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Changing Voting Rules After Ballots Are Cast

Posted on October 2, 2014, 11:41 am

To disqualify absentee ballots already cast based on a judicial change in the applicable rules for counting those ballots violates a Due Process principle articulated in Griffin v. Burns, 570 F.2d 1065 (1st Cir. 1978), among other precedents.

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An Ominous Supreme Court Decision

Posted on September 30, 2014, 2:00 pm

Anyone who cares about the right to vote should be very concerned by yesterday’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Husted v. NAACP . The one-paragraph stay order effectively stops same day registration in Ohio, which was to start today, and reduces the early voting period. The evidence showed that these voting opportunities were heavily used by African American and poor voters, who will be disproportionately burdened by the cuts. Even more disconcerting, however, are the implications of yesterday’s decision for the future of the right to vote.

Why the Supreme Court Shouldn’t Intervene in Ohio

Posted on September 29, 2014, 12:00 am

Briefing is now in the U.S. Supreme Court on Ohio’s emergency motion to stay the district court injunction restoring the rules regarding same day registration and early voting that existed before legislation enacted earlier this year (SB 238). In a previous post, I explained why the district court and Sixth Circuit panel’s rulings were faithful applications of legal precedent requiring close attention to the context in which restrictions on voting are enacted. This post explains why it would be unwise and disruptive for the Supreme Court to change the rules now – now literally on the eve of an election -- responding to comments that my colleague Ned Foley posted yesterday.

Ohio Early Voting in the Supreme Court

Posted on September 28, 2014, 1:50 pm

Some thoughts on the legal issues involved.

Context and Pretext: Why the Courts Were Right to Halt Ohio’s Latest Voting Restrictions

Posted on September 25, 2014, 10:00 pm

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the district court’s ruling in in NAACP v. Husted, which stopped new restrictions on early voting from taking effect. This decision is good news for Ohio voters. It faithfully applies existing law to the evidence admitted in the district court, maintaining the established period for same day registration and early voting. The federal courts have done their job by safeguarding voters against partisan manipulation of election rules. This comment explains why the ruling is correct and why Ohio’s call to stay the existing court order should be rejected, especially now that same day registration and early voting are just about to begin.


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