October 28, 2008
(Pre)Election lawsuit - Virginia
As the Washington Post has reported, the NAACP has sued Virginia officials claiming violations of the state and federal constitutions in failing to be prepared for voting on November 4.
Essentially, the complaint alleges that there are insufficient numbers of voting machines in districts primarily populated by racial and ethnic minorities, thus denying potential voters equal protection and due process.
As Mark Blacknell (of blacknell.net), an attorney and blogger, states:
The question, then, is whether Virginia’s done enough to prepare for 2008. And honestly, I have no idea. The numbers of new voter registrations in Virginia are certainly huge, and every bit of experience I’ve had indicates that actual turnout will match those numbers. The unknown, for me, is what local registrars have done. In Northern VA, you can hear elections officials encourage in-person absentee voting in order to avoid the crush of voters they expect. This is something I’ve never heard from local officials before, and it indicates to me that they’re worried about capacity to handle turnout. Then the very same officials will turn around and say that they’ve got everything covered for election day.
It does look like there will be many equal protection and due process arguments, in courts and classrooms, as well as in the press, in the near future.
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