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Election Law @ Moritz

Information & Analysis

MN Senate Race: 11/12 Update

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, by statute a member of the state canvassing board that will certify the official results of the Coleman-Franken US Senate race, will appoint the four other members of the board today. Here's more news.

Are the "found votes" suspicious?

This article explains part of the reason why Coleman has expressed suspicion of the votes that were found: 100 votes found in one precinct in Pine County all went to Franken, and 100 votes found in a precinct in Mountain Iron all went to Franken. Furthermore, overall the vote-checking has netted 435 votes for Franken while subtracting 69 for Coleman. This article suggests that Coleman's statements could be part of a political strategy to pressure elections workers to "bend over backwards" to give Coleman the benefit of the doubt when it comes to discerning voter intent. The Franken campaign, for its part, issued a press-release with historical data suggesting that these types of changes are not unusual (for additional evidence of this, see here).

Post-election audit suggests good news for Franken

An examination of 28 of the 202 precincts statewide that were randomly selected for the Minnesota's post-election audit showed that Franken picked up 6 votes, while Coleman lost one. If this pattern holds in the full recount of 4,130 precincts, Franken may come out ahead. The article also discusses a theory that Democrats generally increase their totals disproportionately in recounts because the voters who are more likely to vote for them tend to have difficulty voting, and their intent can often only be discerned by "eyeballing" their ballots (see also here).

"Lawyering up"

This article says that Coleman will procure about 120 lawyers to observe the recount. Franken is also assembling a team.

Will this election compare to Minnesota's gubernatorial election of 1962?

The original vote count in Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1962 put the Republican ahead by 142 votes, but the recount and associated litigation eventually put the Democrat into office. Read here for more details.


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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