With Virginia shaping up as a heavily contested state in Tuesday’s election, a lawyer for Republicans has filed a motion to dismiss an NAACP lawsuit that seeks to extend polling hours, re-allocate voting machines, and provide paper ballots to voters in Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach.
The NAACP filed the lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that the cities’ election officials have not adequately prepared for the expected surge among newly-registered voters, especially in communities of color. It alleges the defendants – Democratic governor Tim Kaine and city election officials – have acted with the intent to discriminate against the African-American plaintiffs in those cities.
Chris Ashby, government relations partner at LeClairRyan’s Washington office, has filed a motion to intervene and dismiss the lawsuit on behalf of local Republican committees and a collection of individual voters. The motion argues that extending polling hours would confer special privileges on voters in three cities, thus infringing the constitutional rights of those Virginians who do not have the benefit of voting later in the evening.
Ashby says the extension of voting hours is not authorized under Virginia law. “Anyone who is waiting in line at 7 p.m. gets to vote, no matter how long they’ve had to wait in line,” he said. “The law already provides a remedy.”