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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.


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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