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Case Name Voto Latino Foundation v. Hobbs VR-AZ-0056
Docket / Court 2:19-cv-05685 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 summary: Two organizations filed this action in November 2010 to challenge Arizona’s Election Day Receipt Deadline, which required mail-in ballots to be received by county election officials before 7 PM on Election Day. The plaintiffs sought declaratory relief and a permanent injunction ... read more >
COVID-19 summary: Two organizations filed this action in November 2010 to challenge Arizona’s Election Day Receipt Deadline, which required mail-in ballots to be received by county election officials before 7 PM on Election Day. The plaintiffs sought declaratory relief and a permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from rejecting ballots postmarked by Election Day that arrive within five business days of Election Day. The plaintiff later argued that COVID-19 increased the burdens on voters. The parties entered into a settlement on June 18, 2020. Under the terms of the settlement, the Election Day deadline remained but the defendant agreed to expand their efforts for voter outreach. On June 19, the court deemed the pending claims moot and dismissed all claims .


On November 26, 2019, two organizations filed a suit against the Arizona Secretary of State to challenge Arizona’s Election Day Receipt Deadline, which requires mail-in ballots to be received by county election officials before 7 PM on Election Day. Under Arizona law, individuals may vote up to 27 days before the election. Arizona voters may also choose to automatically receive a mail ballot, and 80% of Arizonans vote early. However, these ballots are subject to the Election Day Receipt Deadline, which requires the mail-in ballots to be received by 7 PM on Election Day, or by the time the polls close.

The plaintiffs brought this case as a declaratory action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02 and as an injunctive action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the deadline violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the state’s failure to count the votes of those who lawfully mailed their ballots before or on Election Day but were not received before the polls close through no fault of their own placed an undue burden on otherwise eligible voters and denied procedural due process. The plaintiffs also argued that the barriers to voting disproportionately impacted Hispanic and Latino voters in violation of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin the defendants from rejecting ballots postmarked by Election Day that arrive within five business days of Election Day. The plaintiffs, represented by private attorneys, also sought attorney fees. The case was assigned to District Court Judge Dominic Lanza.

The plaintiffs amended the complaint on December 2, 2019 to strike the request for declaratory relief declaring that the Election Day Receipt Deadline disparately impacted Hispanic and Latino voters and violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. On February 3, 2020, the Arizona Secretary of State moved to dismiss the amended complaint. The defendant argued that the plaintiffs lacked organizational standing and that the Eleventh Amendment barred the plaintiffs’ claims. The defendant also argued that the Election Day Receipt Deadline posed little imposition on the plaintiffs’ right to vote and was justified by the state’s interest to ensure a fair election and to count the votes within a reasonable time.

The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on February 24, 2020. The following day, the plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction, pertaining to the election in November 2020. In response, the defendant filed an emergency motion to stay the case on March 4 and to extend the 14-day deadline to respond to the plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion. On March 13, the defendant’s stay was granted in part. 2020 WL 1236352. On March 20, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ second amended complaint.

In their response in April 2020, the plaintiffs argued that the Election Day Receipt Deadline imposes a cutoff that voters will miss due to unreliable and slow mail service in Arizona as well as the inconsistent messaging on these deadlines. At the same time, COVID-19 has rendered in-person delivery of those mail ballots unrealistic.

The parties entered into a settlement on June 18, 2020. Under the terms of the settlement, the Election Day deadline remained. However, the defendant agreed to continue to expand their efforts to address late returns, such as voter outreach and funding for counties to increase early voting opportunities. On June 19, all claims were dismissed. The plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and the defendant’s motion to dismiss were denied as moot, with each party responsible for its own costs and attorney fees.

Averyn Lee - 07/04/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Voting
Voting access
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Voting
Election administration
Voter qualifications
Voter registration rules
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Voting Rights Act, section 2, 52 U.S.C. § 10301 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1973)
Defendant(s) Arizona Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description two organizations challenging Arizona’s Election Day Receipt Deadline
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 11/26/2019
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Voto Latino Inc. v. Hobbs
https://moritzlaw.osu.edu
Date: May 20, 2020
By: Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:19-cv-05685-DWL (D. Ariz.)
VR-AZ-0056-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
VR-AZ-0056-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/26/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 11]
VR-AZ-0056-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/02/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Arizona Secretary of State's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 17]
VR-AZ-0056-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 21]
VR-AZ-0056-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 22 (& 22-1 to 22-15)]
VR-AZ-0056-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/25/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Arizona Secretary of State's Expedited Motion to Stay Consideration of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction or in the Alternative an Extension of Time [ECF# 26]
VR-AZ-0056-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 29] (2020 WL 1236352) (D. Ariz.)
VR-AZ-0056-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Arizona Secretary of State's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 30]
VR-AZ-0056-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/20/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Supplemental Memorandum of Points and Authorities Related to Covid-19 in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 32]
VR-AZ-0056-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 36]
VR-AZ-0056-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Arizona Secretary of State's Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amendment Complaint [ECF# 40]
VR-AZ-0056-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Withdrawal and Re-Filing of Arizona Secretary of State's Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 41, 41-1]
VR-AZ-0056-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Arizona Secretary of State's Response in Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Response to Supplemental Memorandum Related to COVID-19 [ECF# 43]
VR-AZ-0056-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Their Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 47]
VR-AZ-0056-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/12/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Settlement [ECF# 57, 57-1]
VR-AZ-0056-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/18/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Lanza, Dominic William (D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0011 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Callais, Amanda R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0005 | VR-AZ-0056-0006 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Danneman, Alexis Elizabeth (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Devaney, John M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0005 | VR-AZ-0056-0006 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Elias, Marc Erik (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0005 | VR-AZ-0056-0006 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Ford, Christina A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0005 | VR-AZ-0056-0006 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Gonski, Sarah Rae (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0005 | VR-AZ-0056-0006 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Newkirk, Zachary (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Smith, K’Shaani O (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0003 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0005 | VR-AZ-0056-0006 | VR-AZ-0056-0008 | VR-AZ-0056-0009 | VR-AZ-0056-0013 | VR-AZ-0056-0014 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brnovich, Mark (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0001 | VR-AZ-0056-0010 | VR-AZ-0056-0012 | VR-AZ-0056-0015
Cone-Roddy, Emma Jane (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0001 | VR-AZ-0056-0002 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0015 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Karlson, Kara (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0001 | VR-AZ-0056-0002 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0007 | VR-AZ-0056-0010 | VR-AZ-0056-0012 | VR-AZ-0056-0015 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
O'Grady, Mary Ruth (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0002 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0015 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Romney, Dustin Dane (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0001 | VR-AZ-0056-0002 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0015 | VR-AZ-0056-9000
Wilson, Linley Sarah (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0056-0001 | VR-AZ-0056-0002 | VR-AZ-0056-0004 | VR-AZ-0056-0015 | VR-AZ-0056-9000

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