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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

Coleman back to MN S.Ct. over Absentee Ballots

On New Year's Eve, Norm Coleman filed an emergency motion in the Minnesota Supreme Court claiming that the agreed-to procedures for reviewing rejected absentee ballots had broken down and violated Equal Protection and Bush v. Gore.  Focusing on absentee ballots rejected because the signature on the return envelope does not match the signature on the application for an absentee ballot, Coleman alleges that the procedures for reviewing these ballots differ from county to county, risking that some similarly situated ballots will be counted will others will not.  The motion asks that all absentee ballots that either campaign or local officials believe to have been improperly rejected be submitted to the Secretary of State for a uniform review. 

If the Franken campaign has submitted a brief to the court in response, it is not yet available.  But reports in the Star-Tribune and Pioneer Press indicate that Franken will oppose this motion as an improper "do-over" of procedures largely completed already, with the Secretary of State taking the same position.  It is unclear whether local officials will also object to being excluded from the process, especially as the legal premise for the review procedures undertaken pursuant to the Minnesota Supreme Court's previous order was that, prior to an election contest, review of rejected absentee ballots could only occur with the consent of local officials.  (For other documents in this case, see here.)

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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