News Flash

Senators Come to Final Agreement on Gun Control – Here Are the 14 RINO Senators Who Voted to Advance the Bill

The Red Flag Laws by Democrats and RINOs are not meant to stop crime. They are only meant to take guns from legal gun owners.

Earlier this month a group of bipartisan senators reached an agreement on principle for gun legislation which includes ‘red flag’ laws.  The Senate voted 64-34 to advance the gun control bill Tuesday evening (June 21)

11 Republicans (aka RINOs) joined the Democrats and bowed to their demands.

Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr of North Carolina, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are so far on board with the gun control legislation.

“Republicans refused to include proposals in Tuesday’s compromise that were sought by President Joe Biden and Democrats to ban assault weapons or raise the minimum age for buying them, prohibit high-capacity magazines or require background checks for virtually all gun sales.” -AP reported.

Schumer said he wants the senate to vote on the legislation this week before lawmakers begin a two-week recess for Independence Day.

AP reported:

Nine days after Senate bargainers agreed to a framework proposal — and 29 years after Congress last enacted a major measure curbing firearms — Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters that a final agreement on the proposal’s details was at hand.

The legislation lawmakers have been working toward would toughen background checks for the youngest firearms buyers, require more sellers to conduct background checks and beef up penalties on gun traffickers. It also would disburse money to states and communities aimed at improving school safety and mental health initiatives.

“I think we’ve reached agreement,” Murphy said. “And just we’re dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s right now. I think we’re in good shape.”

The senators did not initially say how they’d resolved the two major stumbling blocks that had delayed agreement on the plan’s legislative language.

One was how to make abusive romantic partners subject to the existing ban that violent spouses face to obtaining guns. The other was providing federal aid to states that have “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take firearms away from people deemed dangerous or to states that have violence intervention programs.

A reporter for ABC asked Senator Cornyn about the gun control legislation and how it felt being booed at the Texas GOP convention.

Cornyn said he didn’t mind being booed because he supports people’s First Amendment rights.  But apparently Cornyn doesn’t support Second Amendment rights.

14 Republican Senators voted to advance the 80-page gun control bill:

Roy Blunt
Richard Burr
Shelly Moore-Capito
Bill Cassidy
Susan Collins
John Cornyn
Joni Ernst
Lindsey Graham
Mitch McConnell
Lisa Murkowski

Rob Portman
Mitt Romney
Thom Tillis
Todd Young

By Cristina Laila 
Gateway Pundit  Published June 21, 2022

RPOF Newsletter – June 6, 2022

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

Governor signs $109.9 billion Freedom First Budget with record tax relief

Governor DeSantis signed the $109.9 billion Freedom First budget that includes the largest tax cut in Florida history and the largest rainy day fund while vetoing a record $3.1 billion.

“Florida has preserved freedom and kept the economy open, which has enabled the state to outperform the nation in jobs, growth, and business formations,” Governor DeSantis said.  

Despite reckless and disastrous federal economic policies, Florida has maintained – and even increased – its sound fiscal footing with more than $20 billion in reserves due to a robust economy driven by our state staying open and free during the pandemic.  

Some Freedom First Budget highlights include:

  • $1.24 billion in tax relief, largest in history of Florida
  • $3 billion in rainy day funds, part of a record $20 billion reserves.
  • Record-breaking education spending with largest increase in per-pupil funding
  • Record-breaking infrastructure investments
  • Record-breaking conservation and environmental funding
  • Prioritizes public safety and continues commitment to law enforcement
  • Florida continues to have the lowest taxes per person in the nation.

Read more about the Freedom First Budget. 

FLORIDA

Governor signs property insurance reforms

Governor DeSantis signed legislation implementing the most significant property insurance reforms Florida has seen in decades to provide relief to Floridians’ skyrocketing insurance costs. Additionally, Governor DeSantis also signed legislation that modifies structural inspection and financial reserve requirements for condominium associations.

“These bills will help stabilize a problematic market, help Floridians harden their homes through the My Safe Florida Home Program and pave the way for more choices for homeowners,” Governor DeSantis said.

Reforms increasing condominium safety include:

  • Requiring inspections for all condominiums and cooperative buildings that are three stories or higher.
  • Requiring condominiums and cooperatives to conduct structural integrity reserve studies for buildings three stories or higher to ensure funding for future structural repairs.
  • Increasing transparency by requiring all structural inspections reports and reserve studies to be part of the associations’ official record and provided to potential purchasers.

 Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/05/26/governor-ron-desantis-signs-bipartisan-property-insurance-and-condominium-safety-reforms/


WE’RE STRONGER PULLING TOGETHER!

You have the ability to greatly expand the message of the Republican Party by sharing Facebook and Twitter posts. Please follow and retweet us on Twitter @FloridaGOP, and like and share us on Facebook at FloridaGOP. We can win over even more if we all pitch in to reach them with our message.

Senator Rubio receives strong law enforcement support

Senator Rubio’s campaign released a video revealing he has the backing of 55 Florida Sheriffs, the 1,000-member Florida Police Chiefs Association and the 30,000-member Police Benevolent Association. 

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7JIIcKDsbk

AG Moody instrumental in getting feds to fight foreign robocalls

Attorney General Moody led the way in persuading the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action to decrease illicit, foreign robocalls. 

“The best way to stop scams associated with robocalls is to block the avenues some telemarketers use to send fraudulent automated messages,” AG Moody said. “By working with the FCC, we are gaining ground in our fight to protect Floridians by ensuring carriers utilize the latest technology to try and keep foreign actors from bombarding phones with illegal robocall messages.”

Read more: https://www.floridadaily.com/ashley-moody-state-ag-foreign-robocalls/

CFO Patronis urges preparations for the hurricane season

On Wednesday, the first day of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis joined Urban Search & Rescue Florida Task Force 2 and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to urge Floridians to prepare for disasters now, before a hurricane takes aim at Florida. Experts recently predicted an above-normal 2022 Hurricane Season, with the possibility of up to 21 named storms and six major hurricanes.

Read more: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/sitePages/newsroom/pressRelease.aspx?id=6192

LG Nuñez reminds Floridians to be ready for hurricane season

Lieutenant Governor Nuñez urges Floridians that with hurricane season starting this week, every resident and visitor needs to prepare and have a plan in place. She reminded Floridians to take advantage of the Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, which runs from now through June 10.

More information on the tax holiday here: ​​https://www.floridadisaster.org/globalassets/plan–prepare/2022-disaster-prep-tax-holiday-flyer-updated.pdf

 

SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

REMEMBER: @FloridaGOP and retweet and share. The Republican message must be spread around the state, and you are integral to making that happen.

EXCLUSIVE: RNC Unveils New Ad Highlighting Actual Crises While Democrats Binge Jan. 6 Soap Opera

Republican National Committee

EXCLUSIVE: RNC Unveils New Ad Highlighting Actual Crises While Democrats Binge Jan. 6 Soap Opera

Shared by:

Peter M. Feaman, RPOF National Committeeman

pfeaman@feamanlaw.com

The Republican National Committee unveiled a new ad highlighting the “multitude of crises” faced by Americans as Democrats focus on a prime-time show trial over a roughly three-hour riot from 18 months ago.

