It's not just the troops and the election officials who are now acting on concerns of disenfranchisement. Now the Hispanic community and Democrats are charging the Governator's special election dates will "thwart voter turnout within minorities communities".
On the heels of The BRAD BLOG's coverage yesterday reporting on worries that thousands of overseas and military voters could be disenfranchised by CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order for an early special election schedule in the state, and that election officials were "outraged" by the timing and concerned about the costs, minority groups and the Democratic Party are now filing suit to halt the impending election, charging the compressed dates are in violation of federal law.
A nine-page complaint [PDF] was filed in the Northern California U.S. District Court today by three Hispanic plaintiffs seeking "a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction" to halt the impending June 22nd special primary election date to fill a vacancy in Senate District 15 following the appointment of Abel Maldonado as Lt. Governor. The lawsuit is being funded by the state Democratic Party.
The suit charges that the short time-line for the special election schedule did not leave time for the required preclearance of the election dates under Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act. Monterey County, one of five included in SD 15, is covered by Section 5, a provision which requires the Dept. of Justice to pre-approve changes to voting laws in jurisdictions around the country where minorities have been historically disenfranchised.
Yesterday, retired twenty-year armed services veteran and Monterey talk-radio host Scott Dick detailed how the expedited special election schedule meant that ballots could not possibly be printed and sent to military family and personnel serving overseas prior to the 45-day minimum requirement of the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. He charged that there will not be enough time for those voters to receive and return their ballots in time to be counted in the special election.
State election officials, The BRAD BLOG has learned, share similar worries...