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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. 

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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