The ad begins with the horrifying footage of chaotic scenes at the Kabul airport when scores of desperate Afghans chased American airplanes on the tarmac amid the U.S. withdrawal last summer.

“You cannot defend the execution here, this has been a disaster,” says an unnamed voice in the background who is former Obama Adviser David Axelrod.

Watch RNC Video

The ad continues with emphasis on the border crisis, high inflation, baby formula shortages, soaring gas prices, and a new crime wave all while Democrats schedule prime-time hearings on the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

“Pelosi’s committee is partisan and illegitimate,” RNC Communications Director Danielle Alvarez told The Federalist, in a point of frustration over the probe operating absent of Republican appointments for the first time in House history.

“Instead of investigating the radical who placed a pipe bomb outside the RNC’s headquarters on January 6, tonight’s hearing is nothing more than political theater,” Alvarez added. “Americans want Congress to focus on the most pressing crises created by Biden and Democrats — record gas prices, the worst inflation in 40 years, empty shelves, and rising crime — not conduct a political circus in prime time.”

Last week, Gallup revealed that Americans’ confidence in the economy is at its lowest point since 2009 while the public copes with inflation at its fastest pace in four decades and rapidly rising gas prices at the same time. On Thursday, soaring gas prices reached a new record and will soon eclipse a nationwide average of $5 per gallon in the coming days if not Friday.

Seventy-seven percent of Americans, meanwhile, disapprove of Congress’ job performance in its highest disapproval since 2016, according to a Monmouth University poll from May. More than 2 in 5 Americans, or 44 percent, believe “too much is being made” of the Capitol riot and that “it’s time to move on,” in another survey from Quinnipiac out in January.

In March, Democrats on the House’s sham Jan. 6 Committee desperate to change the narrative ahead of an already hostile election cycle to the president’s party conceded to The Washington Post their work was all about the midterms.

“They hope their recommendations to prevent another insurrection will be adopted, but also that their work will repel voters from Republicans who they say helped propel the attack,” the Post reported.

To spearhead the dramatic production of Thursday’s Capitol Hill soap opera, the Select Committee recruited former ABC News President James Goldston.

Rep. Scott Franklin: The Ready Room – June 14, 2022

Hello Friend,

Welcome to my e-newsletter, the Ready Room. As a retired Naval Aviator, the Ready Room is special to me because it’s where fellow aviators meet to brief and debrief missions. This is my weekly briefing to you on my mission in Congress. Please follow me on Facebook Twitter Instagram  and YouTube for regular updates on how my team and I are working to serve you in Congress.

The Biden Administration MUST End Their War on Domestic Energy 

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Gas prices have doubled since President Biden took office, hurting the pocketbooks of all Americans. Instead of lowering costs by unleashing America’s domestic energy supply, the Biden administration pursues Green New Deal policies while begging The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel to pump more oil. Restricting American energy production and leaning on foreign adversaries is not a viable solution to our energy crisis. The answer to America’s energy needs is to ramp up domestic oil production to lower costs and create jobs here at home.


In the News

  • Franklin Joins Colleagues Urging the Biden Administration to Solve His Energy Crisis with American Energy: Last week, I joined a group of my House colleagues calling on the Biden administration to address global energy demand with U.S. energy. Instead of asking foreign countries like Saudi Arabia to increase production, we should expand our domestic supply. Click here to read the letter.
  • Franklin Urges the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator to Address Supply Chain Shortages Before Hurricane Season: I joined a bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers to inform the FEMA Administrator of the critical supply chain shortages affecting Florida’s electric cooperatives and municipalities before the onset of the Atlantic hurricane season. A lack of proper equipment could leave Floridians without power for substantial periods of time. Click here to read the entire letter.

 

Want a Flag Flown Over the U.S. Capitol?

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U.S. Capitol (courtesy of Canva)

My office can help you purchase flags that are flown over the United States Capitol. These flags are great gifts to honor special events or commemorations. All flag purchases include a dedication message, which can be personalized for a particular person, event, or organization. For more information, click here .


Constituent Corner  

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Plaque on Veterans Administration office building (courtesy of Canva)

Sue helped her neighbor Larry contact our office for assistance with the VA. We were able to ultimately help Larry obtain his military discharge papers (DD214) so he can apply for VA benefits. If you need help with a federal agency, please call our Lakeland office at (863) 644-8215 or visit my website at franklin.house.gov .


Do you want updates on my work in Congress?

Follow me Facebook by clicking here  or on the image below. This is the best way to stay up to date on news from my office.

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I’m honored to represent you in Congress. For more information on constituent services, current legislation and to sign up for my e-newsletter, please visit my website at franklin.house.gov 

Best regards,

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C. Scott Franklin
Member of Congress

RNC Election law Update June 14, 2022

Republican National Committee

ELECTION LAW UPDATE

Shared by Peter M. Feaman

National Committeeman for Florida

 

State Legislation Highlights

States currently in Session: Arizona, California, Delaware, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

States in Regular Session throughout the year: Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania

States Sine die: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Arizona

Last week, Governor Ducey signed SB1013SB1170SB1260SB1362, and SB1460.

  • SB1013: requires the AZ Game & Fish Department to aid with voter registration when accepting license applications by providing a link to the Department of Transportation’s voter registration webpage or a voter registration form; directs the Secretary of State to provide the Game & Fish Department with voter registration forms and instructions for applicants to mail completed forms to the Secretary of State; instructs the Secretary of State to forward completed voter registration forms to the appropriate county recorder; specifies that public information derived from this voter registration information must not indicate the source of the registration information; and clarifies that Game & Fish Department representatives who aid with voter registration are not deputy registrars.
  • SB1170: requires the Secretary of State, by December 31, 2022, to submit a request to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to include Arizona’s state-specific proof of citizenship on the federal voter registration form.
  • SB1260: classifies, as a class 5 felony, knowingly providing a mechanism for another person who is registered in another state to vote. It also requires a county recorder to cancel a person’s registration and remove the person’s name from the county’s Active Early Voting List upon confirmation that a person has registered to vote in another county or upon receipt of a ballot envelope indicating the person has moved.
  • SB1362: allows every county recorder to provide for a method for an elector to have the elector’s completed early ballot tabulated on site at a polling place or voting center according to outlined requirements.
  • SB1460: modifies statutory requirements relating to the issuance of ballots at a polling place to persons that previously received an early ballot, procedures following redistricting, the filing of nomination papers and nomination petitions, the signing of nomination petitions, voter registration information, and vacancies due to the withdrawal of a candidate.

On May 27, Governor Ducey voted HB2617 , which would have required county recorders to cancel the voter registration of a person for whom the county recorder receives and confirms information that the person is not a U.S. citizen, has been issued a driver license or nonoperating license in another state or is otherwise not a qualified elector; and outlined notice requirements prior to cancelling a person’s voter registration. It also would have required the Secretary of State and a county recorder to compare the voter registration database with prescribed databases.

