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1 Robert Timothy Reagan, et al., Timely Overseas Ballots in Alabama 1 (2018)

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CASE STUDIES IN EMERGENCY ELECTION LITIGATION


             Timely Overseas Ballots in Alabama
                       United  States v. Alabama
            (Myron   H. Thompson, M.D. Ala. 2:12-cv-179)
       The U.S. Department of Justice alleged violations by Alabama of the
       Uniformed  and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986
       (UOCAVA),   as amended by the Military and Overseas Voter Em-
       powerment  Act of 2009 (MOVE   Act), respecting timely distribu-
       tion of absentee ballots for a March 2012 primary election. A week-
       end and two court days later, the district judge ordered the parties
       to submit a remedy plan within four days. A few days before the
       election, the judge extended the deadline for casting overseas ballots
       and  ordered publication of the revised overseas absentee voting
       procedures. The judge ordered permanent changes to the election
       timetable in 2014 and closed the case in 2017.
           Subject: Absentee and early voting. Topics: Absentee ballots;
       Uniformed  and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act
       (UOCAVA);   primary election; instant runoff.
The  U.S. Department  of Justice filed a federal complaint in the Middle Dis-
trict of Alabama on Friday, February 24, 2012, alleging violations of the Uni-
formed  and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting  Act of 1986 (UOCAVA),'   as
amended   by the Military and  Overseas Voter  Empowerment Act of 2009
(MOVE Act),2 respecting timely distribution of absentee ballots for the
March  13 primary  election.' On Monday, the Department  filed a motion for
a temporary  restraining order and a preliminary injunction. Judge Myron
H.  Thompson scheduled a telephone conference for 7:00 the following
morning.'
    At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Thompson   concluded  that Alabama had
failed to meet the requirement of sending absentee ballots overseas at least 45
days before a federal election.6 Judge Thompson ordered the parties to sub-



   1. Pub. L. No. 99-410, 100 Stat. 924, as amended, 52 U.S.C. §§ 20301-20311 (2016). See
generally Robert Timothy Reagan, Overseas Voting: The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens
Absentee Voting Act (Federal Judicial Center 2016).
   2. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-84, 123 Stat.
2190, 2318-35.
   3. Complaint, United States v. Alabama, No. 2:12-cv-179 (M.D. Ala. Feb. 24, 2012), D.E.
1; United States v. Alabama, 778 F. 3d 926, 928, 930-31 (11th Cir. 2015); United States v.
Alabama, 998 F. Supp. 2d 1283, 1287 (M.D. Ala. 2014); United States v. Alabama, 857 F.
Supp. 2d 1236, 1237-38 (M.D. Ala. 2012); see Feds Sue Alabama Over Absentee Ballot Issues,
Mobile Press-Register, Feb. 25, 2012, at A6; Scott Johnson, US Sues Ala. Over Military, Over-
seas Ballots Sent Late, Montgomery Advertiser, Feb. 27, 2012.
   4. Motion, United States v. Alabama, No. 2:12-cv-179 (M.D. Ala. Feb. 27, 2012), D.E. 5.
   5. Docket Sheet, id., (Feb. 24, 2012); see Transcript, id. (Feb. 28, 2012, filed Feb. 11,
2013), D.E. 56.
   6. Opinion, id. (Feb. 28, 2012), D.E. 8, 2012 WL 642312.


Federal Judicial Center 12/20/2018


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