Filed Date: Aug. 17, 2010
Closed Date: Aug. 31, 2010
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Plaintiff Adelbert Bryan, a resident of St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands, filed suit against John Abramson, Jr. as Supervisor of Elections, the Joint Board of Elections and Government of the Virgin Islands ("Defendants") seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order against Defendants to enjoin them from requiring voters who elect not to use electronic voting machines to use provisional ballots instead of paper ballots in the upcoming primary and general elections of 2010. Mr. Bryan filed this suit in the District Court of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix.
Mr. Bryan alleged that Defendants decided in July 30, 2022 meeting to force voters who did not wish to use electronic voting machines to use provisional ballots instead of secret paper ballots, and delayed announcing this decision until August 4, 2010. Mr. Bryan also alleged that Defendants improperly cancelled others' voter registrations.
Mr. Bryan's complaint alleged that Defendants' actions were in violation of the Virgin Islands Code - 18 V.I.C. §§ 514, 516 and 518 - and the Help America Vote ACT of 2002 ("HAVA") - 42 U.S.C. §§ 15301 et seq. Mr. Bryan alleged federal question jurisdiction under HAVA. Mr. Bryan alleged that due to the delayed announcement of Defendants' decision regarding the use of provisional ballots, administrative proceedings to resolve the suit were not available.
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on various grounds, including lack of subject matter jurisdiction, lack of entitlement under federal or state law to use a paper ballot, and lack of standing, among others.
The district court dismissed Mr. Bryan's action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on finding that the suit did not involve a question of federal law - the court found that HAVA applies only to federal elections, only explicitly provides for enforcement by civil action by the Attorney General, and that Mr. Bryan failed to cite any part of HAVA that supports his complaint. In addition, the court found HAVA to be wholly inconsistent with Mr. Bryan's claim, and stated that Mr. Bryan's "claims under HAVA are wholly 'unsubstantiated and frivolous' and 'completely devoid of merit.'" The court also found that Mr. Bryan relied on outdated parts of the Virgin Islands Code, and that the current law under the Virgin Islands Code was consistent with the use of provisional ballots in lieu of electronic voting machines. Finally, the court found that Mr. Bryan did not have standing to challenge the alleged improper cancellation of voter registrations because he did not alleged that his voter registration had been canceled.
Gada Al Herz (10/20/2022)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5110415/bryan-v-abramson-jr/
Last updated Dec. 24, 2022, 3:08 a.m.
State / Territory: Virgin Islands
Filing Date: Aug. 17, 2010
Closing Date: Aug. 31, 2010
Case Ongoing: No
Adelbert M. Bryan. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Bryan is a politician and former senator. He served as a Frederiskted police commander, as a Senator, and on the Board of Education. In 1989 he ran for Governor of the United States Virgin Islands.
Public Interest Lawyer: No
Filed Pro Se: Yes
Class Action Sought: Unknown
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Defendant
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief: