In North Carolina, the local operative allegedly behind an absentee ballot fraud scheme was arrested Wednesday. Leslie McCrae Dowless is facing three counts of felonious obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of absentee ballots. Dowless, whose operation prompted state officials to call a new election in North Carolina’s ninth congressional district, is being prosecuted by the Wake County District Attorney.
House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled legislation to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013. The bill, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, is similar to VRA fix legislation put forward by Democrats in 2017. Under the proposed fix, states or localities that are found to have violated voting rights — via a court ruling, a settlement or an objection by the Attorney General — a specific amount of times within a particular time period would be put under preclearance, requiring them to get federal approval before putting any changes to voting law in place.
Election officials in Texas were ordered by a federal judge Wednesday to not use a shoddy list of alleged noncitizens to remove anyone from the voter rolls without first getting the court’s permission. The list — which purported to show that nearly 100,000 noncitizens were on Texas’ voter rolls — was filled with false positives and prompted multiple lawsuits. Under the judge’s order, officials are also prohibited from sending out notices seeking proof of citizenship on the basis of the list. Meanwhile, the confirmation of interim Texas Secretary of State David Whitley remains pending — Democrats in the state senate have secured the votes to block him. However, he was passed out of committee in a party-lines vote last week, and Republicans will have the votes to confirm him on the statehouse floor if three or more Democrats are absent at any given time.
Louisiana on Friday began implementation of a law that will restore the franchise to felons once they have been out of prison for five years. Some 36,000 people are expected to be affected by the new law.
Last week, I wrote about how a discovery dispute in a lawsuit in Virginia surfaced emails between two former Trump voter fraud commissioners. One of the commissioners, J. Christian Adams, is being sued over a report he assembled claiming thousands of noncitizens were on the Virginia voter rolls. In emails between him, ex-commissioner Hans von Spakovsky and others, Adams complained about the coverage the report received.
The court fight continues over whether the administration has to turn over other commission documents from a former member who says he was cut out of the process. The Justice Department is appealing an order that it produce emails regarding potential commissioners, while litigation is set to proceed over documents from Vice President Mike Pence’s office.
In a bipartisan vote, the Kansas state Senate advanced a bill on Wednesday that would loosen Kansas’ signature match requirement for mail-in ballots. The bill requires that state officials notify voters who have a signature issue on their ballot and give them an extra week to fix it.
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