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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

Waiting for result in federal court hearing on OH-15 provisional ballots

Steve Stivers leads by 393 votes accordig to Friday's Gongwer news (this is a subscription service).  The campaign claims that he picked up 244 votes in Union County after the first unofficial county report and that these are not included in the Secretary of State's current unofficial numbers which put the difference at 149.

Judge Marbley scheduled a hearing for today at 9 a.m. on whether to consolidate the Skaggs case with NEOCH v. Blackwell, a case about the counting of provisional ballots that was consolidated before the election with Ohio Republican Party v. Brunner.  Secretary Brunner alleges that all of the cases revolve around the single issue of processing and counting of provisional ballots.  Secretary Brunner argues that she gave clear instruction on how to handle these ballots including the instruction that poll worker error should not invalidate a provisional ballot.  Plaintiffs argue that Ohio law requires certain information on the provisional ballot envelope for the ballot to be deemed eligible for counting.  The outcome of this case could have a big impact on how provisional ballots are treated in the state from now on.  EL@M will post the result of the hearing as soon as it is available. 

One thing that is not clear from the court filings is whether any of the provisional ballots challenged in this suit were cast by voters who were erroneously forced to vote provisionally because of a code mistakenly printed by the county in the poll books.  The deputy director of the board told local TV news the day after the election that all of these ballots would be counted.  See this Nov. 5 post.

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

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign contribution cap

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion today in McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down aggregate limits on political campaign contributions but leaving in place limits on contributions to individual candidates.

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