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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF VERMONT


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                                 Plaintiff,

                     v.                                                                   Civil Action No. 2:08-cv-217

THE STATE OF VERMONT; DEBORAH L.
MARKOWITZ, SECRETARY OF STATE OF
VERMONT, in her official capacity,

                                 Defendants.

__________________________________________


COMPLAINT

        The United States of America alleges:

        1.    This action is brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the United States under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973ff-1973ff-6 (2003).

        2.    42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-1(c) mandates that States (and local governments through their respective States) report to the Election Assistance Commission "[n]ot later than 90 days after the date of each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office" the "combined number of absentee ballots that are transmitted to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election and the combined number of such ballots which were returned by such voters and cast in the election." The States "shall make such a report available to the general public." Id.

        3.    The Attorney General of the United States is given authority to ensure that States comply with 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-1(c) and report the number of UOCAVA ballots transmitted, returned, and cast. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-4, "[t]he Attorney General may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court for such declaratory or injunctive relief as may be necessary to carry out this subchapter [UOCAVA]."

        4.    This Court has jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-4 and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 2201(a).

        5.    The Defendant State of Vermont (the "State") is responsible for complying with the UOCAVA, and ensuring required information is transmitted to the Election Assistance Commission within 90 days of a Federal Election.

        6.    Defendant Deborah L. Markowitz is sued in her official capacity as the Secretary of State of the State of Vermont. As the Secretary of State, she is the chief election officer for Vermont. See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 17, §2103 (40). The principal office of the Secretary of State elections division is in Montpelier, Vermont.

        7.    Vermont failed to comply with § 1973ff-1(c) in 2006 and did not report any data as required.

        8.    Upon information and belief, Vermont will likely fail to comply with § 1973ff-1(c) again in 2008.

        9.    By failing to comply with § 1973ff-1(c), Vermont has not adhered to the congressional mandate that it capture and report specific election-related data regarding absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters in general elections for Federal Office.

        10.    An order of this Court is necessary requiring Defendants to take corrective action for the November 4, 2008, election in order to protect the rights granted by the UOCAVA.

        WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays that this would pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-1(c); issue a declaratory judgment under 28 U.S.C. § 2201(a) that Vermont officials failed to track and report data about the number of UOCAVA ballots requested, transmitted, and cast; and issue injunctive relief ordering the Defendants, their agents and successors in office, and all persons acting in concert with them:

           (1)    to require all election officials to implement procedures to record data about the number of UOCAVA ballots requested, transmitted and cast by UOCAVA voters; and,

           (2)    to report data required by § 1973ff-1(c) to the Election Assistance Commission and general public within 90 days after the November 4, 2008, election.

The United States of America further prays that this Court order such other relief as the interests of justice may require, together with the costs and disbursements of this action.

                                                                             MICHAEL B. MUKASEY
                                                                             Attorney General



                                                                             _________/s/______________
THOMAS D. ANDERSON                                  GRACE CHUNG BECKER
United States Attorney                                          Acting Assistant Attorney General

By: ______/s/_____________                            _______/s/_______________
Michael Drescher                                                CHRISTOPHER COATES
Assistant United States Attorney                          Chief, Voting Section
District of Vermont
11 Elmwood Avenue, 3rd Floor
Burlington, VT 05402-0570
(802) 951-6725

                                                                             _________/s/_______________
                                                                             REBECCA J. WERTZ
                                                                             Acting Principal Deputy Chief
                                                                             TIMOTHY F. MELLETT
                                                                             Acting Deputy Chief
                                                                             J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS
                                                                             CHRISTY A. McCORMICK
                                                                             Trial Attorneys
                                                                             United States Department of Justice
                                                                             Civil Rights Division, Voting Section
                                                                             950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
                                                                             Room NWB-7254
                                                                             Washington, D.C. 20530
                                                                             Phone: (202) 616-4227
                                                                             (202) 307-3961
                                                                             j.christian.adams@usdoj.gov

General Information Voting Section
Contact

Toll-free - (800) 253-3931
Telephone - (202) 307-2767
Fax - (202) 307-3961
Email - voting.section@usdoj.gov
Web - Complaint form
Mailing Contact

Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Room 7254 - NWB
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530

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