Louisiana

The Louisiana legislature passed and Governor Edwards signed HB359, which prohibits implementation of federal election directives and guidance. HB359 also prohibits the spending of federal money for elections, under certain conditions.

Massachusetts

Last week, four Democrats signed off on SB2924, a compromise that would shorten the time a voter must register prior to an election from 20 days, to 10 days, and permanently codifies the mail-in and expanded early voting options made available during the pandemic. The two Republicans on the Conference Committee did not sign off on the compromise.

Michigan

Last week, Sen. McCann introduced Senate Joint Resolution P, which would allow 17-year-olds vote in a primary election if they will be 18 and eligible to vote by the date of November’s general election.

New York

The New York State Assembly passed SB1046E , the “John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York” or “NYVRA”, which establishes rights of action for denying or abridging the right of any member of a protected class to vote, provides assistance to language-minority groups, requires certain political subdivisions to receive preclearance for potential violations of the NYVRA, and creates civil liability for voter intimidation. The legislation was transmitted to Governor Hochul for signature.

North Carolina

The North Carolina State Senate introduced several election-related legislation, including:

  • SB819: extends the 2022 deadline regarding retention of the 2020 election records and requires the use of container-return envelopes to hold mail-in absentee ballots for a twenty-two month period.
  • SB833: makes the statewide general Election Day an official paid State holiday.
  • SB878: updates election dates in various townships and the Maury Sanitary Land District Board.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Senate passed SB573, which removes the county residency requirement for poll watchers, allowing Pennsylvania residents from any county to become certified poll watchers anywhere in the state. A House panel advanced a bill barring county officials from soliciting or accepting non-government funding for elections.

Campaign Finance

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) issued an interim final rule removing 11 C.F.R. § 109.10(e)(1)(vi) to conform with the decision in Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. v. FEC, 316 F.Supp.3d 349, 423 (D.D.C. 2018), aff’d by Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. v. FEC, 971 F.3d 340, 356 (D.C. Cir. 2020). The interim final rule provides further guidance on donor disclosure for groups paying for political advertisements.

FEC Reminder: June is a busy time for primary elections, which can trigger additional reports for quarterly filers and for those making election-related communications. If you make independent expenditures or electioneering communications in connection with primary elections, you may have special reporting obligations.

State Litigation Highlights

Arizona

In August, a lawsuit, Mi Familia Vota v. Hobbs, was filed in AZ challenging SB1485, which removes voters from the permanent mail ballot list if a voter does not vote by mail in two straight election cycles; and SB1003, which requires voters to “cure” signature-less ballots by 7PM on Election Day. The RNC and the NRSC intervened to defend the laws. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on November 18, and discovery is underway. On March 14, Mi Familia Vota filed a notice with the court stating that it did not intend to seek a preliminary injunction prior to the 2022 midterms. A hearing on the defendant’s motion to dismiss was held on June 7.

Two lawsuits were filed challenging HB2492, which requires proof of citizenship for individuals who register using a federal form required by the National Voter Registration Act. Any voter who cannot satisfy the requirement will be ineligible to vote for president or by mail. On May 12, the RNC, the Republican Party of Arizona, and Mohave and Gila County Republican Parties moved to intervene in the two lawsuits to defend HB249. The Democratic National Committee and the Arizona Democratic Party also plan to file a lawsuit challenging the law.

Florida

In June, the RNC and NRSC were granted intervention in all four lawsuits challenging provisions of SB90, Florida’s 2021 election reform legislation. On March 31, the U.S. District Court permanently enjoined multiple provisions of SB90 including the required registration disclaimers for third party voter registration organizations (§ 97.0575(3)(a)), registration delivery provisions for third party voter registration organizations (id.), drop box regulations (§§ 101.69(2)-(3)), and line warming provisions (§§ 102.031(4)(a)-(b)). Defendants, including the RNC and NRSC filed a notice of appeal on April 7, and a stay request with the 11th Circuit on April 11. On May 6, the 11th Circuit granted the defendants’ stay request, leaving in effect provisions previously struck down by the lower court and rejecting the district court’s order to put Florida under “preclearance” for ten years.

Georgia

In July, the RNC, NRSC, NRCC, and GA GOP were granted intervention in eight lawsuits, including the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the State, challenging provisions of SB202 . Previously, the court denied motions to dismiss for lack of standing and on the merits, filed by the RNC, other Republican organizations, and Republican lawmakers in Georgia in eight of the lawsuits. In December, the court denied the motions to dismiss filed by the State, RNC, NRSC, NRCC, and the GA GOP. The court considered the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction at a hearing on June 9 and 10. In the 9th case challenging SB202, the court dismissed the case without prejudice for failure to serve the defendants.

On May 2, a group of liberal organizations sued Georgia’s Election Board regarding absentee ballot applications. In Georgia, an absentee ballot must be signed with pen and ink. The groups seek declaratory and injunctive relief, requesting the court find that the so-called Pen and Ink rule violates the Civil Rights Act and to enjoin its enforcement.

A federal lawsuit, filed back in 2018 by liberal voting rights groups, is in the middle of its trial in Georgia. The state began its defense today. The plaintiffs argue the State’s “exact match” registration rules and additional absentee ballot requirements, put in place by SB202, violate the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

Iowa

The RNC, Iowa GOP, NRCC, and NRSC were granted intervention to defend against a lawsuit challenging provisions of SF413 and SF568. The trial set for March 21 was pushed back in light of discovery disputes between the Iowa legislature and plaintiffs. On March 16, the Iowa Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve these discovery disputes.

Michigan

In 2019, activist groups challenged Michigan elections laws that restrict paid voter transportation services and out-of-state organizations assisting voters with absentee ballot applications. The RNC and MIGOP were granted intervention in the case. The district court initially granted an injunction that prohibited Michigan from enforcing its voter transportation restriction, but the 6th Circuit reversed . On March 21, the RNC and other Republican groups filed a motion for summary judgment and asked the district court to dismiss the suit. On March 29, Uber filed an amicus brief on behalf of the activist groups.

Montana

In April 2021, the Montana Democratic Party and activist groups sued the State over its election integrity measures, which include elimination of Election Day voter registration, types of voter ID permitted, and paid ballot harvesting. On April 6, 2022, a Montana state court temporarily suspended enforcement of these laws. The case has been appealed to the MT Supreme Court . On May 17, the MT Supreme Court granted the defendant’s stay of the preliminary injunction. Update: On June 9, 2022, Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) filed an amicus brief on behalf of state.

Nevada

On April 14, a lawsuit was filed in Clark County alleging that Nevada failed to offer “meaningful observation” during the 2020 election cycle and that the state does not have a plan in place to provide this in the upcoming elections. A similar case was brought in Washoe County, but was dismissed by the district court judge.

New York

The RNC, NRCC, and New York State Republican Committee filed a motion to intervene in a case brought by Democrats challenging NY ballot rejection practices. On May 13, the court granted the RNC’s motion to intervene and a preliminary injunction hearing was held on June 27.

