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Election Law @ Moritz Home Page

Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

Montana: How to Get from Here to Certification

In Montana, before a recount can be requested there must be an official canvass of the votes and the winner certified. The procedures for arriving at the official tally are summarized below: Vote counting may begin prior to the close of polls, and will continue until finished. MT ST 13-15-207. From that point, the boards of county canvassers take over. They shall meet within three to seven days after the election to canvass the precinct returns. MT ST 13-15-401. However, if not all precinct returns are received, the board of county canvassers will postpone the canvass from day to day until all precinct returns have been received. MT 13-15-402. After canvassing, the county board will certify the results to the secretary of state. MT ST 13-15-501. The Board of State Canvassers, for whom the secretary of state serves as secretary, meets after all the returns have been received from the county boards, but no later than twenty days after the election, and certifies the winner. MT ST 13-15-507. In order to count absentee ballots, the following rules apply: As soon as absentee ballots are received, officials determine to treat it in one of three different ways. First, if they determine that 1) the signature is genuine, 2) the voter is registered, and 3) any identification number associated with the voter matches up, the ballot is handled “as a regular ballot.” MT ST 13-13-241. If they determine the signature is not genuine or the voter is not registered, they will reject the ballot then and there. Id. Finally, if the signature and registration pass scrutiny but the identification number does not match up, the ballot will be treated as a provisional ballot unless the voters provide corrected identification after notification. Id. For a provisional ballot to count, the voter must provide verification of identity and eligibility, or provide material responding to a challenge, by 5:00 p.m. on the day following the election. MT 13-15-107. However, once that information is received, the election officials may not count provisional ballots until 3:00 p.m. on the sixth day following the election. MT ADC 44.3.2114. If a board of county canvassers finds an error in the precinct count, it may petition for a recount under 13-16-201 or an inspection of ballots under 13-16-420. The 2006 timeline for counting votes: Nov. 7 Election Day. Counting of regular and absentee ballots begins. Nov. 8 Supplemental information for provisional voter eligibility and identity due by 5:00 p.m. (or must be postmarked by 5:00 p.m.). Nov. 10 Earliest date that board of county canvassers may begin canvassing precinct returns. Nov. 13 Day provisional ballot counting may begin in precincts. Nov. 14 Latest date on which county board of canvassers may begin canvass. Nov. 27 Date on which board of state canvassers must meet and certify final tally. Contributed by Terri Enns and Nathan Cemenska.

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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