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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

More on the Ohio Election Summit

Steve Hoffman, Akron Beacon Journal writer and panelist in Tuesday's summit, has this editorial.  He specifically mentions the difference in provisional voting rates between Ohio and Missouri and the perception that Ohio's high rate makes it more prone to litigation in the weeks preceding and following election day.  Ohio had a provisional voting rate this year of approximately 3.2% while Missouri's rate was 0.2%.  Part of the difference could be accounted for by the fact that Missouri doesn't allow provisional ballots to be used on election day to change the voter's address.  Address changes in Missouri have to be made prior to election day.  In Ohio, provisional ballots have been used since the early 90's--long before HAVA--to allow voters to change their address on election day, but it is unclear what proportion of today's provisional voters fall into this category.  Many panelists and commenters pressed for meaningful data to be gathered and reported by Ohio officials so that all interested parties can base their election policy debate on sound facts instead of emotions and anecdotes.  While the use of provisional ballots to change an address is seen by some as an accomodation to voters, these provisional ballots can get caught up in unforeseen disputes such as whether the formal requirements for completing the ballot envelope have been satisfied.  Voters can get tripped up by choosing to take advantage of a voting option that they may not realize will decrease the likelihood of their ballot being counted.  EL@M has been monitoring progress in the lawsuit over ballot envelope formalities in Ohio's Franklin County.  See the Skaggs case page here.  The Ohio Supreme Court has not yet issued a decision.

Commentary

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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