In January, the RNC and NY GOP, leading a broad bipartisan coalition of officeholders and concerned citizens, including Congresswoman Malliotakis and naturalized citizen voters, sued Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Council, and the New York City Board of Elections in state court over the “Non-Citizen Voting Law,” which illegally allows non-citizens to vote in city elections. The complaint is available here. The NYC Board of Elections has since requested that the State review the law and issue an opinion on its legality. The case was assigned to Judge Ralph Porzio. Oral arguments in the case were held on June 7.

Pennsylvania

In January, Republican David Ritter, a candidate for Judge of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, appealed the County Board of Elections 3-0 decision to count 261 challenged mail-in ballots that were undated or improperly dated. On November 30, 2021, the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County denied Ritter’s appeal and ordered the county Board to include the 261 mail-in ballots in its canvass. The case was then appealed to the Commonwealth Court which, in a 2-1 decision , reversed and remanded the case concluding that the 257 ballots that do not contain a date must be set aside and not counted in the Municipal Election. Democrat candidate Zachary Cohen filed an appeal with the PA Supreme Court. The PA Supreme Court denied the appeal.

In January, five voters who failed to date their ballot sued the Lehigh County Board of Elections in federal court to have their undated votes counted. Both Ritter and the losing candidate in the election intervened. The County Board agreed to not certify the election while the litigation was pending. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. On March 16, the district court granted Ritter’s motion for summary judgment and ordered that the undated ballots should not be counted. Plaintiffs appealed. After the district court declined to delay certification, the 3rd Circuit  issued a temporary injunction preventing the county Board from certifying. On April 1, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the case. On May 20, the 3rd Circuit ruled that the date requirement was immaterial and ordered that the undated ballots be counted. On May 23, Ritter filed a stay request with the 3rd Circuit which would allow him to file a cert petition with the Supreme Court. The Third Circuit denied the stay request and then SCOTUS granted an administrative stay. Update: The stay was vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision with Justices Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch dissenting. The U.S. District Court accordingly ordered Lehigh County Board of Elections to count the undated ballots in accordance with the 3rd Circuit’s decision.

U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick filed suit in state court seeking an order for all counties to count undated ballots cast in last week’s primary. The PA Commonwealth Court granted the injunction and instructed County Boards to segregate the ballots and report two tallies to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. A King’s Bench application was also made on the same issue to the PA Supreme Court, which denied the suit. After dropping out of the recount, McCormick filed for voluntary discontinuance or dismissal for mootness with the Commonwealth Court. The Court granted the discontinuance but declined to vacate the order. On June 9, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted a discontinuance of the PAGOP’s and RNC’s appeal.

In May, Democrat voters filed suit against the Lehigh and Northampton County Boards of Elections alleging the election officials declined to count those ballots due to noncompliance with the Secrecy Envelope Rule or the Election Day Receipt Deadline. The RNC and Republican Party of Pennsylvania have moved to intervene. Update: On June 7, the RNC and Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s motion to intervene was granted.

On March 8, the PA Supreme Court heard oral argument on the challenge to Act 77, which established no excuse absentee voting in PA. This was an appeal of a January 28 Commonwealth Court ruling that struck down Act 77, holding it violated the PA Constitution. Under PA law, the Commonwealth Court ruling was automatically stayed but the court subsequently terminated the stay effective March 15. The termination of the stay was appealed to the PA Supreme Court, which reinstated the stay, effective until the conclusion of the case. A link to the oral arguments can be found here.

On February 11, the RNC sued PA’s Bucks County Board of Elections for its refusal to provide records related to how it counts absentee ballots.

Tennessee

On June 3, a Nashville court ruled that the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive committee violated the state open meetings act when it removed Robby Starbuck from the ballot for the 5th Congressional Republican primary. The judge ruled that Starbuck should be restored to the ballot. Update: On June 10, 2022, Tennessee Supreme Court ruled the lower court erred in granting Starbuck an injunction that put him back on the ballot.

Texas

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State, challenging certain provisions in the recently enacted election integrity bill: SB1. The DOJ claims the law violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act. The RNC, NRCC, NRSC, and Dallas and Harris County Republican Parties moved to intervene in the DOJ suit and others challenging SB1. The court denied the party committees’ motion to intervene, and the party committees promptly appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit. The U.S. Department of Justice actively opposed the party committees’ intervention. On March 25, the 5th Circuit ruled that the Republican committees were entitled to intervention as of right and ordered the district court to grant intervention to the committees. The RNC and other party committees re-filed for intervention, which was granted by the district court on May 13. On May 24, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss.

The 5th Circuit, in two similar cases challenging various provisions of the Texas election code, directed the lower court to dismiss the Secretary of State from the case because he was not a proper defendant.

Vermont

In September, the RNC sued the cities of Montpelier and Winooski over their new town charters that allow non-citizens to vote in their municipal elections. The lawsuit also raises important concerns about how the laws will be implemented and whether non-citizens will end up on the same voter registration lists used for state-level and federal elections. The RNC is joined in the suit by the Vermont Republican Party and several concerned Vermont voters. A hearing on the motion to dismiss in the Montpelier litigation was held on March 31. On April 1, the Montpelier court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss , finding the plaintiffs have standing, but under its interpretation of Vermont Supreme Court precedent, was required to dismiss the case. The RNC and other plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on April 29. The hearing on the motion to dismiss in the Winooski case is set for June 27.

Wisconsin

In Teigen v. WEC, the WI Circuit Court ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes are not permitted under Wisconsin law and ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) to retract its instructions on the use of drop boxes. WEC appealed the ruling. The court also denied a request to stay the ruling for the February 15 primary while the defendants pursue an appeal. The Court of Appeals granted petition to bypass; thus, the WI Supreme Court will hear argument on the case. The WI Supreme Court denied a stay motion that would have allowed absentee drop boxes through the April 5 election; accordingly, drop boxes located outside of local clerks’ offices will be illegal and no one other than the voter will be allowed to return an absentee ballot. On March 23, the RNC, NRSC, and Republican Party of Wisconsin moved to file an amicus brief in support of Teigen. The WI Supreme Court heard merits arguments on the case on April 13.

