In wake of the recent attempt to have a referendum on the Maryland DREAM Act, a team of lawyers, including Partner Joseph Sandler, representing CASA de Maryland and eight other plaintiffs, have filed a suit challenging the validity of petition signatures. The Maryland DREAM Act allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition to Maryland state universities if they have attended a Maryland high school for three years. In order to be eligible, students must also attend a community college for two years, before transferring to a four-year university.
The suit claims that many of the signatures collected in favor of putting the DREAM Act on the November ballot are invalid. Speaking to the New York Times, Mr. Sandler said “[the suit] was a test case for whether petitions for ballot measures that were generated and filled out online would stand in court.”
Echoing his concerns over how the signatures for the referendum were collected, Mr. Sandler told the Washington Post, “There’s no safeguard. If someone knows your name, Zip code and date of birth, which might be on your Facebook page, the computer will print out that information exactly…There is no way to make sure the voter whose name appears on the petition is the one who printed it out and signed it.”
Mr. Sandler told the Maryland Reporter, “the State Board of Elections should not have certified many of the 108,923 petition signatures it received.” He also shared similar sentiments with Hometown Annapolis and the Baltimore Sun.