Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Monday, December 6
Ohio: Certification, Recount and Contest
Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has certified that President Bush won the state by about 119,000 votes, even as third-party candidates and independent groups continue to question the result. The New York Times has this report.

On Wednesday, the Alliance for Democracy reportedly plans to file a petition contesting the election results. The Alliance's attorney Cliff Arneback states that "We will allege in the complaint that the result should have been Kerry winning." As for the Democrats, the NYT reports that: "Democratic officials, walking a fine line between their angry liberal base and centrist voters who consider the election over, said they were not contesting the results."

In addition to the contest, a recount request is anticipated by the Green and Libertarian Party candidates. Now posted on the EL@M website is U.S. District Judge Sargus's order denying both sides motion for a preliminary injunction, in the case brought by Delaware County to stop the recount. As I've noted, I think that Judge Sargus was right to deny both preliminary injunction motions. The fact that the election isn't close doesn't excuse Delaware County from its obligation to conduct a recount -- however pointless it may seem. At the same time, the Green and Libertarian candidates can't show that they'd suffer any irreparable injury if the recount isn't completed by the "safe harbor" date of December 6 or the date the Electoral College meets, December 13.

Also posted on the EL@M website is the Kerry-Edwards' campaign's motion to intervene. The motion appears artfully drafted to avoid formally joining in the recount, while attempting to convey at least tepid support to appease Democrats who believe the election was stolen. In particular, it states that Kerry and Edwards "have an interest in fully participating in the recount requested by the Defendants [Green candidate Cobb and Libertarian candidate Badnarik] in the instant action." Pretty pro forma stuff.

Meanwhile, the DNC says it will launch an investigation into voting irregularities in Ohio. The Washington Post has this story. The Post also mentions this new report from the Lawyers' Committee on Civil Rights and People for the American Way, analyzing problems during the election in a number of states.

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