Other News

  • National: iVote, a group focused on electing Democrats to Secretary of State offices across the country, plans to launch an eight-figure media campaign supporting Democrat candidates in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Minnesota.
  • National: Efforts are underway in several Southern states to restore voting rights to people with felony convictions who have completed their sentences.
  • National: The Bipartisan Policy Center released a study on paper shortages for election materials.
  • AZ: A state court judge ruled Alaska elections officials cannot certify the results of the by-mail special primary for U.S. House until visually impaired voters “are provided a full and fair opportunity to participate” in the election.
  • CT: The State set aside $2 million dollars to counter “misinformation narratives about voting,” which will include hiring the State’s first ever “expert in combatting misinformation.”
  • IA: Last week, Iowa saw its second highest turnout for a primary election since 1994, after the enactment of SB413 in March 2021.
  • NJ: Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) discovered more than 8,000 double-registered voters in its analysis of the New Jersey voter rolls.
  • OH: Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections continued conducting post-election audits of the May 3rd Primary Election this week. After every Ohio election, county boards of elections are required to conduct a comprehensive audit of the results to ensure accuracy, during which they compare fidelity between the electronic tabulation and the paper ballots.
  • PA: Former U.S. Congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers plead guilty to numerous voter fraud charges for ballot stuffing in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 
  • PA: The Wall Street Journal weighed in on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Pennsylvania’s undated ballots.
  • PA: GoErie has a story on potential legislative solutions to some of the state’s chronic election problems.
  • WV: In response to President Biden’s Executive Order, West Virginia’s Secretary of State asked the Administration to rescind the Executive Order because it is an overreach by the federal government.
  • WI: The Wisconsin Elections Commission elected Don Millis, the body’s newly appointed Republican member, as its next chair in a 5-1 vote.

A STATEMENT FROM POLK COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN JC MARTIN REGARDING SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE FORUMS AT RPOF CHARTERED REPUBLICAN CLUBS:

A STATEMENT FROM POLK COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN JC MARTIN REGARDING SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE FORUMS AT RPOF CHARTERED REPUBLICAN CLUBS:

The Polk County Republican Party has endorsed candidates this year for the Polk County School Board. A non-republican member of the school board is demanding that she be allowed in Republican Party events promoting our endorsed candidates. I support our Republican Club Presidents that have made it clear that she will not be allowed to attend and disrupt our events.
Just like any organization, Republican Clubs have every right to promote and gather without any outsiders demanding entry. They are holding these events to promote the fact that the Republican Party has endorsed a slate of candidates because we’re sick of having a School Board that doesn’t represent the values and views of Polk County, the parents, and the voters at large. Today, the current School Board presides over a Polk County School System that has ZERO A-Rated High Schools. Yet, they mock concerned parents and grandparents that wish to call them to task for their failing policies. That’s why the Republican Party of Polk County has decided to take strong action to throw them all out.
Past years the Party rarely endorsed and candidates were often invited. Key word. Invited. No uninvited candidates will be allowed in our private events. Any persons that come to these events can expect to be trespassed. Now that the public sees clearly what a poor job our existing School Board is doing, they are trying to distract the issue by complaining they can’t impose themselves on groups that don’t want them at their events. If they were doing a good job, they would be welcome.

Rep. Scott Franklin: The Ready Room – May 31, 2022

Hello Friend,

Welcome to my e-newsletter, the Ready Room. As a retired Naval Aviator, the Ready Room is special to me because it’s where fellow aviators meet to brief and debrief missions. This is my weekly briefing to you on my mission in Congress. Please follow me on Facebook Twitter Instagram  and YouTube for regular updates on how my team and I are working to serve you in Congress.

Celebrating Those Who Gave All in Defense of Liberty

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Sailors at funeral at Arlington Cemetery (courtesy of the US Navy)

America continues to be a beacon of freedom and democracy in the world, but we must never forget the cost of making it so. Every Memorial Day, we recognize that the freedoms we enjoy were secured through the selfless acts of many men and women who willingly laid down their lives to protect and defend our great nation. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a veteran, I am honored to work on behalf of our service members and Gold Star families who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.


Blocking the Removal of IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

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American and Iranian Flags (courtesy of Canva)

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. It is responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people and at least 600 U.S. troops. Earlier this year, it was reported that the Biden administration was considering removing the IRGC from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list as part of its nuclear negotiations with Iran.  

led a letter, joined by 86 of my House colleagues urging the Biden administration to reconsider this dangerous move. I’m pleased to report the Biden administration has abandoned plans to remove the IRGC from the FTO list. Our efforts played a key role in this decision. I will continue to support policies that protect our national security and our allies.


In The News

 

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  • Franklin Interviewed on NTD about Fetal Tissue Bill: Last Thursday, I joined NTD News to discuss my efforts on Capitol Hill to prevent profits from the sale of aborted fetuses. For full text of my bill, click here .

Constituent Corner  

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Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. (courtesy of Canva)

Arnaldo from Clermont was having trouble obtaining his records from a local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. After several failed attempts to contact the VA, he reached out to our office for assistance. We helped him receive his records. If you need help with a federal agency, please call our Lakeland office at (863) 644-8215 or visit my website at franklin.house.gov .


Do you want updates on my work in Congress?

Follow me Facebook by clicking here  or on the image below. This is the best way to stay up to date on news from my office.

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I’m honored to represent you in Congress. For more information on constituent services, current legislation and to sign up for my e-newsletter, please visit my website at franklin.house.gov 

Best regards,

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C. Scott Franklin
Member of Congress

RNC Election law Update June 1, 2022

Republican National Committee

ELECTION LAW UPDATE

Shared by Peter M. Feaman

National Committeeman for Florida

Below is a high-level summary of important news. 

State Legislation Highlights

States currently in Session: Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

States in Regular Session throughout the year: Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania.

States Sine die: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Arizona

Governor Ducey signed SB1008, which raises the threshold to trigger an automatic recount and requires that an automatic recount be conducted when the canvass of returns in a primary or general election shows the margin between two candidates for or against a ballot measure is less than or equal to one-half of one percent. The legislature passed HB2237, which prohibits a state agency from registering a person to vote on Election Day and deeming that person eligible to vote in that election; HB2237 was sent to Governor Ducey last week.

Louisiana

The House of Representatives passed HB811, which prohibits the use of private funds for election-related expenses.

Missouri

The Missouri legislature passed HB1878, a comprehensive election reform package. Highlights of the legislation include:

  • Authorizes the Secretary of State to audit voter registration lists and requires election authorities to remove improper names;
  • Removes obsolete references to ballot cards and requires voting machines to be air gapped as a security measure;
  • Prohibits the state and its political subdivisions from receiving or expending private money for preparing, administering, or conducting an election or registering voters;
  • Removes the one-year voter and residency requirement for election commissioners, but retains the requirements of voter registration and residency at the time of appointment;
  • Exempts board of election commissioners and clerk employees from requirement to reside or register within the jurisdiction in which they serve;
  • Allows appointment of election judges who reside outside the requisite election authority’s jurisdiction without the need for written consent from the election authority in whose jurisdiction the potential judge resides;
  • Authorizes the Department of Revenue to use electronic applications when sending materials to election authorities;
  • Beginning January 1, 2023, requires any person registering to vote to declare a political party affiliation or declare unaffiliation;
  • Restricts voter information released by election authorities by prohibiting the release of the date of birth of voters, instead allowing only the release of the year of birth, as well as prohibiting use of released information for commercial purposes;
  • Prohibits payment for soliciting voter registration applications and requires registration with the Secretary of State’s office for soliciting more than 10 voter registration applications;
  • Beginning January 1, 2023, it requires the use of a paper ballot that is hand-marked by the voter;
  • Specifies photographic identification requirements for voting a regular ballot and for voting by absentee ballot;
  • Prohibits the use of mail-in ballots under executive or administrative order;
  • Requires the Speaker of House and President Pro Tempore receive a copy of any civil action in state of federal court to compromise or settle any action, consent to any condition, or agree to any order in connection with chapters 115 to 128 (Missouri Election Code); and
  • Requires all audits to be conducted by the Secretary of State and paid for by state and federal funding.

