The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: This Week in Election Law

The past week has been a good week for both Republicans and open, fair, and honest elections.  It has also been a downright bad and ugly week for the Democrat Party’s consigliere, Marc Elias.  

First, the good: Yesterday, a New York Supreme Court Judge ruled that (like virtually everywhere else in the world) you have to be a citizen to vote in New York City:

Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio also issued a permanent injunction that bars the city Board of Elections from letting around 800,000 non-citizen residents register to vote.

In a 13-page ruling, Porzio said city officials can’t “obviate” restrictions in the state constitution, which “expressly states that only citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections.”

“There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting non-citizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution,” he wrote.

The law itself was so bad that progressive former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to sign it.  Yesterday's ruling by the New York Supreme Court was a major victory for all voters. 

Next, the bad: Dark Money Marc Elias had a bad week.  Today, he suffered another painful loss in redistricting:   

With this final map in place, all 50 states’ Congressional maps are set for the 2022 election.  It’s quite clear that Republicans have the upper hand going into the 2022 midterm elections.  But not only that, the number of registered Republicans has increased by over 1 million across 43 states over the past year, signaling even more trouble for Democrats this election.  

Last, the ugly: While it was bad for Marc Elias and the Democrats to lose yet another case, this was an ugly week for one of Elias' premiere clients.  The former rising star of the Democrat Party, Andrew Gillum, who was supposed to beat Ron De Santis in Florida's gubernatorial election, was hit with a massive indictment:

Andrew Gillum, the once-rising Florida Democratic star who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race to Ron DeSantis, was hit with a 21-count federal indictment Wednesday alleging wire fraud, related conspiracy charges and making false statements. . . .

The campaign made Gillum — a dynamic speaker who was the Democratic Party’s first Black nominee for governor in Florida — into a political celebrity and a sought-after speaker. After his loss, he became a CNN commentator, a Harvard University guest lecturer and a frequent guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, and he converted his political committee into a voter registration effort in 2019, pledging to sign up and “re-engage” 1 million voters to help Democrats turn Florida blue.

But by the end of the year Gillum was paying more money for legal work to top Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, who downplayed the federal subpoena asking Gillum for numerous records in 2019.

Perhaps, in one way, it was a good week for Dark Money Marc Elias – he is presumably making a lot of money.  But it was an even better week for justice and open, fair, and honest elections (as it always is when Marc Elias loses).