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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

Colorado SoS Race Over

Yesterday, in a joint press conference, Democrat Ben Gordon conceded the race to Republican Mike Coffman. Although not all ballots had been counted, few enough remained that Coffman’s 27,457-vote lead was insurmountable. Gordon retains his position as majority leader in the state senate, and the two former opponent pledged to work together to fix the voting administration problems that caused excessively long lines. A report in the Rocky Mountain News estimates that as many as 18,000 expected voters may have been prevented from casting ballots as a result of the administrative problems that occurred in the state on election day. That number is noteworthy because it is about the same as the undervote in Sarasota County, Florida, affecting the thirteenth congressional district election in that state. The newspaper derives this number from the gap between projected turnout and actual turnout this year. The paper also quotes a Denver official who estimates that “somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 votes” were lost because of the problems. Even though Gordon will not contest his defeat based on these lost votes (nor could he have based on Coffman’s apparent margin of victory), it is unclear whether they will form the basis of a claim in other races. The Democratic candidate for a position on the University of Colorado board of regents, Stephen Ludwig, suggested that perhaps he could have expected to garner roughly two-third of the missing 18,000 votes. Although he may not need them to prevail—the Denver Post has him ahead by more than 3000 votes with provisional ballots from around the state still to be counted, conceivably he could attempt to challenge the result if the final count shows him short. A Denver tax levy is also potentially affected by these lost votes.

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

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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