Ohio

Republican legislators introduced House Joint Resolution 4 to reinforce that non-citizens cannot vote in local or state elections. The Joint Resolution follows the State’s constitutional amendment process and needs three-fifths of both the House and Senate to vote to approve. If approved, Ohio voters will vote on the Resolution on the November general election ballot, needing only a simple majority of the State’s electorate to amend the Ohio Constitution.

South Carolina

Governor McMaster signed HB4919, which creates a two-week early voting period preceding every general election, requires each county to establish one to seven early voting locations, modifies the absentee voting application and who may vote absentee, creates a new felony for those who intentionally publicly report the absentee ballot tabulation results prior to the close of the polls, establishes procedures to maintain and update the voter registration records statewide, and dictates security protocols and investigation measures during and after elections.

State Litigation Highlights

Arizona

In August, a lawsuit, Mi Familia Vota v. Hobbs, was filed in AZ challenging SB1485, which removes voters from the permanent mail ballot list if a voter does not vote by mail in two straight election cycles; and SB1003, which requires voters to “cure” signature-less ballots by 7PM on Election Day. The RNC and the NRSC have intervened to defend the laws. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on November 18, and discovery is underway. On March 14, Mi Familia Vota filed a notice with the court stating that it did not intend to seek a preliminary injunction prior to the 2022 midterms. 

Two lawsuits were filed challenging HB2492, which requires voters who are only eligible for casting a vote in federal elections to provide documentary proof of citizenship. Any voter who cannot satisfy the requirement will be ineligible to vote in a presidential election or by mail. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Arizona Democratic Party also plan to file a lawsuit challenging the law. Update: On May 12, the RNC, the Republican Party of Arizona, and Mohave and Gila County Republican Parties moved to intervene in the two lawsuits to defend HB249.

Arkansas

In February, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decision not to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ voter integrity laws. A bench trial began on March 15. In a ruling from the bench, the court granted a permanent injunction for all four of the challenged election laws , finding “that defendant’s stated concerns about election integrity and insecurity are based entirely on conjecture and speculation.” On March 24, the Arkansas Attorney General filed an appeal and a motion to stay the trial court’s ruling. The motion to stay was denied by the trial court, but the Arkansas Supreme Court granted an emergency motion to stay on April 1.

Colorado

In December, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) sued the Colorado Secretary of State for withholding voter registration list maintenance records, in violation of the NVRA. On April 11, the Secretary of State moved to dismiss the claims.

Florida

In June, the RNC and NRSC were granted intervention in all four lawsuits challenging provisions of SB90, Florida’s 2021 election reform legislative package. On March 31, the U.S. District Court permanently enjoined multiple provisions of SB90 including the provisions requiring registration disclaimers for third party voter registration organizations (§ 97.0575(3)(a)), registration delivery provisions for third party voter registration organizations (id. ), drop box restrictions (§§ 101.69(2)-(3)), and line warming provisions (§§ 102.031(4)(a)-(b)). The court also determined the defendants are not entitled to a stay and put Florida under preclearance in regard to any “law or regulation governing 3PVROs, drop boxes, or ‘line warming’ activities, as those terms are defined in [the] Order” for a 10-year period under 52 U.S.C. § 10303(c). Several other provisions of the law were upheld, including the ballot harvesting ban, two-year standing requests for receiving vote-by-mail ballots, and on all ADA claims. Defendants, including the RNC and NRSC filed a notice of appeal on April 7, and a stay request with the 11th Circuit on April 11. On May 6, the 11th Circuit granted the defendants’ stay request, leaving in effect provisions previously struck down by the lower court and rejecting the district court’s order to put Florida under “preclearance” for ten years.

Georgia

In July, the RNC, NRSC, NRCC, and GA GOP were granted intervention in eight lawsuits, including the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the state, challenging provisions of SB202 . Previously, the court denied motions to dismiss for lack of standing and on the merits, filed by the RNC, other Republican organizations, and Republican lawmakers in Georgia in eight of the lawsuits. In December, the court denied the motions to dismiss filed by the State, RNC, NRSC, NRCC, and the GA GOP. The court will consider plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction at a hearing on June 9. In the 9th case challenging SB202, the court dismissed the case without prejudice for failure to serve the defendants.

On May 2, a group of liberal organizations sued Georgia’s Election Board regarding absentee ballot applications. In Georgia, an absentee ballot must be signed with pen and ink. The groups seek declaratory and injunctive relief, requesting the court find that the Pen and Ink rule violates the Civil Rights Act and to enjoin its enforcement.

A federal lawsuit, filed back in 2018 by liberal voting rights groups, is in the middle of its trial in Georgia. The plaintiffs argue the State’s “exact match” registration rules and additional absentee ballot requirements, put in place by SB202, violate the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The Judge granted Defendant’s request for a continuance and the trial will continue on June 13, 2022.

Illinois

In 2020, PILF sued the Illinois State Board of Elections for refusing to provide voter registration maintenance records. On March 8, a federal district court granted PILF’s motion for summary judgment and ordered the State to make the records available. On April 4, the Board of Elections filed a motion for reconsideration.

Iowa

The RNC, Iowa GOP, NRCC, and NRSC were granted intervention to defend against a lawsuit challenging provisions of SF413 and SF568. The trial set for March 21 was pushed back in light of discovery disputes between the Iowa legislature and plaintiffs. On March 16, the Iowa Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve these discovery disputes.

Kansas

On February 25, a federal court entered a permanent injunction and declaratory judgment in a lawsuit challenging HB 2332. The court declared that HB 2232 ’s bans on (1) third parties pre-filling advance ballot applications and (2) out-of-state organizations mailing advance ballot applications are unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and enjoined the state from enforcing those provisions.

In another case filed last June, activist groups sued over Kansas’s HB 2183, which restricts backdating of ballots and the use of private money by election officials. On April 11, a state trial court dismissed the case, and the activist groups appealed.

Michigan

In 2019, activist groups challenged Michigan elections laws that restrict paid voter transportation services and out-of-state organizations assisting voters with absentee ballot applications. The RNC and MIGOP were granted intervention in the case. The district court initially granted an injunction that prohibited Michigan from enforcing its voter transportation restriction, but the 6th Circuit reversed . On March 21, the RNC and other Republican groups filed a motion for summary judgment and asked the district court to dismiss the suit. On March 29, Uber filed an amicus brief on behalf of the activist groups.

Minnesota

In January, the Minnesota Voters Alliance sued the Secretary of State for a rule that purports to change the signature verification system that exists by statute . The Secretary moved to dismiss the case, and that motion was denied on March 29.

