting ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting. The three dissents in the case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (DNC), came from Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. The DNC had argued that the state’s bans on ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting discriminated against minorities, thereby violating the Voting Rights Act. SCOTUS rejected that assessment.

Arizona law prohibits individuals from casting provisional ballots in person on Election Day outside of their designated precinct. It also prohibits ballot harvesting, meaning that only family and household members, caregivers, mail carriers, and election officials can handle individual’s ballots.

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U.S. Supreme Court Reinstalls Arizona Ban on Ballot Harvesting as Ballots Hit Mailboxes

Arizona’s 2016 ballot harvesting ban will remain in effect for the 2020 General Election.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that they would hear Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s appeal against the Democratic National Committee over their challenge to a ban on anyone except a caregiver or immediate family member delivering an early ballot.

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