University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Bambenek v. White"
Date Sep 5, 2020
Author COVID-Related Election Litigation Tracker
External Link
Abstract The named Plaintiffs, who are representatives for two political associations, filed a petition for injunctive relief and declaratory relief of state requirements to put non-binding ballot initiatives on the ballot. They relied on the court's decision in Libertarian Party of Illinois v. Pritzker, asking the district court to eliminate the requirement that voters sign in the presence of a circulator, eliminate the requirement that only original sheets with original signatures be filed, allow electronic signatures, reduce the number of required signatures to 10%, and extend the filing deadlines. Claims include 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 and state law. The complaint alleged that requiring the collection of in-person signatures to authorize ballot referenda during the COVID-19 public health emergency violated the plaintiffs' First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The District Court denied their petition, because unlike in Libertarian Party, which clearly implicated First Amendment rights because it concerned political candidates and parties, there is no such clearly established constitutional right for non-binding ballot initiatives. Also, the Court held that Plaintiffs waited too long to bring their suit, meaning that the electoral system would be thrown into disarray right before an election.
Source Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

This Resource Relates To
case (VR-IL-0134)

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