French v. Luzerne County

Lawsuit by Two Disenfranchised Voters in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

The Center for Election Confidence (CEC) has backed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of two voters whose constitutional right to vote was violated by the County of Luzerne, Pennsylvania, its Board of Elections and Registration, and its Bureau of Elections on Election Day 2022. Plaintiffs William French and Melynda Anne Reese also allege that their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.

Mr. French and Ms. Reese attempted to vote at their assigned polling places on Election Day but were turned away due to a catastrophic paper shortage caused by Defendants’ noncompliance with the clear requirements of the Pennsylvania Election Code for the minimum number of paper ballots each polling place must have. Mr. French, a disabled Army veteran, and Ms. Reese, a caregiver to her dependent husband, both tried multiple times to vote on Election Day but could not vote due to Luzerne County’s failures.

Mr. French and Ms. Reese’s lawsuit was profiled in The Federalist.  Counsel Wally Zimolong summarized the goal of the case:


It’s not symbolic at all. We are asking a judge for a mandatory injunction which would compel the county going forward to make sure they do not deny the right to vote to any person to make sure they comply with the Pennsylvania Election Code and the administration to make sure that there is election officials are adequately trained.


To view the complaint, click here.

Case Documents

Middle District of Pennsylvania

Memorandum [on Motion to Dismiss] (December 4, 2023)

Defendants’ Reply Brief to Plaintiffs’ Brief in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (June 27, 2023)

Defendants’ Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss (May 16, 2023)

Complaint (March 28,2023)



Press Release: Federal Court Rules in Favor of Disenfranchised Voters in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (December 5, 2023)

News Post: CEC-Backed Lawsuit Featured by The Federalist (April 18, 2023)

Article: Voter Suppression Is Real And It’s Not What You Were Told, The Federalist (March 29, 2023) (CEC was called Lawyers Democracy Fund at the time of this article.)


Last Updated: December 8, 2023