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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

Information & Analysis

MN Senate race: contest panel not yet appointed

The Minnesota Senate race is now in the election contest stage.  Minnesota statewide contests are decided by a three-judge panel appointed by the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Chief Justice Eric Magnuson served on the state canvassing board and has thus recused himself from the appointing duty.  The next most senior member of the Court is Justice Alan Page.  He has not yet appointed anyone nor has he indicated whether he will seek the agreement of the campaigns on the compostition of the panel.  Here are some of the news stories out today:

  • The Minnesota Independent has a story about what's next in the contest process that discusses Page's background and current role.  Another story reports that ballot form and design are unlikely to be changed if any election reform takes place in the near future.  Legislators from both parties said correct completion of the ballot can be achieved with better poll worker training and voter education.
  • The Minnesota Post has a recap of some events from the recount and state canvass that includes some analysis of the current Minnesota Supreme Court.  One expert says the Court was largley in agreement in its 2008 decisions but that its so-called liberal members are often on different sides of issues. 
  • The Pioneer Press has a story about some of the voters who have just received notice that their absentee ballots were not counted.  One woman's ballot was rejected by the Coleman campaign because it was witnessed by a notary in Texas who did not include the notary seal.  She said she voted for Coleman and is considering legal action.  The Coleman campaign is contacting selected voters whose ballots were rejected to see if they are interested in challenging the rejections.
  • Many editorials have been written about Coleman's right to challenge the election results with most authors guessing that Franken would have done the same had the recount and canvass ended in Coleman's favor.  The Star Tribune reports that a recent poll found that a slight majority of Minnesotans think Coleman should concede.  Forty-nine percent disagree with Coleman's effort to overturn the recount result and 42 percent agree with it.



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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