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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

Information & Analysis

Franken asks state officials for election certificate

The AP reports that the Franken campaign has sent a letter to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie asking that they issue an election certificate to Al Franken so that he may be seated by the Senate.  The letter says that the Senate shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its own members and that the ongoing election contest should not stop the two officials from issuing the certificate.  The Senate last week said that it would not seat Roland Burris, who was appointed by a scandal-tainted Governor Blagojevich to fill President-elect Obama’s Senate seat, without a certificate signed by the state’s governor and secretary of state.  This implies that they will not seat a winner from Minnesota without a certificate either.  However, the same AP report questions whether Senate rules require a certificate or just provide recommendations for the form of such certificates and the keeping of records.  Illinois’ attorney general says no law requires the Secretary of State’s signature on appointments.  The Franken campaign plans to file documents in Coleman v. Franken later today.  Any new filings will be posted to our case page.


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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