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CASES RAISING CLAIMS UNDER THE UNIFORMED and OVERSEAS CITIZEN ABSENTEE VOTING ACT

United States v. State of Illinois (N.D. Ill.)

On October 31, 2013, the court entered a supplemental consent decree upon a joint motion of the parties. Under the supplemental consent decree, the Illinois State Board of Elections must recommend legislation and take any administrative actions needed to fully remedy potential UOCAVA violations arising from the State's special election calendar to ensure compliance with the 45-day advance ballot transmittal requirements of UOCAVA. On January 10, 2013, the Department filed a complaint against the State of Illinois along with a proposed consent decree and joint motion for entry of the decree. The complaint alleges that the State would fail to provide UOCAVA voters with absentee ballots that have a final list of certified candidates by January 12, the 45th day prior to the February 26 Federal special primary election for the Second Congressional District in Illinois, nor would the State be able to provide absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters by February 23, the 45th day prior to the April 9 Federal special election. For both special elections, the consent decree provides the deadlines for mailing UOCAVA ballots; prescribes the ballot receipt deadline for UOCAVA voters; requires the State to provide express mail, facsimile, and e-mail options for the delivery and receipt of UOCAVA ballots; and provides notice, counting, and reporting requirements related to UOCAVA ballots. The consent decree, which was signed by the court on January 11, also specifies that Illinois will also take actions as are necessary to assure that UOCAVA voters shall have a fair and reasonable opportunity to participate in future Federal elections, including actions needed to fully remedy any potential UOCAVA violations arising from Illinois law governing the State's special election calendar.

United States v. State of Vermont (D. Vt.)

On October 22, 2012, the court entered a settlement agreement and stipulated order in United States v. Vermont (D. Vt.). The agreement remedies violations of UOCAVA alleged in the Department's complaint filed on October 11, 2012. The complaint alleged that Vermont failed to transmit absentee ballots to a number of UOCAVA voters who requested them by September 22, 2012, the 45th day prior to the November 6, 2012 Federal general election. The agreement provides additional time for receipt of absentee ballots from eligible military and overseas voters whose ballots were sent late to ensure they will have sufficient time to vote in the general election. The agreement also provides for individual notice to each affected voter, and Vermont will provide a report to the United States about Vermont's compliance with UOCAVA.

United States v. The Territory of the Virgin Islands (D.V.I.)

On September 7, 2012, the court entered a consent decree in United States v. The Territory of the Virgin Islands, et al. The consent decree remedies violations of UOCAVA, alleged in the Department's complaint, which was filed on August 31. The lawsuit alleges that the Virgin Islands failed to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters 45 days in advance of the September 8, 2012 Federal primary election and also would fail to do so for the November 6, 2012 Federal general election. The consent decree, among other relief, provides deadlines for transmitting UOCAVA ballots and extends the ballot return deadline for UOCAVA voters; requires the Virgin Islands to provide express mail, fax, and e-mail options for the delivery and return of UOCAVA ballots; and provides notice, training, and reporting requirements related to UOCAVA ballots. The consent decree also requires the Virgin Islands to take steps to ensure compliance with UOCAVA in future federal elections and provide reports to the Department on those efforts.

United States v. Michigan (W.D. Mich.)

On July 31, 2012, the Department filed an enforcement action, United States v. Michigan (W.D. Mich.), under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). The Complaint alleged that Michigan failed to transmit absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters who requested them by June 23, the 45th day prior to the August 7 Federal primary election. The State also failed to provide 45 days for UOCAVA voters to receive, mark and return ballots for a special congressional primary election to be held on September 5. On August 6, the Court entered a Stipulated Order which, among other relief, extended the deadlines for UOCAVA voters to cast their ballots and requires Michigan to report how many ballots were cast and counted at the primary elections. Michigan will monitor UOCAVA compliance by its municipalities and townships for the November 6, 2012 Federal general election and will provide a report to the United States.

United States v. Georgia (N.D. Ga.)

