Case: Wince v. Thurston

4:20-cv-01278 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

Filed Date: Oct. 26, 2020

Closed Date: Oct. 28, 2020

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Case Summary

On October 26, 2020, two qualified absentee voters sued the Arkansas Secretary of State and several state election officials for declaratory relief and an injunction prohibiting election officials from refusing to continue counting absentee ballots after polls close on election day as required under state law.  They filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Under Arkansas Code 7-5-416 and 7-5-411, election officials can only begin the substantive process of cou…

On October 26, 2020, two qualified absentee voters sued the Arkansas Secretary of State and several state election officials for declaratory relief and an injunction prohibiting election officials from refusing to continue counting absentee ballots after polls close on election day as required under state law.  They filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Under Arkansas Code 7-5-416 and 7-5-411, election officials can only begin the substantive process of counting absentee ballots at 8:30 a.m. on election day and must finish prior to polls closing that same day and not later than 7:30 p.m.  With the backdrop of Covid-19 and a 550% increase of registered absentee voters in the state, the plaintiffs alleged that it would be impossible for all absentee ballots to be counted by the deadline.   

The plaintiffs presented two causes of action.  First, they requested declaratory judgment that the statutes violated Arkansas’ citizens’ rights to have their votes counted under the state constitution.  Second, they requested preliminary and permanent injunctions ordering the defendants to not refuse to count the otherwise valid absentee ballots after polls close. The case was assigned to Judge Brian S. Miller.

Defendants removed the case to federal court the same day it was filed and also moved to consolidate the case with another case also named Wince v. Thurston as both presented common questions of law and fact.  The court granted the motion to consolidate the cases and terminated the docket.  The court made no substantive findings on the complaint, injunction, or other relief on this docket.

Summary Authors

Rebecca Shore (12/18/2023)

Related Cases

Wince v. Thurston, Eastern District of Arkansas (2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/18573913/parties/wince-v-thurston/


Judge(s)

Miller, Brian Stacy (Arkansas)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Keller, Thomas Christoph (Arkansas)

Tull, John E. (Arkansas)

Attorney for Defendant

Cantrell, Michael (Arkansas)

Mosley, Michael Allen (Arkansas)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
2

4:20-cv-01278

Complaint

Wince, Et Al V. Thurston, Et Al

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

Complaint
8

4:20-cv-01278

Order

Wince, Et Al V. Thurston, Et Al

Oct. 27, 2020

Oct. 27, 2020

Order/Opinion
13

4:20-cv-01278

Order

Wince, Et Al V. Thurston, Et Al

Oct. 28, 2020

Oct. 28, 2020

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/18573913/wince-v-thurston/

Last updated March 15, 2024, 3:02 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

NOTICE OF REMOVAL by All Defendants from Pulaski County Circuit Court, case number 60CV-20-5928. Fee $400 paid, receipt number LIT079469. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(ajt) (Entered: 10/26/2020)

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

PACER
2

COMPLAINT against All Defendants filed by Mary Cantwell, Marquisa Wince.(ajt) (Entered: 10/26/2020)

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

Clearinghouse
3

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Mary Cantwell, Marquisa Wince. (ajt) (Entered: 10/26/2020)

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

PACER
4

BRIEF IN SUPPORT re 3 Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by Mary Cantwell, Marquisa Wince. (ajt) (Entered: 10/26/2020)

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

PACER
5

MOTION to Consolidate Cases by All Defendants. (ajt) (Entered: 10/26/2020)

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

PACER
6

(This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no pdf document associated with this entry.) ORDER: The Court would appreciate an expedited response by noon tomorrow, 27 October 2020, to the motion to consolidate, Doc. 5. Signed by Chief Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 10/26/2020. (slb) (Entered: 10/26/2020)

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

PACER
7

RESPONSE to Motion re 5 MOTION to Consolidate Cases filed by Mary Cantwell, Marquisa Wince. (Tull, John) (Entered: 10/26/2020)

Oct. 26, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020

PACER
8

ORDER granting 5 Motion. The Court directs the Clerk to reassign this case to Judge Miller by chip exchange. Signed by Chief Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 10/27/2020. (jak) (Entered: 10/27/2020)

Oct. 27, 2020

Oct. 27, 2020

Clearinghouse
9

(This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no pdf document associated with this entry.) NOTICE OF REASSIGNMENT. Pursuant to 8 Order, the Clerk's office has reassigned the case to Judge Brian S. Miller. (jak) (Entered: 10/27/2020)

Oct. 27, 2020

Oct. 27, 2020

PACER
10

NOTICE of Appearance by Michael Allen Mosley on behalf of All Defendants (Mosley, Michael) (Entered: 10/27/2020)

Oct. 27, 2020

Oct. 27, 2020

PACER
11

NOTICE of Appearance by Michael Cantrell on behalf of All Defendants (Cantrell, Michael) (Entered: 10/27/2020)

Oct. 27, 2020

Oct. 27, 2020

PACER
12

RESPONSE in Opposition re 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by All Defendants. (Attachments: # 1 Ex. A - Declaration of Daniel Shults)(Wagner, Vincent) (Entered: 10/28/2020)

Oct. 28, 2020

Oct. 28, 2020

PACER
13

ORDER: This case is consolidated sua sponte with Wince, et al. v. Thurston, et al., case number 4:20-cv-1274-BSM. The clerk is directed to terminate case number 4:20-cv-1278-BSM. Signed by Judge Brian S. Miller on 10/28/2020. (kdr) (Entered: 10/28/2020)

Oct. 28, 2020

Oct. 28, 2020

RECAP

Cases associated. Create association to 4:20-cv-01274-BSM, per 13 Order. (kdr)

Oct. 28, 2020

Oct. 28, 2020

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Arkansas

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 26, 2020

Closing Date: Oct. 28, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Private parties

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Secretary of State of Arkansas, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Voting:

Election administration

Voting: General & Misc.