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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

New Ohio Suit Seeks to Block Absentee Ballots Without Checks

According to this front-page report in the Columbus Dispatch, a new lawsuit filed in the Ohio Supreme Court seeks an order that would prevent local boards of elections throughout Ohio from processing or counting absentee ballots unless and until they are first checked against the "mismatches" that the Secretary of State discovered when comparing voter registration information with motor vehicle information.  With respect to any absentee ballot cast by a voter whose registration record is a "mismatch", the lawsuit asks the court to further require the local boards to verify the voter's eligibility.  What this suit seeks, therefore, goes beyond what had been requested--and denied--by the U.S. Supreme Court in Ohio Republican Party v. Brunner.  (That federal-court lawsuit had sought only a requirement that the Secretary of State share the "mismatch" information with the local boards.)  The new case, a direct "mandamus" action in the Ohio Supreme Court, is named State ex. rel. Mahal v. Brunner (2008-2027).  The court has ordered the parties to submit all briefs and evidence by Friday, October 24.  Starting the day after, county boards are entitled under state law to begin the processing of absentee ballots, including removing them from their envelopes and thus irretrievably including them in the pool of all ballots to be counted (after which a particular ballot no longer could be extracted if it were subsequently determined the particular ballot was not entitled to be counted).

Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

What's the Matter with Kobach?

Daniel P. Tokaji

By "Kobach," I mean the Kobach v. EAC case in which the Tenth Circuit heard oral argument Monday – rather than its lead plaintiff, Kansas’ controversial Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who argued the position of his state and the State of Arizona. This post discusses what’s at issue in the case, where the district court went wrong, and what the Tenth Circuit should do.

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

Ohio treasurer receives OK to host town halls

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about an attorney general opinion that allows the Ohio treasurer to conduct telephone town halls using public money. The opinion will likely have broad ramifications for the upcoming elections, Tokaji said.

“As a practical matter, while that legal advice is certainly right, very serious concerns can arise about whether these are really intended to inform Ohio constituents about the operations of his office or if they’re campaign events,” he said.

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Info & Analysis

Judge Denies Motion for Preliminary Injunction in NC Case

U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder denied the motion for a preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs in a case challenging a new North Carolina voting law as violating the Voting Rights Act and the federal Constitution. Judge Schroeder also denied the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings. The case is North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory.

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