On June 27, 2012, the Department filed a complaint against the State of Georgia under the UOCAVA, alleging that Georgia's procedures were inadequate to ensure that its UOCAVA voters could participate fully in the state's Aug. 21, 2012, federal primary runoff election. Under Georgia's election calendar official runoff election ballots would not have been available to be sent until after UOCAVA's deadline of July 7, 2012, the 45th day before this year's primary runoff election. Also on June 27, the Department moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction seeking an order, which was granted on July 5, requiring Georgia to take certain steps necessary to ensure that all affected UOCAVA voters were afforded a full opportunity to participate in the August federal primary runoff election. On April 30, 2013, the court granted summary judgment for the United States holding that the 45-day deadline in Section 102(a)(8) of UOCAVA applies to federal runnoff elections and that Georgia's electoral system therefore violates UOCAVA. On July 11, 2013, the court issued a remedial order granting the Department's request for permanent injunctive relief and revising Georgia's election calendar to comply with UOCAVA.

United States v. California (E.D. Cal.)

On May 30, 2012, the court entered a consent decree in United States v. State of California et al. The consent decree remedies violations of the UOCAVA, alleged in the Department's complaint, which was filed on May 26. The complaint alleges that the State failed to comply with UOCAVA when 11 California counties failed to send over 8,000 absentee ballots to military and overseas voters 45 days in advance of the June 5, 2012 Federal primary election. The complaint also alleges that the State failed to establish and implement adequate procedures to ensure that ballots were sent by voters' preferred method of transmission (by mail or electronically), as required under UOCAVA. The consent decree requires that affected voters be notified of their options to receive and return their ballots by electronic methods, and affected voters in certain counties must be offered the option of returning ballots by express delivery at no cost to the voter. The consent decree also requires the California Secretary of State to conduct training of county election officials before the 2012 general election, to provide assistance to counties when necessary, to take the actions necessary to prevent future violations, and to report to the United States about California's UOCAVA compliance through the 2014 federal election cycle.

United States v. Wisconsin (W.D. Wis.)

On March 23, 2012, the court entered a consent decree in United States v. Wisconsin. The consent decree remedies violations of UOCAVA alleged in the Department's complaint, which was also filed on March 23. The complaint alleges that the state violated UOCAVA when at least 65 Wisconsin municipalities failed to send ballots 45 days in advance of the April 3, 2012, presidential preference primary election to military and overseas voters who timely requested absentee ballots. The consent decree provides additional time beyond the state's existing April 6, 2012 deadline for receipt of ballots from military and overseas voters, equal to the total number of days a municipality was late in sending ballots. Under the consent decree, municipalities will offer affected voters who have not yet received their ballots the opportunity to receive their ballots electronically. The consent decree also requires Wisconsin to closely monitor its municipalities' UOCAVA compliance, provide assistance to its municipalities when necessary and report back to the Department of Justice about its UOCAVA compliance during the 2012 federal election cycle. In addition, the consent decree requires Wisconsin to take steps to ensure compliance with UOCAVA in future federal elections and provide a report to the Department on those efforts.

United States v. Alabama (M.D. Ala.)

On February 24, 2012, the Department filed a complaint against the State of Alabama and the Alabama Secretary of State for failing to transmit absentee ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days prior to federal elections as required by UOCAVA. On February 27, 2012, the Department moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction seeking emergency relief for affected voters for the March 13, 2012 federal primary election and the April 24, 2012 federal primary runoff election. On February 28, 2012, the court entered an order requiring that the State file with the court a report detailing UOCAVA ballot activity throughout the State, including the dates each county transmitted timely-requested ballots to military and overseas voters. The order further required the State to confer with the Department of Justice on appropriate relief to ensure UOCAVA voters would have a full opportunity to participate in the federal primary election, and in the subsequent federal runoff election if one is held. On March 7, 2012, after the parties were unable to agree on the relief necessary to remedy the violations of UOCAVA, the court entered a preliminary injunction ordering Alabama to provide additional time after election day for receipt of UOCAVA ballots; procedures for affording UOCAVA voters sufficient time to vote in the April 24, 2012 runoff elections, should one be necessary; to implement procedures for providing notice to affected voters of the remedies contained in the order; and to report relevant data for all the remaining 2012 federal elections. On March 12, 2012, the Court issued an opinion setting out its preliminary injunction order. On January 17, 2014, the district court entered the parties' partial remedial order designed to help ensure UOCAVA compliance for future federal elections (and resolving all claims except the federal runoff issue), and that same day, the court issued an opinion regarding entry of the remedial order. On March 14, 2014, the district court issued an order amending in part its January 17, 2014 remedial order regarding UOCAVA compliance in light of newly enacted state legislation. On February 11, 2014, the district court granted summary judgment to the United States on the federal runoff issue. On March 14, 2014, the district court issued a revised remedial order regarding UOCAVA compliance in future federal runoff elections.

