COVID-Related Election Litigation Tracker

Case Details

This database consolidates and tracks litigation concerning the effect of the pandemic on election law. The purpose of this tool is to provide an interactive list of relevant cases that can be searched by issue, court, status, and jurisdiction.

Case Details


Bambenek v. White


Bambenek v. White, No. 3:20-cv-03107 (C.D. Ill.), 2020 WL 2123951

  Case Summary 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. § 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.
Filed 04/27/2020
State Illinois
Type of Court Federal
Circuit Seventh Circuit
Status Closed ()
Last Updated 01/20/2021
Issue Tag(s) Petition Signature Requirement (Threshold Number, Deadline/Time to Collect, E-signatures)
Candidate Signature Requirement (Witness/Notary )
Complaint(s) 04/27/2020: Complaint filed.
04/30/2020: Complaint filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 05/01/2020: Order/Ruling, The Court denied Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining Illinois' petition collection requirements for ballot initiatives, citing Plaintiff's low probability of success on the merits, hardship to Defendants in overseeing the election, and Plaintiff's ability to continue collecting signatures after the expiration of the Stay at Home Order.
10/06/2020: Other, Plaintiffs move to voluntarily dismiss case with prejudice due to mootness
Creative Commons License  Covid-Related Election Litigation Tracker by the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project – Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.