Montana

In April 2021, the Montana Democratic Party and activist groups sued the State over its election integrity measures, which include elimination of Election Day voter registration, types of voter ID permitted, and paid ballot harvesting. On April 6, 2022, a Montana state court temporarily suspended enforcement of these laws. The case has been appealed to the MT Supreme Court. Update: On May 17, the MT Supreme Court granted the defendant’s stay of the preliminary injunction.

Nevada

Two Republican-led ballot initiatives were challenged by Democrat-aligned activists. The Democrat-aligned activists sued in state district court in Carson City to stop the initiatives to implement voter ID requirements and to repeal portions of the state’s absentee ballot law. On April 25, the Carson City district court ruled that the initiatives were argumentative and ordered a new description be written, effectively scrapping all signatures collected at that point.

On April 14, a lawsuit was filed in Clark County alleging that Nevada failed to offer “meaningful observation” during the 2020 election cycle and that the state does not have a plan in place to provide this in the upcoming elections.

New York

The RNC, NRCC, and New York State Republican Committee filed a motion to intervene in a case brought by Democrats challenging NY ballot rejection practices. The DCCC opposed the intervention on April 4. Update: On May 13, the court granted the RNC’s motion to intervene and a preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for June 27.

In January, the RNC and NY GOP, leading a broad bipartisan coalition of officeholders and concerned citizens, including Congresswoman Malliotakis and naturalized citizen voters, sued Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Council, and the New York City Board of Elections in state court over the “Non-Citizen Voting Law,” which illegally allows non-citizens to vote in city elections. The complaint is available here. The NYC Board of Elections has since requested that the state review the law and issue an opinion on its legality. The case was assigned to Judge Ralph Porzio. Oral arguments in the case are set for June 7.

Democrats are attempting to piggyback a 2012 court ruling protecting military and overseas voters to avoid using fair redistricting maps this November. The court denied plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order in their attempt to have the State’s prior congressional map, which was struck down in court, reinstated. After the court denied plaintiffs’ request, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the suit.

North Carolina

The North Carolina legislature petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal on a challenge to the state’s congressional and state legislative maps.

The trial in the federal NC voter ID case was put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides if GOP legislators can intervene in the case. The U.S. Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to determine whether NC GOP legislators have a right to intervene in a case to defend SB824, which requires in-person voters to show photo identification. Oral argument took place on March 21.

Previously, in June, a 4th Circuit en banc panel affirmed the lower court’s order denying intervention, holding that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by denying permissive intervention or intervention as of right. The en banc court was nearly evenly divided.

There is also pending litigation in state court challenging the photo ID law. The RNC filed an amicus in support of the GOP legislators. A copy can be found hereThe NC GOP filed an amicus brief in that case arguing the trial court erred in concluding that the voter ID sections of SB824 were not severable from Section 3.3, which provides for statewide poll observers. The amicus can be found here. The NC Supreme Court also granted a motion to bypass the appellate court and hear the case.

Pennsylvania

On March 31, a federal court ruled that PILF is entitled to documents under the NVRA regarding a programming “glitch” that allowed foreign nationals to register to vote in PA. On April 14, the Secretary of State filed a motion for reconsideration.

On February 11, the RNC sued PA’s Bucks County Board of Elections for its refusal to provide records related to how it counts absentee ballots.

On March 8, the PA Supreme Court heard oral argument on the challenge to Act 77, which established no excuse absentee voting in PA. The PA Supreme Court heard an appeal from a January 28 Commonwealth Court ruling that struck down Act 77, holding that it violated the PA Constitution. Under PA law, the Commonwealth Court ruling was automatically stayed but the court subsequently terminated the stay effective March 15. The termination of the stay was appealed to the PA Supreme Court, which reinstated the stay, effective until the conclusion of the case. A link to the oral arguments can be found here.

In January, Republican David Ritter, a candidate for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, appealed the County Board of Election’s 3-0 decision to count 261 challenged mail-in ballots that were undated or improperly dated. On November 30, 2021, the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County denied Ritter’s appeal and ordered the Lehigh County Board of Elections to include the 261 mail-in ballots in its canvass. The case was then appealed to the Commonwealth Court who, in a 2-1 decision,  reversed and remanded the case concluding that the 257 ballots that do not contain a date must be set aside and not counted in the Municipal Election. Democrat candidate Zachary Cohen filed an appeal with the PA Supreme Court. The PA Supreme Court denied the appeal.

In January, five voters who failed to date their ballot sued the Lehigh County Board of Elections in federal court to have their undated votes counted. The County Board agreed to not certify the election until the litigation has been resolved. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. Republican candidate David Ritter was granted intervention in the case. On March 16, the court granted Ritter’s motion for summary judgment and ordered that the undated ballots should not be counted. Plaintiffs appealed. After the district court declined to delay certification, the 3rd Circuit  issued a temporary injunction preventing the Lehigh County Board of Elections from certifying the results of the election. On April 1, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the case. Oral argument is scheduled for May 18. Update: On May 20, the 3rd Circuit ruled that the date requirement was immaterial and ordered that the undated ballots be counted. On May 23, Ritter filed a stay request with the Third Circuit which will allow him to file a cert petition with the Supreme Court.

U.S. Senate Candidate David McCormick has filed suit in state court seeking an order for all counties to count undated ballots cast in last week’s primary.

Texas

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State, challenging certain provisions in the recently enacted election integrity bill: SB1. The DOJ claims the law violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act. The RNC, NRCC, NRSC, and Dallas and Harris County Republican Parties moved to intervene in the DOJ suit and others challenging SB1. The court denied the party committees’ motion to intervene, and the party committees promptly appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit. The U.S. Department of Justice actively opposed the party committees’ intervention. On March 25, the 5th Circuit ruled that the Republican committees were entitled to intervention as of right and ordered the district court to grant intervention to the committees. Update: The RNC and other party committees re-filed for intervention, which was granted by the district court on May 13.

In one of the cases challenging SB1, the court granted a preliminary injunction on the provisions that make it a crime for election officials to send a vote-by-mail application to registered voters who hadn’t requested one. The 5th Circuit heard oral argument on March 8, and subsequently certified questions to the Supreme Court of Texas.

In May 2020, activists sued the Texas Secretary of State over a 2017 election bill, HB 25. The district court declined to dismiss the case, and the Secretary of State appealed. On March 16, the 5th Circuit reversed and ordered the district court to dismiss the case.

The 5th Circuit, in two similar cases challenging various provisions of the Texas election code, directed the lower court to dismiss the Secretary of State from the case because he was not a proper defendant.

Vermont

In September, the RNC sued the cities of Montpelier and Winooski over their new town charters that allow non-citizens to vote in their municipal elections. The lawsuit also raises important concerns about how the laws will be implemented and whether non-citizens will end up on the same voter registration lists used for state-level and federal elections. The RNC is joined in the suit by the Vermont Republican Party and several concerned Vermont voters. A hearing on the motion to dismiss in the Montpelier litigation was held on March 31. On April 1, the Montpelier court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding the plaintiffs have standing, but under its interpretation of Vermont Supreme Court precedent, was required to dismiss the case. The RNC and other plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on April 29.

