Federal Court Dismisses Major Portion of Dallas County Election Case

From: Munck Carter, LLP
Published: Thu Apr 23 2009

A federal court has dismissed part of a lawsuit that the Texas Democratic Party brought against Dallas County over the use of an electronic voting machine called iVotronic.

In the Texas House District 105 race last fall, Republican Linda Harper-Brown defeated the Democratic challenger Robert Romano by 19 votes, which allowed Republicans to maintain a 76-74 majority among Texas House members. The Texas Democratic Party later sued, claiming vote-counting procedures used by Dallas County violated portions of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. At the same time, the party abandoned its complaint about the results of the District 105 race, allowing Rep. Harper-Brown to retain her seat.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis dismissed portions of the plaintiffs’ claim concerning whether Dallas County’s vote-counting procedures denied or abridged any voter’s right to vote based on race, color or membership in a language minority group. The court also dismissed the claims brought by the two individual plaintiffs against Dallas County. The court declined to dismiss a more procedural claim dealing with whether Dallas County had cleared its election procedures with the Department of Justice, as required by law. A three-judge panel, yet to be appointed, will review that component of the case.

“I view this as significant progress for Dallas County and I expect we will prevail on the only remaining issue,” says attorney E. Leon Carter of Munck Carter in Dallas, who along with attorney Jamil N. Alibhai, represents Dallas County in the litigation. “Dallas County did what it was required to do and I believe the three-judge panel will see that.”

Coincidentally, next week the U.S. Supreme Court is due to hear arguments in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Eric Holder, Jr., Attorney General, et al. That case involves the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the same section that is at issue in the remaining portion of the Dallas County case.

Oral argument in the Northwest Austin case is set for Wednesday, April 29, 2009.

Munck Carter has carved out a practice devoted to trials, transactions and technology. With offices in Dallas and Marshall, Texas, the firm offers full-service counsel in the areas of; commercial litigation; intellectual property management, protection and litigation; corporate transactions and securities; and employment law. Munck Carter represents clients from start-ups to Fortune 50™ companies.

Learn more about the firm at http://www.munckcarter.com.

For more information about the Dallas County election case, please contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534 or mark@androvett.com.
Company: Munck Carter, LLP
Contact Name: Mark Annick
Contact Email: mark@androvett.com
Contact Phone: 1-800-559-4534

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