United States v. Cunningham (E.D. Va.)

On December 10, 2010, the Court entered a consent decree setting forth training, monitoring, reporting, and backup procedures to be implemented by Commonwealth of Virginia elections officials to ensure that absentee ballots are transmitted to eligible military and overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal elections. The agreement concludes extensive litigation that began in November of 2008. At that time, the Department intervened in a private lawsuit and alleged Virginia election officials failed to send absentee ballots in a timely manner to military and overseas voters for the November 4, 2008 federal general election. On October 15, 2009, the court granted summary judgment for the United States holding that the Commonwealth violated UOCAVA by failing to mail absentee ballots to eligible uniformed service members and overseas citizens thirty days or more before the November 4, 2008 general federal election, and ordering the Defendants to count timely-requested, lated-mailed absentee ballots from military and overseas voters that arrived within 30 days of the date of the November 4, 2008 election. The Court permitted the parties time to negotiate procedures to ensure UOCAVA compliance in future elections, which resulted in the agreement.

United States v. State of Illinois (N.D. Ill.)

On January 26, 2012, the court approved a supplemental consent decree providing for future relief to ensure ongoing compliance by the State with UOCAVA. On October 22, 2010, the court entered the consent decree in United States v. State of Illinois. The consent decree remedies violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act alleged in the Department's complaint, which was also filed on October 22, the complaint alleges that the state violated UOCAVA when numerous election authorities in Illinois counties failed to transmit ballots 45 days in advance of the general election, to military and overseas voters who timely requested absentee ballots, and in some counties failed to transmit ballots electronically to voters who had made such requests. The agreement provides additional time beyond the state's existing Nov. 16, 2010 deadline - 14 days after election day - for receipt of ballots from military and overseas voters in six counties: Boone, Hancock, Jersey, Massac, Schuyler and St. Clair. The agreement also extends the date by which ballots from those counties must be postmarked from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, 2010. In addition, the agreement requires that any voters who asked to receive their ballots electronically, but were sent the ballot by mail instead, will be transmitted a ballot by the requested electronic method. As part of the agreement, the state will take steps to investigate the cause of the late mailing of ballots and failure to transmit ballots electronically and to ensure compliance in future elections and provide a report to the Department of Justice on those efforts.

United States v. State of New York (N.D.N.Y.)

On October 19, 2010, the District Court entered a consent decree in United States v. State of New York. The decree remedies the violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act alleged in the Department’s complaint, which it filed on October 12. In August, the State received a waiver from the Secretary of Defense exempting it from UOCAVA’s requirement that ballots be mailed to UOCAVA voters 45 days in advance of the Federal general election. Instead, the waiver permitted the State to mail out UOCAVA ballots by October 1, 32 days in advance of the Federal general election, on the condition that ballots returned by November 15 would be counted. The State did not comply with this October 1 mailing deadline, however, and ballots in many counties across the State were mailed late. The consent decree extends the deadline for receiving ballots from UOCAVA voters to November 24. The decree also requires that the State to provide UOCAVA voters with notice of options to receive blank ballots by electronic transmission and to publicize the decree’s terms. On January 27, 2012, the court entered an order, granting the Department's motion for permanent and supplemental relief, moving New York's date for its non-presidential federal primary election.

United States v. State of New Mexico (D.N.M.)

On August 1, 2011, the court entered a supplemental consent decree providing for future relief to ensure ongoing compliance by the State with UOCAVA. On October 14, 2010, the court entered a consent decree which requires the State to provide a 45-day window for military and overseas voters to receive, mark, and submit their ballots to ensure sufficient time to have their ballots counted. To that end, the State would be required to extend by 4 days its deadline for accepting and counting UOCAVA ballots. On October 12, the Department filed a complaint alleging violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act against the State of New Mexico and the New Mexico Secretary of State in the United States District Court for the District of NM. The complaint alleged that the State failed to comply with UOCAVA’s requirement that absentee ballots be mailed to military and overseas voters 45 days in advance of the November 2, 2010 Federal general election. In addition, the State would be required to make efforts to avoid violating UOCAVA in the next Federal election.

