4th Circuit Denies Stay, Sending NC to #SCOTUS for Possible Stay in Voting Case

Following up on this post, here’s today’s docket notation:

COURT ORDER filed [999904865] denying Motion to recall mandate [155]; denying Motion to stay mandate [FRAP 41(d)]. [155] Copies to all parties.

And from the opinion, the 4th Circuit tries to preempt a Purcell principle timing issue:

Moreover, recalling or staying the mandate now would only undermine the integrity and efficiency of the upcoming election. “Court orders affecting elections, especially conflicting orders, can themselves result in voter confusion and consequent incentive to remain away from the polls. As an election draws closer, that risk will increase.” Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 4-5 (2006). The State has already notified its voters that it will not ask them to show ID and that early voting will begin on October 20. Press Release, N.C. State Bd. Of Elections, Statement regarding Fourth Circuit Ruling (July 29, 2016), www.ncsbe.gov/pressreleases?udt_2226_param_detail=52. Voters are likely to rely on that announcement. At oral argument, the State assured us that it would be able to comply with any order we issued by late July. As to early voting locations and staffing, we were told that at a minimum the State could conduct early voting at the Board of Elections office for each county. As to the photo ID requirement, the State informed us that it would comply with an injunction of that law by instructing its poll workers not to require photo ID. And, as the State acknowledges, its SEIMS system is already prepared to implement same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. The State told us that the proofs for its voter guide were not due until August 5, and that its election official training would not begin until August 8. We issued our opinion, injunction, and mandate a week in advance of those dates. Because of these assurances, we are confident that North Carolina can conduct the 2016 election in compliance with our injunction.

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