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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.



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

Tokaji and Strause release The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections

Dan Tokaji and Renata Strause will release their report on independent spending, entitled The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections on Wednesday, June 18.  The report includes interviews with former Members of Congress, such as Senators George Allen, Kent Conrad, and Ben Nelson, and Representatives Mark Critz, Tim Holden, Steve LaTourette, and Joe Walsh, as well as recent congressional candidates, campaign staff, political operatives, legislative staff, and representatives of outside groups. See here for details.

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