Case: U.S.A. v. Bd of Elec. Commn. for St. Louis City

4:02-cv-01235 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Filed Date: Aug. 14, 2002

Closed Date: 2005

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 14, 2002, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit against the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of the State of Missouri alleging that the requirements with respect to voter registration enacted by the Board during the November 7, 2000 National Election violated the Voting Rights Act. The suit was based on the claims that the Board of Elections unjustly placed thousands of active voters on inactive status and thu…

On August 14, 2002, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit against the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of the State of Missouri alleging that the requirements with respect to voter registration enacted by the Board during the November 7, 2000 National Election violated the Voting Rights Act. The suit was based on the claims that the Board of Elections unjustly placed thousands of active voters on inactive status and thus removed them from the registered rolls during the November 2000 and March 2001 elections. The United States argued that the canvassing method to inform citizens of this change was not in compliance with section 8 of the Voting Rights Act, and that during the elections in question the Board did not have a sufficient number of election judges available to support complaints of this effect. The suit followed similar claims raised in a class action voting rights suit filed in state court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri in March 2001. Following reports of widespread voter processing errors in St. Louis during the 2000 elections, the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division launched an investigation which culminated in the filing of this suit.

Contemporaneous with filing, on August 14, 2002, the parties entered into a consent decree, which was approved by the Court (Judge Carol E. Jackson). With judgment, the court ruled that the inability of the Board to inform citizens of their inactive status was in direct violation of 42 USC §1973gg-6 because the voters were completely unable to obtain active status in time to vote. The court ordered that prior to subsequent elections, the Board initiate an effective media strategy encouraging citizens to confirm and reactivate their status if necessary, and that at set times prior to elections, public announcements to this effect be made in major local print, online, and radio media. In addition, the court ordered that each precinct in subsequent elections be staffed by at least one additional "specialist judge" to process inactive voters. The consent decree resolved the claims of the related state court action.

On November 4, 2002, the Court ordered, prior to the national elections, that precincts were to proceed with the use of specialist judges, regardless of whether or not the judges were employed by the city of St. Louis.

Summary Authors

Nick Loyal (2/27/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Jackson, Carol E. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kengle, Robert A. (District of Columbia)

Moore, Joseph B. (Missouri)

Rich, Joseph D. (District of Columbia)

Zwibelman, Michael A. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lawson, Mark Edward (Missouri)

Tate, Rufus J. Jr. (Missouri)

Judge(s)

Jackson, Carol E. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kengle, Robert A. (District of Columbia)

Moore, Joseph B. (Missouri)

Rich, Joseph D. (District of Columbia)

Zwibelman, Michael A. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lawson, Mark Edward (Missouri)

Tate, Rufus J. Jr. (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

USA v. Board of Election Commissioners For the City of St. Louis

Feb. 10, 2002 Docket
4

Stipulation of Facts and Consent Order

USA v. Board of Election Commissioners For the City of St. Louis

Aug. 14, 2002 Order/Opinion
5

Order

USA v. Board of Election Commissioners For the City of St. Louis

Nov. 4, 2002 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

What Hath HAVA Wrought? Consequences, Intended and Not, of the Post-Bush v. Gore Reforms

Charles Stewart III

The purpose of this paper is to provide a data-focused assessments of the consequences of election administration reforms put in place following the 2000 presidential elections, particularly those su… May 18, 2011 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/246a/c9c905110789c1a76a516e79aeb4f7e41778.pdf

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT; # Counts: 1 (SET) (Entered: 08/14/2002)

Aug. 14, 2002
2

TRACK INFORMATION STATEMENT filed by plaintiff USA track 1 preferred (SET) (Entered: 08/14/2002)

Aug. 14, 2002
3

MOTION by plaintiff USA, defendant Bd of Elec Com for, defendant St. Louis, City, MO for Entry of Stipulation of Facts and Consent Order w/attached Stipulation of Facts and Consent Order (SET) (Entered: 08/14/2002)

Aug. 14, 2002
4

CONSENT JUDGEMENT by Honorable Carol E. Jackson for plaintiff USA against defendant Brd Election City, defendant St. Louis, MO, City granting motion for Entry of Stipulation of Facts and Consent Order [3-1] the terms of this Order shall become effective upon entry of this Order and shall remain in effect until 1/31/05, The United States' complaint is dismissed, the parties shall bear their own costs, the Court shall retain jurisdication over this matter until 1/31/04 in order to enforce the terms of this Order and to provide such other relief as is appropriate...see Order for all other specifics terminating case (cc: all counsel) (LLW) (Entered: 08/15/2002)

Aug. 14, 2002
5

ORDER by Honorable Carol E. Jackson Pursuant to the All Writs Act...the Court retrain the authority to issue those orders necessary to prevent the frustration of the Consent Order issued on 8/14/02...ORDERED that in the elections held on November 5, 2002 dfts shall proceed with the use of those specialist judges...irrespective of whether or not those specialists judges are employed by the City of St. Louis (cc: all counsel) (LLW) (Entered: 11/05/2002)

Nov. 4, 2002

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 14, 2002

Closing Date: 2005

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners (St. Louis, St. Louis city), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Voting Rights Act, section 2, 52 U.S.C. § 10301 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1973)

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2002 - 2005

Issues

Voting:

Election administration

Voter qualifications

Voter registration rules