United States v. Territory of Guam (D. Guam)

On July 13, 2012, the court entered a Stipulated Supplement Order, which remedies Guam's failure to provide an option for UOCAVA voters to receive a blank absentee ballot by electronic transmission for the the 2012 federal election cycle in violation of UOCAVA. On October 13, 2010, the court issued an order granting the United States declaratory and permanent injunctive relief. On October 6, the Department filed a complaint alleging violations of UOCAVA, against the Territory of Guam. The complaint alleged that Guam had failed to comply with the UOCAVA requirements that absentee ballots be mailed to military and overseas voters 45 days in advance of the November 2, 2010 Federal general election. The Court then entered the Department’s proposed order which requires Guam to extend the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots from military and overseas voters until November 15, 2010 to ensure that those voters have 45 days to receive, mark, and submit their ballots. In addition, the Court’s order requires Guam to establish procedures for email transmission of blank ballots to military and overseas voters and to publicize the provisions of the order.

United States v. State of Wisconsin (W.D. Wis.)

On September 10, 2010, the Department filed a complaint alleging violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act against the State of Wisconsin and state election officials, along with a consent decree and joint motion for entry of the consent decree. The complaint alleged that the State would fail to comply with the UOCAVA requirement that absentee ballots be mailed to military and overseas voters 45 days in advance of the November 2, 2010 Federal general election. The terms of the consent decree require Wisconsin to provide a 49-day window for military and overseas voters to receive, mark, and submit their ballots to ensure sufficient time to have their ballots counted. To accomplish this, the consent decree requires Wisconsin to both accelerate the date by which they will send ballots out to military and overseas voters to October 1, 2010, and to add additional time -- until November 19, 2010 -- for receipt of their absentee ballots. In addition, the State is required to make efforts to amend the state law provisions that resulted in the UOCAVA violation prior to the next Federal election. On September 15, the District Court entered the consent decree.

United States v. State of New York (N.D.N.Y.)

On March 23, 2009, the United States filed a complaint against the State of New York alleging violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The suit was filed to ensure that eligible absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters would have a reasonable opportunity to have their ballots counted in New York's March 31, 2009 special election to fill a vacancy in the State's 20th Congressional District and in future special elections. On March 25, 2009, the parties filed, and the district court entered, a consent decree which remedied the UOCAVA violation caused by election officials' failure to send absentee ballots to overseas voters in sufficient time to permit their timely return. The consent decree provided extra time for the receipt and counting of ballots, including federal write-in absentee ballots, for the March 31 special election. The agreement also requires that the State determine, in consultation with the United States, the need for permanent changes to State law or procedures to ensure UOCAVA compliance in all future special elections for federal office.

United States v. State of Alabama (M.D. Ala.)

On November 19, 2008, the Department filed a complaint against the State of Alabama for violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The complaint alleges that the State has failed to collect and the report information on the number of military voters and overseas citizens who are sent ballots, return them and have successfully cast ballots in each Federal general election.

United States v. State of Vermont (D. Vt.)

On October 10, 2008, the Department filed a complaint against the State of Vermont for violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The complaint alleges that the State has failed to collect and the report information on the number of military voters and overseas citizens who are sent ballots, return them and have sucessfully cast ballots in each Federal general election.

United States v. State of Tennessee (M.D. Tenn.)

On January 28, the Department filed a complaint and simultaneously filed a consent decree with the State of Tennessee for violations of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The lawsuit was necessary after many counties in the State failed to mail requested absentee ballots to Tennessee's military and overseas citizens in sufficient time for them to vote in the federal primary election. The availability of ballots was delayed by difficulties stemming from the State's decision to move the primary date to February 5. The consent decree was entered by the federal district court on January 30.

United States v. State of Connecticut (D. Conn.)

On August 1, 2006, the United States filed a complaint against the State of Connecticut alleging violations of compliance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). On August 2, the district court entered a stipulated agreement in United States v. State of Connecticut (D. Conn.). The suit was brought to ensure that absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters, who are otherwise qualified to vote in Connecticut's federal primary election on August 8, and in future federal elections, would have an opportunity to have their ballots counted. The stipulated agreement resolved the State's UOCAVA violation for the August 8 primary. The agreement provides for use by UOCAVA voters of the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot and extra time for the receipt and counting of ballots from UOCAVA voters for the August 8 primary. The agreement also requires that the Secretary of the State work with the Department to develop procedures to ensure compliance with UOCAVA in future elections for federal office.

