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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

Information & Analysis

Minnesota Senate race - analyses and comments

Yesterday, the Minnesota contest court said it would review 400 additional absentee ballots that had previously been rejected. It will count valid votes from that pool next Tuesday and, hopefully soon after, dispose of the remaining issues in the case and declare who received the most votes. See the case page here.  The losing party is expected to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The filing of a parallel suit in federal court is also a possibility. A certificate will probably not be issued until at least the Minnesota Supreme court decides an appeal, but that too is in question. Governor Pawlenty has said he will not issue a certificate until the law requires him to. 

Election Law @ Moritz and friends of our program have commented on issues from the case over the last months. Here are some links to our analyses and other important articles:

Equal Protection – Procedural and Substantive Matters – Edward B. Foley discusses the court’s first mention of Equal Protection and Bush v. Gore in this comment from Feb. 4, 2009.

Equal Protection, Substantial Compliance – Edward B. Foley discusses the tension between three of Coleman’s arguments: 1) the pure Equal Protection argument, 2) the Equal Protection as a gloss on Minnesota law argument, and 3) the substantial compliance argument in this Feb. 12, 2009 piece.

Equal Protection – Mistakes vs. Different Policies – Edward B. Foley discusses the difference between random mistakes in applying a uniform set of standards and the possible existence of non-uniform local policies interpreting such standards in this Feb. 19. 2009 piece. 

Equal Protection, Bush v. Gore – Rick Hasen wrote this Mar. 18, 2009 piece for Slate.com suggesting the courts might be hesitant to find an equal protection violation under these circumstances, because such a conclusion would essentially require state instead of local administration of elections to ensure uniformity.

Uncounting Commingled Votes – Sarah Cherry discusses Minnesota law and case precedent on what to do when invalid ballots have been irretrievably commingled with valid ones in this Mar. 2, 2009 comment. 

Challenging the Validity of Absentee Ballots – Sarah Cherry discusses Minnesota Supreme Court case Bell v. Gannaway and the law in Minnesota of challenging absentee ballots in this Mar.11, 2009 piece. 

Reluctance to Void ElectionsNathan Cemenska writes in this Mar. 17, 2009 piece about why courts are reluctant to void elections and order a re-vote in most cases. 

Coin-flip to Determine Result – Nathan Cemenska writes about why flipping a coin when candidate totals are very close will not necessarily reduce the delayed results and litigation that come with a close election in this Feb. 25, 2009 piece. 


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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