IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LEFLORE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI

STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PLAINTIFF

OF THE MISSISSIPPI REPUBLICAN PARTY

V. Civil No. 2008-0126-CICI

ELECTION COMMISSION OF LEFLORE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI; GAIL GRIGGS, POLL MANAGER, SOUTHEAST GREENWOOD

PRECINCT, LEFLORE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI DEFENDANTS

CONSENT DECREE

COMES NOW, upon the Joint Motion for Consent Decree and Motion to Dismiss

with Prejudice brought by the Plaintiff State Executive Committee of the Mississippi

Republican Party ("Plaintiff') and Defendant Election Commission of Leflore County,

Mississippi ("Defendant Election Commission") requesting the Court enter a Consent

Decree dismissing this case with prejudice and to assist in the administration of future

elections conducted by the Defendant Election Commission. The Court, having been

advised in the premises that all parties who have entered an appearance in this cause are

in agreement with said Motion, does hereby find that said Motion is well taken, and

should be granted upon the terms as set forth herein:

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED as follows, to-wit:

1. VOTER ASSISTANCE. Section 23-15-549 of the Mississippi Code of

1972, as amended, governs the assistance of voters at the polling location, requiring tha(

"[a]ny voter who declares to the managers of the election that he requires assistance to

vote by reason of blindness, disability or inability to read or write may be given

assistance by a person of the voter's choice other than the voter's employer, or agent of

that employer, or officer or agent of the voter's union." Under this provision, a voter

may only be allowed assistance if the voter alone requests permission for assistance from

a poll worker and does so solely based upon the expressed grounds of blindness,

disability or illiteracy. No request for assistance shall be allowed from a person other

than the voter. No one shall be allowed in the polling location nor the surrounding area

described below to ask potential voters if they require assistance in voting. No one other

than a person lawfully providing voter assistance may be allowed to observe a voter cast

his or her vote.

2. ONLY AUTHORIZED INDIVIDUALS IN POLLING LOCATION.

Section 23-15 .. 245 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, excludes unauthorized

individuals from the polling location and thirty (30) feet in every direction from the polls.

Under this provision, no persons shall be allowed in the polling location other than

voters, persons from whom the voter properly requests assistance as described under

Paragraph 1 of this Consent Decree, authorized poll watchers and officers of the election,

including poll workers. Section 23-15-895, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended,

prohibits any candidate or representative of a candidate from distributing any campaign

material within one hundred fifty (150) feet of any entrance of the building wherein an

election is held. No voter nor anyone lawfully providing assistance to a voter shall be

allowed in the polling location beyond the time necessary for the voter to vote as set forth

. . .

under Section 23-15-551 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended.

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3. POLL WATCHERS TO BE ALLOWED SUITABLE POSITION

FOR INSPECTION. As authorized by Section 23-15-577, Mississippi Code of 1972,

as amended, properly credentialed poll watchers must be allowed a suitable position to

carefully inspect the manner in which the election is held. Such a suitable position must

allow the poll watcher the ability to exercise his or her statutory right to properly

challenge the qualifications of any person offering to vote. The dimensions of the polling

location shall be taken into account in determining the poll watcher's suitable position.

4. PROHIBITION AGAINST REMOVING BALLOTS FROM

O'ffcl-)

POLLING PLACE. Section 23-15-5S3, :rVt.fssissippi Code of 1972, as amended,

prohibits voters from removing ballots from the polling place. Voters by affidavit ballot

may not take ballots into adjoining rooms which are not within the supervision and eye J~~

sight of the poll workers.

5. The parties agree that in all elections conducted by the Defendant Election

Commission that this Consent Decree shall be posted for public inspection next to the

sample or instruction ballot made available to the public under Section 23-15-411,

Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended. A sign shall also be posted at the entrance to the

polling location prohibiting the usage of cellular telephones and related electronic devices

used for the purpose o~~tommunication after a voter has begun the process of voting by T~

signing the receipt book. While poll workers shall employ reasonable efforts to keep the

Consent Decree posted throughout election day, they shall not be held in violation of this

Order should the posting be removed without their knowledge. In addition, each poll

manager and each election bailiff shall be given a copy of this Consent Decree at each

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poll worker training conducted by the Defendant Election Commission through November of2012.

6. The parties agree that this Consent Decree shall remain in effect and

binding on the parties as well as their successors. Notwithstanding the dismissal of this action, this Court shall retain jurisdiction for the sole purpose of the enforcement of its terms.

7. Under Section 23-15-241, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, the

election bailiff is charged with the keeping the peace during the election and preventing improper intrusion upon the voting place: or interference with the election. The election bailiff shall enforce the provisions of this Consent Decree. Additional law enforcement of Leflore County, Mississippi, also shall be charged with this Consent Decree's enforcement, if necessary.

8. This Consent Decree shall be construed as being wholly consistent with

the provisions of the Mississippi Election Code. If the Mississippi Election Code is amended by Legislature of the State of Mississippi or is interpreted by a Court of competent jurisdiction in a manner inconsistent with this Consent Decree, such statute or court ruling shall supersede this Consent Decree and be hereby incorporated into same.

9. Any and all claims made by the Plaintiffs against the Defendants shall be,

and the same are hereby fully and finally dismissed with prejudice. The Clerk of this Court should be, and hereby is, authorized and empowered to note the dismissal of all parties and enter this Consent Decree on the docket of the Court and to close the Court file. The Court hereby declares this case to be concluded and this case is dismissed upon the terms and conditions set forth herein. This Consent Decree is not to be construed as

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an admission of liability by the Defendants. Each party to this proceeding shall bear his

or her own cost, including attorney's fees, relative to the dismissal entered hereby.

SO ORDERED on this the _9 __

Submitted by

COUNSEL FOR STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

OF HE MIS PI REPUBLICAN PARTY

p nee Flatgard (M 99381)

Spence Flatgard, Legal Counsel, PLLC 210 East Capitol Street, Suite 1262 Jackson, Mississippi 39201 601-672-5917 (Telephone) 601-948-1506 (Facsimile)

Michael B. Wallace, Esq. (MB # 6904) Wise Carter Child & Caraway

Post Office Box 651 (39205)

401 East Capitol Street, Suite 600 Jackson, Mississippi 39205

(601) 968-5534 (Telephone) (601) 944-7738 (Facsimile)

COUNSEL FOR ELECTION COMMISSION OF LEFLORE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI

~U\~

~hile~, Esq. (MB # 0 SS 1 () ) Leflore County Board of Supervisors Post Office Box 250

Greenwood, Mississippi 38930

(662) 822-5940 (Telephone)

"R J~ rg lID

APR 1 3 2010

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