United States v. State of North Carolina (E.D.N.C.)

On March 16, 2006, the United States filed a complaint and consent decree to ensure that absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters would have an opportunity to have their ballots counted in the state's scheduled 2006 federal primary run-off election and in future run-off elections. On March 21, 2006 the court entered a consent decree which remedied the UOCAVA claim for the May 2006 primary cycle. On December 18, 2006, the court entered the parties' agreed dismissal of the consent decree after North Carolina enacted legislation that provides permanent relief for future elections. The legislation expanded the time between primary and run-off elections from 4 to 7 weeks and extended voters' opportunity to send and receive absentee ballots via facsimile to all categories of voters protected by UOCAVA.

United States v. State of Alabama (M.D. Ala.)

On March 9, 2006, the United States filed a complaint to ensure that absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters would have an opportunity to have their ballots counted in the state's scheduled 2006 federal primary run-off election and in future run-off elections. On June 5, 2006, the United States filed a Notice of Dismissal, after Alabama enacted legislation to provide a permanent remedy for the violation alleged. The legislation extended the time between primary and run-off elections to 6 weeks, and allowed UOCAVA voters' ballots to be received and counted until noon on the seventh day after the run-off election.

United States v. State of Georgia (N.D. Ga.)

On July 13, 2004, the United States filed a complaint to address the late mailing of absentee ballots to overseas voters by Georgia counties in advance of the 2004 primary election. The complaint also sought relief to ensure UOCAVA voters could vote in the run-off elections in 2004 and future federal elections. On July 20, 2004, the court granted preliminary relief that the United States requested by extending the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots from overseas voters, and other relief applicable to both primary and primary run-off elections. On July 25, 2005, the Court entered a Stipulation and Order of Dismissal and memorandum of understanding after Georgia enacted legislation that provided for permanent relief for future elections.

United States v. State of Pennsylvania

On April 15, 2004, the United States filed a complaint to address the late mailing of absentee ballots to overseas voters by Pennsylvania counties in advance of the federal primary election of April 27. On April 16, 2004, the court granted preliminary relief extending the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots from overseas voters by more than three weeks to May 17. On July 31, 2006, the court entered a stipulation and order of dismissal and memorandum of understanding after Pennsylvania enacted legislation that provided for permanent relief.

United States v. State of Oklahoma  (W.D. Okla. 2002)

On September 12, 2002, the United States filed a complaint and consent decree to enforce the rights of overseas voters in Oklahoma to vote by absentee ballot in the September 17, 2002 federal primary run-off election. The suit alleged that there was insufficient time after the August 27 primary election for overseas voters to receive, cast, and return absentee ballots by mail in time to be counted for the run-off election. The consent decree, approved by the court on September 12 extended the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots from overseas voters in the run-off election by fourteen (14) days. Oklahoma subsequently enacted legislation providing for permanent remedies, and in 2003, the parties filed an agreed motion to dismiss the suit.

United States v. State of Texas  (W.D. Tex. 2002)

On March 22, 2002, the United States filed a complaint to enforce the rights of overseas voters in Texas to vote by absentee ballot in the April 9, 2002 federal primary run-off election. The suit alleged that there was insufficient time after the March 12 primary election for overseas voters to receive, cast, and return absentee ballots by mail in time to be counted for the run-off election. On March 25, 2002, the court entered a preliminary injunction order requiring that the state accept the federal write-in ballot from overseas for the run-off election. The parties filed a stipulation of dismissal of the suit after Texas enacted legislation providing for permanent relief.

United States v. State of Michigan  (W.D. Mich. 2000)

On August 8, 2000, the United States filed a complaint and consent decree to enforce the rights of overseas voters in Michigan to vote by absentee ballot in the August 8 primary election. The complaint alleged that, due to the late mailing by numerous local election officials of absentee ballots, there was insufficient time for overseas voters to receive, cast and return their absentee ballots by the deadline so that they could be counted. On the same date, the Court signed the consent decree requiring that the State extend for ten days the deadline for receiving ballots cast by military and overseas voters.

General Information Voting Section
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Voting Section
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Voting Section
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Washington, DC 20006
Redistricting Census Information
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