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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

Edward B. Foley

Of Bouncing Balls and a Big Blue Shift

Edward B. Foley

It is a fortuitous coincidence that the University of Virginia’s Journal of Law & Politics has just published a piece of mine that shows the relevance of the current vote-counting process in Virginia’s Attorney General election to what might happen if the 2016 presidential election turns on a similar vote-counting process in Virginia. 

Read full post here.

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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

Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Voter ID Law

In two opinions issued today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state's voter ID law against challenges that the law violated the Wisconsin Constitution. The court issued an opinion in League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Walker and also an opinion in Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker.

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