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


Frye v. Gardner


Frye v. Gardner, No. 1:20-cv-00751 (D.N.H.)

  Case Summary With the current COVID-19 pandemic, New Hampshire has extended its absentee voting system to all voters. However, the system relies on printed forms and ballots, which print-disabled voters (such as blind adults or those who have muscle-weakness related disabilities) cannot read or mark independently. The current voting system is inaccessible to print-disabled voters who wish to vote independently and who feel unsafe voting in-person with the current pandemic. Plaintiffs, consisting of print-disabled individuals, sued the Secretary of State and the State. They claim: (1) the absentee voting program discriminates against print-disabled voters, who are protected under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), because these individuals cannot register to vote absentee, apply for an absentee ballot, or vote via absentee ballot secretly and independently, as other votes can; and (2) the inaccessible absentee voting program violates Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prevents discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, and Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm in that they will be discriminated against and denied equal access to the fundamental right to vote. Plaintiffs seek a preliminary and permanent injunction to (1) declare that the defendants violated the ADA and Section 504, and prohibit these violations; (2) require the defendants to temporarily remedy their absentee voting program by allowing voters to register through an entirely online process; (3) ensure all election-related guidance on the defendants' website is accessible; and (4) implement a remote vote-by-mail system accessible to Plaintiffs for the September 8, 2020 primary election.
Filed 07/07/2020
State New Hampshire
Type of Court Federal
Circuit First Circuit
Status Active
Last Updated 09/01/2020
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (Failure to Provide Vote-by-Mail Accommodations for Voters with Disabilities)
Online Voting
Complaint(s) 07/07/2020: Complaint filed.
10/06/2020: Complaint filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 12/09/2020: Order/Ruling, Though the Court conceeds that all the Plaintiff's original claims had since been mooted, they allowed the Plaintiffs to timely amend their complaint to include claims focused on electronic return of completed ballots and other previously unmentioned aspects of the State's voter information website. Pursuant to FRCP 15, the Court allowed the timely amendment and therefore denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
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