Wisconsin

In Teigen v. WEC, the WI Circuit Court ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes are not permitted under Wisconsin law and ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) to retract its instructions on the use of drop boxes. WEC appealed the ruling. The court also denied a request to stay the ruling for the February 15 primary while the defendants pursue an appeal. The Court of Appeals granted petition to bypass; thus, the WI Supreme Court will hear argument on the case. The WI Supreme Court denied a stay motion that would have allowed absentee drop boxes through the April 5 election; accordingly, drop boxes located outside of local clerks’ offices will be illegal and no one other than the voter will be allowed to return an absentee ballot. On March 23, the RNC, NRSC, and Republican Party of Wisconsin moved to file an amicus brief in support of Teigen. The WI Supreme Court heard merits arguments on the case on April 13.

Other News

  • Federal: Last Thursday, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee held a hearing on “Administration of Upcoming Elections.” Watch the full hearing HERE.
  • Federal: On Wednesday, the House Committee on House Administration will hold a field hearing in Tallahassee, FL on “Voting in America: Access to the Ballot in Florida.” Watch the hearing HERE.
  • Federal: President Biden’s executive order directs federal agencies to develop plans to increase voter registration and civic engagement across the country.
  • National: Power the Polls is recruiting poll workers for the primaries throughout the country amid a drop in workers this year.
  • National: Discussion on the new US Alliance for Election Excellence, a nonpartisan group of election officials and voting system experts, working together with the goal of improving voting systems across the country.

Judge removes stay from ruling on Florida’s congressional map. State appeal expected.

After issuing a temporary injunction last week against a congressional redistricting plan pushed through the Legislature by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Leon County circuit judge Monday ordered that the ruling remain in effect while the state pursues an appeal.

The state on Friday appealed Judge Layne Smith’s temporary-injunction ruling to the 1st District Court of Appeal. That triggered an automatic stay, which put the ruling on hold. But Smith held a hearing Monday and sided with voting-rights groups that requested he lift the stay.

With elections supervisors preparing for the Aug. 23 primary elections, Smith pointed to the possibility that an appeal would not be resolved quickly. If the stay were not vacated, that could result in supervisors using the DeSantis-backed map that Smith said violated part of the state Constitution.

“It’s crunch time now, and this involves fundamental constitutional rights,” Smith said Monday.

The state plans to ask the 1st District Court of Appeal to reimpose the stay Tuesday, Mohammad Jazil, an attorney for the secretary of state, said.

Voting-rights groups and other plaintiffs filed the lawsuit April 22 after the Republican-dominated Legislature passed a redistricting plan that would boost the number of GOP representatives in Florida’s congressional delegation.

The plaintiffs also asked for a temporary injunction, focusing on an overhaul of North Florida’s Congressional District 5. That district in recent years has stretched from Jacksonville to west of Tallahassee and was designed to help elect a Black member of Congress. It is held by U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Black Democrat.

The DeSantis-backed plan condensed the district in the Jacksonville area, reducing the chances of electing a Black representative.

Smith granted the temporary injunction Thursday and ordered the use of a map that would largely keep intact the sprawling east-west shape of the district. He agreed with the plaintiffs that the plan passed during the special session violated a 2010 state constitutional amendment — known as the Fair Districts amendment — that set standards for redistricting. Part of that amendment bars diminishing the ability of minority voters to “elect representatives of their choice.”

Monday’s decision to lift the stay could lead to supervisors beginning to use the map that Smith ordered.

John Devaney, an attorney for the plaintiffs, pointed during Monday’s hearing to “compelling circumstances” to lift the stay.

“Irreparable harm will occur if the stay remains in place,” Devaney said.

DeSantis has contended that keeping the sprawling east-west shape of the district would involve racial gerrymandering and violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In a court document filed last week, the state’s attorneys wrote that the Equal Protection Clause bars “race-based sorting of voters” without a “compelling interest” and a “narrowly tailored” means to achieve that interest.

It is unclear how long it will take for a decision in the state’s appeal of Smith’s temporary-injunction ruling. Briefs had not been filed as of early Monday evening, according to a 1st District Court of Appeal docket.

Also, the plaintiffs filed a motion Friday requesting that the case be put on a fast track to the Florida Supreme Court. That would essentially lead to bypassing the Tallahassee-based appeals court, a move known as seeking “certification” to the Supreme Court.

The attorneys for voting-rights groups and other plaintiffs wrote that time remains to move forward with a “remedial” redistricting plan before the 2022 elections, but “that window will likely close within a few weeks.” The candidate-qualifying period for this year’s elections is June 13-17.

©2022 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

RNC ELECTION INTEGRITY UPDATE – MISSOURI

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE NEWS UPDATE

from your National Committeeman, Peter Feaman

********************************************

Republican National Committee
ELECTION INTEGRITY UPDATE – MISSOURI
MISSOURI SENATE PASSES ELECTION INTEGRITY BILL: NO DROP BOXES; NO BALLOT HARVESTING: NO ZUCKERBUCKS; CREATES A VOTER-ID REQUIREMENT.
Peter M. Feaman
National Committeeman for Florida
The Missouri state Senate on Monday passed voter integrity legislation which bans ballot drop boxes, prohibits private donations to election authorities, and creates a voter ID requirement.
The Senate passed its version of HB1878, which had passed the state House on March 10.
“After the chaos and uncertainty of the 2020 election, it was imperative that we tighten election laws in Missouri to further secure our elections,” Republican state Sen. Eric Burlison said. “I filed a similar bill this session, so I am thrilled my fellow legislators share my concerns when it comes to preserving the integrity of our elections. We need to regain the trust of Missourians that every election is fair and free, and I believe this bill accomplishes that goal.”
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft added: “I want to thank Sen. Eric Burlison for working with my office to create strong cyber security protections in this bill and to eliminate ‘Zuckerbucks’ from corrupting our election process. A secure and fair election process is essential to our state.”
In 2020, Mark Zuckerberg gifted $350 million to left-wing groups who then gave the money to government election offices.
The Zuckerbucks, however, were not an unconditional donation, Mollie Hemingway, editor-in-chief of The Federalist, pointed out. There were strings attached, which amounted to Democrat get-out-the-vote efforts, mass mail-in voting, and ballot “curing,” whereby election workers “fix” mail-in ballot problems after the ballot has been submitted.
Republican state Sen. Mike Cierpiot noted that the new law also requires election equipment to be “air-gapped, meaning it is not connected to the Internet, and that paper ballots are used.”
“I believe both of these measures will ensure our election results are safe, secure and most importantly verifiable in the event of a dispute,” Cierpiot said. “Lastly, the bill also prohibits private money, such as so-called ‘Zuckerbucks,’ from being used to influence the administration of our elections as well as bans the use of drop boxes for the delivery of absentee ballots.”
The legislation also gives the Missouri secretary of state election audit powers.

And what did the Democrats say? “This is racist,” of course.