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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

MN Senate race - Supreme Court hearing concluded, canvassing board continuing to wade through challenged ballots

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Coleman v. Ritchie.  Coleman's attorney argued that an election contest is the proper circumstance for revisiting rejected absentee ballots and correcting wrongful rejections.  The justices questioned this process appearing to recognize that a court proceeding could be viewed as an extreme way to correct obvious errors.  The justices also questioned the attorneys about what kind of errors exist and what is meant by obvious error.  They questioned respondent's counsel about the plain meaning of the statute governing correcting obvious erros with counsel arguing that the plain meaning does not preclude correction of the kind of errors counties are finding.  Coleman's attorney appeared to concede that there are some rejected absentee ballots that fall into the obvious error category but contend that there are rejected ballots where an error is not so obvious.  Meanwhile, the canvassing board continues to review challenged ballots.  So far, of the ballots challenged by Franken, 194 have been allocated to Coleman, 51 to Franken, and 99 to the "Other" category.  Most of the challenges are disposed of quickly and almost all decisions are unanimous.  One ballot that came before the board this morning was a primary ballot that was apparently given to a voter by mistake.  The voter cast a vote for Coleman but Franken was not on the ballot.  The board unanimously decided that the ballot fell into the "Other" category.

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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